What is a TWIC Card and Who Needs One?
by Mario Tarradell | January 27, 2020
Everything Truckers Need to Know About TWIC Cards
What do these two truckers have in common?
Trucker #1: A newbie to the field with a fresh commercial driver’s license (CDL) and big plans to haul even bigger loads across the country, including to ports.
Trucker #2: A longtime over-the-road expert looking to diversify by hauling for the first time to maritime areas.
They both need a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card to get those loads to ports, boats, port facilities, continental shelf facilities, and maritime areas.
But where should you start?
Is the process of getting a TWIC card like that of getting your CDL?
And what exactly will a TWIC card do for those truckers?
We have all those answers and more. So, before you aim your rig in the direction of shiny, blue waters let us give you a rundown of getting a TWIC card.
What is a TWIC card?
TWIC stands for Transportation Worker Identification Credential. This federal ID card is required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act for all workers who need access to secure areas of the country’s ports, vessels, and maritime areas.
What is a TWIC card used for?
A TWIC card allows transportation professionals (such as truckers) and U.S. Coast Guard to enter and conduct business at ports, government ports, and any other government maritime facility.
How long does it take to get a TWIC card?
Give yourself plenty of time, as getting a TWIC card in your hand is a lengthy process. From the moment you apply until you have that TWIC card in your wallet, it’s between six to eight weeks. And government agencies encourage folks to apply 12 weeks in advance to avoid any snags that would cause delays.
What about the TWIC card application?
You can apply for a TWIC card if you are a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, naturalized citizen, nonimmigrant alien, asylee, or refugee in lawful status. You complete the application and present required documentation, including current U.S. passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, and other acceptable documents. You will be fingerprinted, and you will take a facial photo.
Where do you get a TWIC card?
You can fill out the application online in advance, or you can visit an application center and go through the entire process in person. Appointments are recommended as they take priority, but walk-ins are welcome, too. You can have your TWIC card mailed to your home address or you can pick it up at the application center.
How much does it cost to get a TWIC card?
New applicant fee is $125.25. You can get a reduced rate of $105.25 if you have a valid driver’s license with a hazardous materials endorsement or a Free and Secure Trade card. Your TWIC card is valid for five years.
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