A bill recently passed by the Homeland Security Committee is hoping to make the enrollment process for Transportation Worker Indentification Credential easier for drivers.
Overall the TWIC has enrolled over 2 million truck drivers, dock workers and other port worker. The TWIC card allows card holders to access to secure areas in port facilities across the country. The card itself is an identification card, which can be read by electronic devices, recognizes finger prints, worker residency documents, and other information.
Truckers and workers seeking to obtain the TWIC card currently must make multiple trip to enrollment centers. These enrollment centers often do not have adequate truck parking and can be hundreds of miles from drivers who do not live in bigger metropolitan areas.
The enrollment process usually takes about 15 minutes and costs about $130. Payment must be made with a money order, certified cashiers check, or credit card. Once enrolled there is an approximate six to eight week turnaround from enrollment until card activation. Eligibility issues or insufficient information may increase the turnaround time.
The SMART Port Security Act, if passed into law would mandate applicants would only have to make a single trip to be enrolled for the TWIC card. The bill would also require the Secretary of Transportation to issue a final rule on a set deadline for biometric card readers. Most ports and other locations using TWIC for identification are only visually inspecting the cards rather than using electronic devices to read the biometric TWIC card.