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Transportation Worker Identification Credential Program (TWIC)





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Legislation & Rules


TWIC Direct Final Rule, Federal Register Notice, September 28, 2007 Amends the TWIC rule to expand the list of categories of non-resident aliens who are required to apply for a TWIC.  The rule also requires that mariners serving aboard vessels have access to spaces on the terminal dock immediately adjacent to their ship when they are conducting appropriate work activity, even if they do not have a TWIC. The rule also amends the TWIC card replacement fee, setting the standard fee to $132.50.


TWIC Final Rule, Federal Register Notice, January 25, 2007 This final rule describes the implementation requirements of the TWIC program for the owners and operators of maritime facilities and vessels. All workers or personnel at maritime facilities are required to submit to additional background checks to obtain a biometric access card as a minimal condition for unescorted access to secure areas.  Individuals with a TWIC must further have a need for access in accordance with a facility’s approved security plan.

This final rule amends the following regulations:

  • 33 CFR 101, 103-106, 125

  • 46 CFR 10,12,15

  • 49 CFR 1515, 1540, 1570, 1572

Coast Guard changed several sections of the proposed rule as a result of comments received and additional analysis. Click here.


33 CFR 125 This rule requires Coast Guard Captains of the Port to prevent access to waterfront facilities to persons that do not have appropriate identification credentials. It also explains the acceptable identification documents.


Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), Title I: Maritime Transportation Security, Sec. 102 Port Security, November 25, 2002 MTSA requires DHS to issue a “biometric transportation security credential to … individuals who require unescorted access to secure areas of … facilities.”  To obtain the Credential, the individuals must pass a security threat assessment, which includes a review of criminal, immigration, and pertinent intelligence records.


Updates, Comments & Other Reports


June 2013  On June 26, ILTA submitted its response to the Coast Guard’s March 22, 2013 public request for comments on its proposal “to require owners and operators of certain [facilities] to use electronic readers designed to work with [TWIC] as an access control measure.” ILTA’s comments are available here.   These comments reference an enclosed white paper, also available here.


December 2012 On December 19, the United States Coast Guard Office of Port & Facility Activities (CG-FAC) issued Policy Letter 12-04 that expands allowances for unescorted access by TWIC holders who have reported their card lost, damaged or stolen.  It replaces Policy Advisory Council (PAC) 03-09 Change 4, Oct. 2010.  Under this new policy, owners and operators may grant unescorted access to these individuals for up to 37 days, provided that the individual can demonstrate that a replacement has been ordered and provides the FSO with his name as it is recorded with the TWIC office.  FAC 12-04 also provides for unescorted access to workers who apply for a renewal TWIC prior to the expiration of their existing card but are unable to take possession of the replacement before it expires “due to a significant delay in the application, production, issuance and/or activation process.”


One month earlier, the Sector Houston-Galveston Captain of the Port had issued Port Security Information Bulletin (PSIB) 02-12 stating that for TWIC holders whose card has expired, there would be “no ‘grace’ period or circumstance during which the expired credential … will be honored.  An individual possessing an expired TWIC shall be treated as if they were a non-TWIC holder.” This statement is superseded by FAC 12-04.


February 2012 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published a final report on the TWIC Reader Pilot Program.  For more information, click here.


October 2010 On October 15, President Obama signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (HR3619) into law.  Among other things, the bill addressed port security, maritime safety, acquisition reform, and oil spills.  Under the law, the Coast Guard must coordinate with owners and operators of port facilities to allow workers with a pending TWIC application to have escorted access to secure or restricted areas of the facility.  It also clarifies that facility owners and operators are not required or compelled to provide the escorted access.  Additionally, after the TWIC card reader pilot program is completed, DHS is required to submit a report to Congress with an assessment of results, including key technical and operational aspects of implementing card reader technologies.


August 2009 On August 31, the Coast Guard re-issued PAC 08-09 “Change 1” to accommodate facilities using access control systems that were installed before July 15, in accordance with NVIC 03-07.  At these facilities, effective immediately, random checks for verifying identity must be conducted at MARSEC Level 1 at the rate specified in Commercial Facility Performance Standard Directive 105-3.  At elevated MARSEC Levels 2 and 3, verification must be more frequent and also include card validity and authentication.  These facilities must submit Facility Security Plan amendments detailing their implementation of this policy.  All MTSA-regulated facilities are strongly encouraged to carefully review PAC08-09 Change 1, and modify procedures and FSPs accordingly.


July 2009  On July 15, the Coast Guard issued a significant policy change with the release of Policy Advisory Council (PAC) 08-09.  It requires facilities that are regulated under MTSA to “support a match between the (facility-specific) access card and the individual’s valid TWIC upon each entry prior to implementation of a final TWIC Reader rule.  This requirement conflicts with Navigation and Inspection Circular (NVIC) 03-07, section 3.3f that was issued in January 2007.  Under NVIC 03-07, guidance allowed access using existing card readers, provided that the facility conduct initial verifications that each card holder possess a valid TWIC. NPRA has submitted a letter to the USCG relating these concerns about the conflicting information between PAC 08-09 and NVIC 03-07.


