Anyone who’s worked for the government knows just how vital security credentials are.
Whether you work for the local government or a federal institution, you’ll need identification to allow access to your job.
The Transportation Security Administration and maritime field are no exception.
Many transportation workers within the maritime field need to access secure areas to do their jobs.
The TWIC card is a credential issued by the Department of Homeland Security to allow that access.
If you’re looking for information on a TWIC card or TWIC card renewal, this article covers everything you need to know.
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What is a TWIC Card?
Congress passed the Maritime Transportation Security Act, or MTSA, in 2002.
Since then, anyone who needs access to a secure area that doesn’t allow unescorted access requires a TWIC card for entry.
TWIC, or Transportation Worker Identification Credential, is a card that all maritime transportation workers must carry.
The DHS issues a TWIC card to transportation workers who work in a maritime facility or on a vessel.
It allows workers to access any areas necessary to perform their job functions.
TWIC cards provide an added layer of security to restricted maritime vessels.
Transportation workers, United States Coast Guard members, machinists, and administrators are just a few positions requiring a TWIC card.
Who Gets a TWIC Card?
Keeping the United States maritime vessels secure is a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA.
Both departments require certain transportation workers to carry a TWIC card to keep facilities safe.
Whether you get one will depend on the type of job you perform and your specific duties.
Transportation Workers Who Access Secure Maritime Facilities
Each transportation worker who needs access to secure maritime facilities needs a TWIC card.
After completing your TWIC application, background check, and threat assessment, the TSA will issue your card.
Only workers in the maritime field will qualify for a card.
How Long Do TWIC Cards Last?
One of the nice things about TWIC cards is that you don’t have to renew yours each year.
Instead, your TWIC card is valid for five years from the initial issue date.
Once your card expires, you’ll need to renew it online or at an enrollment center.
TWIC Card Renewal
Unfortunately, your workplace won’t issue a new TWIC card for you.
Instead, you need to apply for a new credential yourself.
The TSA and DHS made renewing your TWIC card relatively easy.
The application is a two-part process that involves an application and an in-person visit to an enrollment center.
You can submit an application online or in person.
Can You Renew a TWIC Card Via an Enrollment Center?
The first way to renew your TWIC card is at your local enrollment center.
Enrollment centers are scattered throughout the United States.
You can either make an appointment or walk in.
Scheduling an appointment will get you seen more quickly than a walk-in visit.
Can You Renew a TWIC Card Online?
Your second option for renewing your TWIC card is to pre-enroll online.
You can fill out the online application in just a few minutes.
Then, you’ll pay your required fee and submit your application.
Your next step is to make an appointment at an enrollment center to complete the process.
How to Renew a TWIC Card
If you need to renew your TWIC card, you’re probably already familiar with the Universal Enrollment Services website.
From there, you can access TWIC applications, check your application status, and find the answers to common questions.
Then, you’ll follow the same process to renew your card that you did when you applied for it.
To renew your card, you can follow these steps.
You can pre-enroll online if you want to streamline your TWIC renewal process.
You’ll find the online application on the Universal Enrollment Services website.
Filling it out will put your information in the system.
This way, when you visit an enrollment center, you’ll be able to skip a few steps.
Schedule an Appointment
After pre-enrolling online, you need to schedule an appointment at an enrollment center.
You can schedule the appointment online or over the phone.
If you don’t have access to the website, call (855) 347-8371.
An employee can help schedule you if you call on weekdays from 8 AM to 10 PM EST.
Visit an Enrollment Center
You’ll need to bring all required documentation to any of your local enrollment centers on your appointment day.
Documentation will include a valid driver’s license or passport and your birth certificate.
Pay For Your Card
After you finish your application, you’ll have to pay for your card.
The renewal fee for a TWIC card is $60.
DHS will mail your card to your home within 7-10 business days, barring unforeseen issues with your information or delivery.
Check Your Application Status
While you wait for your card, you can check your application status online.
When you check your status, you’ll be able to see right away if there are any issues with your application.
The sooner you see TSA alerts on your application, the sooner you can fix them.
Where to Send Expired TWIC Cards
Don’t rush to toss your TWIC card in the trash or a desk drawer once your new card arrives.
TWIC cards are technically government property.
When you pick up or receive your new card, you’re required by law to turn in your expired card.
You’ll find the address for the TSA on the back of your card.
To ensure your card arrives in a timely fashion, you should ship it using Priority Mail or another fast, secure service.
Or alternatively, you can turn it in at a TWIC office.
Where Are There TWIC Card Offices?
The TSA has more than 100 offices throughout the country.
No matter where you live in the United States, you’ll have access to a TWIC enrollment center.
If you need help finding your local office, visit the DHS’s online Enrollment Center Locator.
Enter your zip code, city, or airport code, and the locator will give you a list of nearby centers.
You don’t have to go to an office within your city or county.
So, if your nearest office doesn’t have appointments available, check your surrounding areas.
How Much Does a TWIC Card Renewal Cost?
Fortunately, you won’t have to pay as much for a TWIC renewal as you would for an initial card.
TWIC renewals cost $60.
The cost is the same if you need to replace your card for any reason.
What Does the New TWIC Card Look Like?
The TSA released a new, more secure TWIC card in 2018.
The new design, dubbed NexGen, maintained a few of the original card’s features, including micro-text, a photo, color-shifting ink, and repeating text.
NexGen introduced new design features, including embossed numbers, two biometric fingerprint templates, and LED visible lettering and images.
Maintaining your TWIC card’s validity is crucial to performing your job functions.
Every five years, you have to submit a renewal application and visit an enrollment office.
Not doing so would render you unable to do your job.
Although visiting a TWIC office might be inconvenient, you can pre-enroll online to save some time.
Have you or someone you know dealt with a TWIC renewal before?
Drop us a comment below to tell us about your experience.