TWIC prices set by TSA
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration Tuesday set the standard user fee for issuance of a transportation worker identification credential, or TWIC, to $137.25.
Previous rules had given a range of $139 to $159. The new rule, published in the Federal Register, also set the user fee for an applicant who has completed a prior comparable background check at $105.25. This price was expected to fall within a range of $107 to $127. These fees are intended to cover TSA's costs to enroll applicants, complete security threat assessments, and issue biometric credentials.
In January, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued final rules on the TWIC, which will require workers in the port environment to undergo background checks and use a government-issued ID card for unescorted access to vessels and secure areas of a facility.
Key aspects of the rule now include:
* Workers must undergo a background check that includes searches of criminal history databases, terrorist watch lists, immigration status and outstanding warrants.
* The department will issue a 'smart' photo ID card that includes an integrated circuit chip that stores the applicant's fingerprints and personal identification number.
* The TSA and the Coast Guard plan to implement the rule in two phases because the biometric reader technology has not been fully tested in the maritime environment. During the initial rollout of TWIC, workers 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 verify TWIC cards when conducting vessel and facility inspections and through spot checks using hand-held readers to ensure credentials are valid. Until card reader technology is tested and a regulation issued on access control, facility owners and operators will not be required to utilize TWIC readers for facility access.
* The fee for TWIC will be $137.25, and the TWIC cards will be valid for five years. Workers with current, comparable background checks including a hazardous material endorsement to a commercial driver's license, merchant mariner document or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) credential will pay a discounted fee of $105.25.
* The TSA said it would store enrollment records and protect personnel privacy through encryption and other processes.
TWIC enrollment is expected to begin this month at a small number of ports and be phased in around the country during the rest of the year. Workers will be notified when and where to apply prior to the start of the enrollment period in their given area, the TSA said.