Are you wondering how to obtain a TWIC card? The card allows you access to ports and vessels that are regulated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. What you'll need to get a TWIC card is several pieces of biographic and biometric information to the Transportation Security Administration. You’ll also need to pass a security threat assessment to ensure you are not a danger to U.S. waterways. Before beginning the application process, make sure you fully understand how to obtain a TWIC card to avoid delays.

What is a TWIC Card?

A TWIC card, or Transportation Worker Identification Credential, is a tamper-resistant biometric identification card. This card provides maritime workers and Coast Guard members unescorted access to secure ports, vessels and maritime facilities. TWIC cards are required for merchant mariners, workers and any other individuals who need unescorted access to certain regulated facilities.

Although learning how to obtain a TWIC card isn’t difficult, not all who apply will receive one. TWIC applicants are required to submit extensive documentation as well as pass a TSA security threat assessment, which utilizes both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that applicants do not pose a threat to U.S. ports and vessels.

What do you need to get a TWIC card?

There are several items you will need to furnish to get a TWIC card, so make sure you bring all necessary documentation and come prepared to complete all required steps. Items you’ll need to submit include:

· biographic information;

· identity documents;

· biometric fingerprints;

· completed TWIC disclosure and certification form;

· digital photograph, taken at the TWIC enrollment center you visit; and

· $129.75 fee. (If you have a FAST card, an HME or an MMC, you may be eligible to pay a reduced fee of $105.25.)

If you have submitted all documents and passed your threat assessment, your card will be sent to the enrollment center where you applied. Typically enrollment and issuance of a TWIC takes about 18 months to complete. Once you have the card, it is valid for five years.

According to the TSA, an estimated 750,000 people require one of these cards. If you’re still unsure whether you need one, talk to your employer. Generally, if you require access to secure ports, you’ll need one. Although a TWIC card can help you gain access to many secure ports and vessels, it cannot grant you access to all of them. Owners and operators of these have discretion as to who can and cannot access their facilities.

Learning More about How to Obtain a TWIC Card

Maritime law covers employees who are injured while performing their duties while offshore and may even cover employers who perform duties while on-shore. Whether you were injured while at sea, on a vessel or in a facility accessed with your TWIC card, contact an attorney at The Young Firm on the Gulf Coast. Call us at (504) 680-4100 or (866) 938-6113.