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So You Want To Be a Captain – Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC)

Source: Mariners Learning System, By Captain Bob Figular

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is a vital security measure that will ensure individuals who pose a threat do not gain unescorted access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime transportation system.

TWIC was established by Congress through the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and is administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Coast Guard.

TWIC cards are tamper-resistant biometric credentials issued to workers who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports, vessels, outer continental shelf facilities and all credentialed merchant mariners. Over 1 million workers including USCG Licensed Captain’s, longshoremen, port employees and others are required to obtain a TWIC card.

To obtain a TWIC card, an individual must provide biographic and biometric information such as fingerprints, sit for a digital photograph and successfully pass a security threat assessment conducted by TSA. Pre-enrollment is recommended as it is designed to save the applicant time by enabling them to provide their biographical information and make an appointment for in-person enrollment.

The fee for TWIC is $132.50 and is valid for five years. Workers with current, comparable background checks will pay a reduced fee of $105.25. If workers are eligible to pay the lower price, their TWIC will expire 5 years from the date of the comparable credential. The cost of a replacement TWIC, if the original is lost, stolen, or damaged, is $60.


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