Port Worker Identification Program Begins

The aim of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program is to make sure that anyone with unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has gone through a thorough background check and does not pose a security threat. The fee for the TWIC is $132.50 per individual and is valid for five years.

The TWIC is a card with an electronic chip that contains such information as documentation of residency and fingerprints. The card can be read remotely by port security. Enforcement of the TWIC will not begin immediately to permit enrollment. Even then, there will be a 90-day notification period before enforcement actually begins.

"These developments reflect progress toward the implementation of this important port security measure," said the Transportation Security Administration’s Administrator Kip Hawley. "TWIC is one of the world’s most advanced interoperable biometric systems and has a lot of moving pieces. We are now seeing those pieces come together."

Eleven more ports will be included in the program beginning next month. Corpus Christi, TX is slated to join in Early November. In Mid-November, Baton Rouge, LA, Beaumont, TX, Honolulu, HI, Oakland, CA and Tacoma, WA will join. In Late November, Chicago/Calumet, IL, Houston, TX, Port Arthur, TX, Providence, RH and Savannah, GA will be included.

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