Many of us have experienced the inconvenience of removing boots, belts and liquids for a security screening. But when you’re a trucker trying to pick up goods at a port, security measures can be even more of a hassle.
As a large amount of imported and exported goods move through America’s ports, TWIC cards can save truckers valuable time and improve workflows. With a TWIC card, you’ll be authorized to enter maritime ports and other government areas without an escort.
Now, anyone with a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) is eligible for TSA PreCheck. This makes it easier for truck drivers to access ports or government facilities and pass through airport security.
Keep reading to learn how to use your TWIC card to get TSA PreCheck.
What Is a TWIC Card TSA PreCheck?
TWIC card TSA PreCheck is an expanded access program for truck drivers and other professionals that allows for faster security screenings. A TWIC card is a type of certification that assesses threats and certifies authorized individuals to enter sensitive areas.
TWIC cards give authorized cardholders access to secure facilities, including ports, maritime facilities and vessels. A TWIC card is important for drivers who want to access ports without paying for authorized escort.
Now, it can also give drivers access to accelerated airport screening. TWIC card holders have already passed a threat assessment and a background check, allowing them to pass through the TSA PreCheck line at airports.
According to the TSA, PreCheck is an expedited screening program. TWIC card TSA PreCheck travelers can leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belts. They are also allowed to keep their laptop in its case, as well as their food and 3-1-1 compliant liquids or gels in a carry-on.
They also have access to select TSA airport checkpoint screening lanes. TSA PreCheck is available at more than 200 airports nationwide. Dozens of airlines participate in the popular program.
How TWIC Cards Can Be Used at Ports and Federal Facilities
A TWIC card is a type of federal authorization for transportation workers. TWIC cards are used to make prechecks more expedited at ports and federal facilities.
In many cases, federal facilities don’t allow access to individuals without a TWIC card or another form of an authorized pre-screening program. At maritime ports, drivers need an authorized escort each time they enter the port if they don’t have a TWIC card.
For truck drivers who regularly pick up or deliver goods to ports or federal facilities, having a TWIC card saves time and money while minimizing any inconveniences. A TWIC card gives you unrestricted access to areas included in the Maritime Transportation Security Act.
Those include ports, port facilities, vessels and continental shelf facilities. You can also add a hazmat endorsement to the TWIC card, if need be.
With the TWIC card, you can enter and exit the port area freely to either pick up or drop off your load, all without having to deal with additional security screening or escorts.
Can a TWIC Card Be Used at Any Port?
Truck drivers can use their TWIC card at any delivery port in the country. It is valid for five years, and it allows you to enter maritime ports, facilities, boats and continental shelf facilities. The FMCSA aims to make it easier for truckers to drop off and pick up loads in major ports with the TWIC card, improving overall transportation efficiency.
How To Get a TWIC Card
Whether this is your first time applying for a TWIC card or you are in the process of obtaining a TWIC card renewal, receiving or replacing a TWIC card requires you to follow a few simple steps.
- Then, you’ll need to schedule an appointment for an in-person screening. You can do this online or by calling (855) 347-8371 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST. You can also walk in without an appointment, but you might have to wait longer if you do so. Most appointment centers are also TWIC card renewal locations.
- At your in-person appointment, you’ll be asked to provide proof of identification by way of a passport, driver’s license or birth certificate. The TSA has a complete list of acceptable forms of ID. They will also collect biometric data in the form of fingerprints and a photo of your face.
- Pay the non-refundable application fee of $125.05 in general or $105.25 if you are eligible for the reduced rate applicant fee. There is a $60 lost card fee as well. Payments can be made by credit card, company check, cashier’s check or money order.
- You can either wait to receive your TWIC card in the mail or pick it up at the application center. You can also check the status of your application online.
Keep in mind that due to extensive security screenings, it can take up to 12 weeks to receive your TWIC card. Plan accordingly by applying early.
Is the TWIC Card Worth Getting?
For most truckers, the TWIC card is worth getting and makes sense. If you rarely enter ports or government facilities, a TWIC card won’t be worth it.
However, if you drop off or pick up loads at ports even a few times a year, a TWIC card will more than pay for itself. The cost of a TWIC card comes out to $25.05 per year for five years.
During that time you get access to secure locations for work, as well as TSA PreCheck. TWIC card TSA PreCheck is a way to get TSA PreCheck for less.
The time saved is usually more than worth it. If you would otherwise need to hire an escort at port facilities, the cost savings for a single trip makes the TWIC card worth it.
TWIC Card TSA PreCheck Benefits Summary
Is the TWIC card for everyone? No.
Does it make sense for most truck drivers? Yes.
The benefits of a TWIC card come down to saving time and money. TWIC card TSA PreCheck makes travel easier. This is better for your customers, your business and your bottom line.
On the TWIC card, the CIN number serves as the Known Traveler Number (KTN) for TSA PreCheck. Truckers can enter the CIN number in any reservation field or when asked for their KTN. A TWIC card includes TSA PreCheck.
A TWIC card is valid for five years. The cost is $105.25 for new applicants and $125.25 for other applicants.
TWIC cards ship from a central facility. Applicants without disqualifying considerations usually receive their TWIC card within 10 days.