TWIC or Transportation Worker Identification Credential is a requirement for maritime workers who need access to secure areas of port facilities, cargo warehouses, and vessels unaccompanied as mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act. The TWIC card is issued by the United States Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration.

TWIC card is a biomedical identification with a magnetic strip and computer chip containing the worker’s data such as fingerprint and security clearance which can be scanned or swiped at port entry points.

How to apply and get a TWIC card

  • TWIC card application can be completed through Transportation Security Administration’s online form or submit the accomplished application form along with the other required documents at a TSA application center. However, if you prefer the walk-in application option, you need to schedule an appointment online or call their number at (855) 347-8371 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday to schedule an appointment.
  • Pay a one-time fee of $125.25 for new applicants to cover the 5-year validity. A reduced fee of $105.25 is for applicants who have already passed a background check or those with Free and Secure Trade card. And for the replacement of lost cards, you will have to pay $60.
  • Once you have submitted the TWIC card application form and necessary documents, you will have to go through a series of background checks. First, TSA must obtain your fingerprint and photo. Second, you need to complete a Security Threat Assessment by using your Social Security number, date of birth, previous home addresses to check if you present a security risk.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will also access different databases for any links to terrorism or illegal activities such as drug possession, guilty of felony or misdemeanor, and release from prison within the last 5 years.

Now, if your TWIC card application is rejected due to these grounds, you can file an appeal along with supporting documents or letters to verify your ability to meet security standards.

  • Once you passed the security check, TSA will approve your application and will start working on the completion of your card. You have the option to have your TWIC card mailed to your home address or pick it up from an enrollment center once you receive the notification that the TWIC card is available. Expect to have it ready 4-6 weeks from your initial application.
  • TWIC card is valid for 5 years. Submit the same papers and requirements upon renewal.

Am I eligible to get a TWIC card?

U.S citizens, naturalized citizen, lawful permanent resident, asylee, refugee, or non-immigrant alien in lawful status are eligible to apply for a TWIC card.

Individuals with outstanding warrants or indictments, guilty of treason, terrorism, or espionage are not qualified to get a TWIC card.

Who needs a TWIC card?

Anyone who needs un-escorted and unsupervised access to secure cargo, non-civilian ports, and cargo warehouses are required to have TWIC cards. Examples of these are custom officials, coast guard employees, maritime security, cruise ship staff, and truck drivers.

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