Enrollment for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential is slow but steady, with enrollment nearing the 10 percent mark as of late February.
The TWIC program will require an estimated 1.5 million port employees, longshoreman, mariners, truckers and others who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports to have background checks so that they can be issued ID cards with their biometric data.
According to DHS, TWIC enrollments stood at 120,148 as of Feb. 27. A news release stated that 190,447 port workers have pre-enrolled by phone or Internet, which will save them an estimated five minutes during actual enrollment.
Enrollment into the program is expected to increase as more enrollment centers open.
Enrollment began Wednesday, March 5, in St. Louis, and is planned to start March 12 at the Port of Panama City, FL, and at Newport News, VA. Enrollment at the Port of San Diego is set to begin March 13.
Hundreds of ports throughout the nation will require truckers and others to have TWIC cards for unescorted access into areas the individual port defines as “secure.” TWIC cards will also be required at inland ports at cities such as St. Louis, MO, Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, OH.
Standard TWIC enrollment costs $132.50, though workers with “current, comparable” threat assessment background checks such as HAZMAT, Merchant Mariner Document or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) may obtain a TWIC card for $105.25. The card is good for five years.
Replacement cards for those who lose or damage their TWIC cards will cost $60, according to the TWIC Web site.
TWIC cards won’t be required until enrollment has been open at most ports for several months, TSA officials have stated, and the U.S. Coast Guard requires 90 days notification before enforcement will begin.
For more information about TWIC enrollment, go to: www.tsa.gov.
– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
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