TWIC Card Definition

Logistics Term

What Is a TWIC Card?

TWIC card means a Transportation Worker Identification Credential card. A TWIC card is a document required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act for anyone who needs access to secure areas such as maritime facilities and vessels. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has to conduct a background check on anyone who applies for a TWIC card to determine their eligibility.

How Much Does a TWIC Card Cost?

Applying for a TWIC card for the first time costs $125.25 and $60 for replacement. After registration, the card is valid for five years. Those with Hazardous Materials Endorsements or Free and Secure Trade cards can pay reduced fees of $93. Those who renew their TWIC cards online get a reduced rate of $117.25.

What Are the Requirements for a TWIC Card?

Drivers can apply for TWIC cards if they are one of the following:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Lawful permanent resident
  • Naturalized citizen
  • Nonimmigrant alien, asylee or refugee with legal status

Certain criminal offenses and other factors disqualify applicants from getting TWIC cards. Applicants may also be ineligible due to incomplete or false application information.

Who Uses a TWIC Card?

All transportation workers who need access to U.S. ports must have a TWIC card. For transportation workers involved with ports, boats, port facilities and continental shelf facilities, TWIC cards are essential to have unrestricted access. Particular tanker, dedicated and intermodal truck drivers may need a TWIC card, depending on the freight they haul and where they live.

Beyond truck drivers, others who regularly access ports may need this card. These people may include:

  • U.S. Coast Guard employees
  • Longshore workers
  • Port facility employees
  • Maritime security workers
  • Cruise ship personnel

How Do You Get or Renew a TWIC Card?

You can apply for a TWIC card online or through an in-person appointment. For in-person appointments, you must schedule an appointment in advance and carry documents such as a U.S. passport, driver’s license or birth certificate. Required documentation may vary depending on country and city of birth and citizenship. They will also need your fingerprints and a facial photograph.

After applying, you can choose to mail the card to your home address or pick it up at the application center. You can also check your status online for confirmation.

If you need to renew your TWIC card, you can do so online up to one year before the printed expiration date and up to one year after it expires. After one year, you must apply for the TWIC card as a new enrollee. Only U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or lawful permanent residents can renew online. Other applicants need to visit an enrollment center in person.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a TWIC Card?

After you apply, you will typically receive a card at your address or an enrollment center within 10 days after your application is approved. Applicants who request their card by mail will receive a phone or email notification when the card gets mailed. If applicants don't get their card within 10 days, they can report it to Universal Enrollment Services within 60 days. If they wait 60 days without reporting a missing card, they pay a $60 fee to replace the card.

Those applying for TWIC cards should apply about 60 days before they need the card to ensure it comes on time. Sometimes, approval may take up to six weeks.

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