What is TWIC?

  • The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is a common identification credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime transportation system -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.
  • How was TWIC created?

  • Congress directed the federal government, through the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), to issue a biometric security credential to individuals who require unescorted access to secure areas of facilities and vessels and all mariners holding Coast Guard- issued credentials or qualification documents. Controlling access to secure areas is critical to enhancing port security.
  • How will the TWIC be used?

  • During the initial rollout, TWIC will be used for visual identity checks. TWIC holders will present their cards to authorized personnel, who will compare the holder to his or her photo, inspect security features on the TWIC and evaluate the card for signs of tampering. The Coast Guard will conduct vessel and facility inspections and use hand -held readers during spot checks to ensure credentials are valid and identity is verified. A second rulemaking will establish access control requirements, including the use of electronic readers by certain vessel and facility owners and operators.
  • Who must get a TWIC?

  • Coast Guard-credentialed merchant mariners, port facility employees, long shore workers, truck drivers, and others requiring unescorted access to secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels regulated by MTSA are required to get a TWIC.
  • How it works

  • An applicant must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and cannot have been convicted of certain crimes. If an applicant has a record of any of the crimes identified in the eligibility requirements, they may choose not to apply, as the application fee is nonrefundable.
  • Interested applicants must visit an application center to provide biographic information that includes name, date of birth and address. An applicant will be fingerprinted and will be required to provide valid required identity and citizenship/immigration documentation. An applicant also has the option to pre-enroll online to provide basic information and make an appointment before visiting an application center.

    There is a nonrefundable application processing fee of $129.75.

  • After completing enrollment, successful applicants will receive their TWIC card in approximately 6-8 weeks following the visit to the application center. An applicant also may check status online by visiting https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/ and clicking on “Service Status.” The TWIC card is valid for five years.