Each workplace can have a unique set of requirements. In some cases, employees need to have specific types of identification. For truck drivers, a TWIC could be a must-have, depending on the kind of truck driver employment you have, the nature of your role, or the company that hires you. If you are wondering what a TWIC card is and if you need one, here’s everything you need to know.
What Is a TWIC Card?
“TWIC” stands for Transportation Worker Identity Card. It’s a form of identification issued by the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Coast Guard.
When you apply for a TWIC, you’ll undergo a variety of checks. The purpose of those checks is to determine if you may be a security threat.
Who Needs a TWIC Card?
Generally, TWIC cards are necessary for any driver who needs to access certain maritime facilities, merchant ships, or transportation vessels. If you’ll be interacting with Coast Guard credentialed ships, need to head to port offices, require access to dockside warehouses, or anything similar, a TWIC could be a must.
With a TWIC, you don’t need to be escorted when entering secured facilities. Without a TWIC, you (or your employer) would have to pay for an escort that would then supervise your activities while in the facilities. As a result, companies that access these areas frequently typically require their drivers to have a TWIC, allowing them to avoid the costs associated with getting an escort.
How to Get a TWIC Card
Getting a TWIC card involves a fairly straightforward process. You’ll need to complete an application – either online or in-person – and submit it for processing. If you apply online, you’ll also schedule an appointment at a TWIC center.
Once at the application center, you’ll go through some additional steps. Along with providing specific kinds of documentation to verify your identity, you’ll also undergo fingerprinting and have your photo taken. With that, the center will conduct a thorough background check to see if you meet the standards for having a TWIC.
There is an application fee that also has to get paid. The cost can vary slightly depending on your existing credentials, though it can be as high as $125.25.
After the background check, if you’re approved for a TWIC, it will be either mailed to your home or available for pickup at the center. In total, it can take up to 12 weeks for the process to complete.
Once your TWIC card is issued, it’s generally valid for five years. You’ll need to renew your credentials before your card expires to maintain your access to the facilities.
Ultimately, getting a TWIC card can take a bit of time and effort. But if you need access to the secured facilities as part of your truck driving employment, getting one is a must.
We’re Hiring Class A TWIC Drivers!
If you have your TWIC card, PTS wants to hear from you. The staff at PTS can help you find a CDL job in Carson, CA, and beyond.