May 2009  On May 26, ILTA submitted comments on the Coast Guard’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the TWIC Reader Requirements.  ILTA recommends that Coast Guard:

  • Give terminals the option to incorporate TWIC into existing physical access control systems at MARSEC Level 1;

  • Allow the use of visual identification as a valid biometric match;

  • Eliminate the use of a personal identification number;

  • Reduce the risk characterization of asphalt cement; and,

  • Shorten the duration of record retention requirements.

April 2009  The final compliance deadline with the TWIC Card rule is April 15, 2009.  All workers will be required to possess and facilities will be required to check for a TWIC.  Click here for Enrollment Center locations and additional compliance deadline information.  Note, ports had different compliance dates based on a variety of factors including risk, geographic location, size and contractor resources.  Additional information on the TWIC program and enrollment process can be found on TSA’s website at www.tsa.gov/twic.


January 2009 On January 22, the Coast Guard issued Policy Advisory Council (PAC) 02-09, Training Requirements for Escorts on Regulated Facilities and Vessels.  It states that any TWIC holder who is authorized to escort non-TWIC holders, regardless of his affiliation or employment with the regulated facility, must be familiar with all relevant aspects of the facility’s TWIC program and know how to carry them out.  All facilities should have written escorting policies and procedures in place by their enforcement deadline.  Click here to view sample internal escorting policies and procedures developed by two ILTA terminal member facilities.


December 2008 The Coast Guard has released a list of TWIC readers that have successfully completed Initial Capability Evaluation (ICE) testing.  TWIC readers that have successfully completed Initial Capability Evaluation (ICE) testing.  A proposed rule for readers is expected in 2009.  There will be a comment period prior to implementation.  ILTA will add a new web page for information relating to the TWIC reader rule once the proposed rule is announced.





ILTA provides a monthly newsletter to its membership. Members may log in to the Member Resources page to access archived newsletters. The following is a list of articles ILTA has published in its newsletter relating to the TWIC requirement.

  • ILTA Comments on TWIC Reader Rule, June 2013 Issue (p. 3)

  • GAO: TWIC Card Readers Unreliable, June 2013 Issue (p. 4)

  • Coast Guard Proposes TWIC Reader Rule, April 2013 Issue (p. 2)

  • DHS and TSA Publish Final Report on TWIC Reader Pilot Program, March 2012 Issue (p.2)

  • GAO Find Numerous Weaknesses in TWIC Program, June 2011 (p.4)

  • Coast Guard Authorization Act Impacts Crew Access, TWIC, and FSO Training, November 2010 Issue (p.2)

  • USCG Updates Policy on Incorporating TWIC Into Existing Access Control Systems, September 2009 Issue (p.3)

  • ILTA Submits Comments on Proposed Rule for TWIC Card Readers, June 2009 Issue (p.2)

  • Coast Guard Issues Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on TWIC Card Readers, April 2009 Issue (p.2)

  • Coast Guard Issues a New TWIC Policy Statement on Escort Training, February 2009 Issue (p.2)

  • ILTA Special Report:  The Transportation Worker Identification Credential, November 2008 Issue (p.2)

  • HR Professionals Discuss Impacts of TWIC, October 2008 Issue (p.2)

  • TWIC Enforcement Dates Approach: Will Cards be Issued in Time?, August 2008 Issue (p.2)

  • DHS Announces New TWIC Compliance Timeline for Several Captain of the Port Zones, July 2008 Issue (p.5)

  • DHS Delays Initial TWIC Compliance Date Until April 2009, June 2008 Issue (p.3)

  • TWIC Enrollment Begins, Terminals Obligated to Provide Training November 2007 Issue (p.4)

  • Start of TWIC Enrollment and Publication of CFATS Final ‘Appendix A’ Remain Uncertain October 2007 Issue (p.4)

  • Coast Guard Issues Final Guidance Document on TWIC Implementation, August 2007 Issue (p.2)

  • DHS Gears Up To Implement TWIC Despite GAO Testimony Citing Remaining Challenges, June 2007 Issue (p.2)

  • TWIC Program Enrollment Dates Remain Uncertain, May 2007 Issue (p.3)

  • TWIC Enrollment Set to Begin in Wilmington, DE, April 2007 Issue (p.2)

  • DHS Publishes Final TWIC Rule Covering Process for Issuing ID Cards, February 2007 (p.2)

  • GAO Says TWIC Program Should be Delayed, December 2006 Issue (p.3-4)

  • TWIC Program Appears Likely to Expand Beyond Maritime Sector, July 2006 Issue (p.2)

  • DHS Issues Proposed Rule for TWIC, June 2006 Issue (p.2)


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