Dozen ports gets go-ahead for TWIC
After a series of delays and launch postponements, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday that enrollment for a special secure identification card for port workers will begin Oct. 16 at the Port of Wilmington, Del.
The Transportation Security Identification Credential, or TWIC, will be required for longshoremen, truckers and other workers that require unescorted access to secure areas of a port. Each worker must undergo a criminal and terrorist background check, provide a fingerprint and purchase a tamper-proof, biometric card that can be automatically read to verify identity.
The cards will cost $132.50, down from the $137.50 announced in interim rulemakings. Truckers who have undergone background checks for the hazardous material endorsement to their commercial drivers license or for the FAST cross-border trucking program, as well as credentialed merchant mariners, will save $30. The ID card is valid for five years.
Workers in Wilmington can begin online pre-enrollment Oct. 9 through the TSA Web site. The process saves time by allowing them to fill out biographical information and schedule an in-person appointment to complete the application.
TWIC enrollment will spread to 11 other ports in November. They are:
' Early November: Corpus Christi, Texas
' Mid-November Baton Rouge, La.; Beaumont, Texas; Honolulu; Oakland, Calif.; and Tacoma, Wash.
' Late November: Chicago; Houston; Port Arthur, Texas; Providence, R.I.; and Savannah, Ga.
DHS said the order of the rollout was based on factors such as risk, geographic location, size and contractor resources.
Technical and other challenges have forced the Transportation Security Administration, which is managing the TWIC program in partnership with the Coast Guard, to begin enrollment and use of the photo ID portion of the card until biometric readers that work in the marine environment are ready.