TWIC is a common identification credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA-regulated facilities and vessels, and all mariners holding Coast Guard-issued credentials. Individuals who meet TWIC eligibility requirements will be issued a tamper-resistant credential containing the worker's biometric (fingerprint template) to allow for a positive link between the card and the individual.
Disqualification for Unlawful Presence
An individual who lacks lawful presence and certain immigration status in the United States, has a connection to terrorist activity, has been determined to lack mental capacity or was convicted of certain crimes will be ineligible for a TWIC.
What crimes apply?
Federal statutes enumerate which crimes prevent TWIC Card eligibility. Not every crime will stop you from getting a card! The Transportation Security Administration has an excellent site that details which crimes will prevent you from being able to apply.
Pending Charges or Probation
If you are on probation and/or have pending charges this will not AUTOMATICALLY prevent you from being eligible for a TWIC Card. Consult an attorney and they should be able to assist you.
What if a conviction is "exonerated?"
If a conviction is expunged or pardoned, the criminal records may reveal this. If they do not, TSA sends the applicant a letter (Initial Determination) explaining what the records show and how the applicant can correct inaccurate records.
Effect of Expungement
The applicant should proceed with TWIC enrollment as though they do not have a disqualifying offense, as long as the record is truly expunged. Per 49 C.F.R. A?1570.3, a conviction is expunged when "the conviction is removed from the individual's criminal history record and there are no legal disabilities or restrictions associated with the expunged conviction, other than the fact that the conviction may be used for sentencing purposes for subsequent convictions." However, if the applicant is a credentialed mariner or intends to apply for a mariner credential, he or she must report convictions that were expunged on their application to obtain the MMC. Failure to disclose expunged convictions could result in a determination that the application for the mariner credential is fraudulent.
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