Enrollment figures for TSA’s Transportation Worker Identification Credential continue to climb, though it appears the majority of eligible applicants have already signed up.
As of last week, 1,365,433 workers had enrolled in TWIC – the biometric card required for nearly 1.5 million port employees, longshoremen, mariners, truckers and others who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports. They need to have background checks before being issued cards with their biometric data and residency documentation.
TSA says that 62,574 applicants were disqualified initially after routine security threat assessments, although 32,835 of those disqualified applicants appealed the decision. Of those disqualified, 32,035 were granted enrollment.
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.
Standard TWIC enrollment costs $132.50, although workers with “current, comparable” threat assessment background checks such as hazmat endorsements, Merchant Mariner Documents or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) cards may obtain a TWIC card for $105.25. The card is designed to last five years.
– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer