Facing deadline, L.A. TWIC processing accepts walk-ins Saturday

| 4/9/2009

Thousands of port workers who need the Transportation Worker Identification Credential still have yet to be activated in the system, which has prompted one major U.S. port to accept walk-in appointments only this Saturday.

Nationwide enforcement begins on Tuesday, April 14.

Two TWIC Enrollment centers for the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach are scheduled to remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, for walk-in traffic only. The enrollment centers remaining open Saturday include:

Terminal Island TWIC Enrollment Center
1001 New Dock Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

TWIC Activation Center
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802

The Long Beach office is located in a single-story blue building in front of the Queen Mary ship.

Truck parking is available at both locations.

The U.S. Coast Guard recently issued guidance to the 2,650 facilities that have begun TWIC enforcement. In the message, Coast Guard officials said tens of thousands of TWIC applicants are being processed each week, and many other applications need processing.

More than a million TWIC applicants have been activated. Estimates of how many total TWIC candidates exist have ranged from 750,000 to 1.5 million to recent estimates of 1.2 million.

The Coast Guard told ports they may escort and monitor employees like truck drivers who need access to port-defined secure areas, rather than strictly enforce the TWIC measure when nationwide enforcement begins next week.

“This flexibility is provided in recognition of the fact that there is a current backlog in TWIC processing,” the message stated. “Our intent is to ensure that maritime workers who have made a good faith effort to comply are not inadvertently denied the ability to work due to TWIC production delays.”

In early April, TSA and the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security announced that it had added several mobile enrollment centers and that the government would “reach out to port facilities” regarding TWIC enforcement flexibilities.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been critical of several TSA processes during the TWIC rollout, including the price of enrollment and the ability of foreign nationals to access ports without background checks required by TWIC applicants from the U.S. One filing of the Association’s comments on TWIC can be found here.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer