One million port and longshore workers, truckers, and others at ports across the nation have enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The program's goal is to ensure that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a background check and is not a known security threat.
Today, 36 of the 42 captain of the port zones across the country require workers to have a TWIC. All ports must be in compliance with credential requirements by April 14, 2009.
Port security personnel are trained to ensure workers have valid cards and Coast Guard officials are conducting random compliance inspections at these ports.
More than 150 fixed enrollment centers will ultimately vet more than 1.2 million maritime transportation system workers by the April deadline. In addition to fixed sites, more than 450 mobile enrollment sites have been deployed, registering workers at locations convenient to their places of employment, TSA said.
Workers can pre-enroll for TWIC online at tsa.gov/twic or the Coast Guard's Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil. TSA said that pre-enrolling speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll.