DHS seeks comments on TWIC program

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking comments to assess how effective the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is at enhancing security and reducing security risks for regulated maritime facilities and vessels.

Through the transportation security card program, DHS issues TWIC cards. Legislation that was passed Aug. 2, 2018, restricts the U.S. Coast Guard from implementing any rule requiring the use of biometric readers for TWIC until after submission to Congress of the results of this effectiveness assessment.

The Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), a federally funded research and development center operated by the RAND Corporation, will collect information from those involved in maritime security on behalf of the DHS S&T Research and Development Partnerships (RDP) Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) Program Management Office. HSOAC will visit regulated maritime facilities and terminals and conduct interviews using a semi-structured interview method to collect information. HSOAC will analyze this information and use it to produce a public report with its research findings.

Comments will be accepted until April 8, 2019.

Comments, identified by docket number DHS– 2018–0052, may be submitted at: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments. Mail and hand delivery or commercial delivery: Science and Technology Directorate, ATTN: Chief Information Office—Mary Cantey, 245 Murray Drive, Mail Stop 0202, Washington, DC 20528.

All submissions must include the agency name and docket number DHS–2018–0052. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov. For more information, contact DHS/S&T/RDP/FFRDC Program Manager Scott Randels, Scott.Randels@ hq.dhs.gov or 202–254–6053

About the author

David Krapf

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.


  1. Avatar
    Captain Dennis A. Harger on

    You make it very hard to comment on the idiotic TWIC card that even murderers can get. I have picked up person form work release that had no trouble getting a TWIC card. TSA does not accept. Can’t you actually pursue that? I don’t see you with any language that takes a common sense position. I have been a captain for 30 plus years and a mariner for 40. TWIC is nothing but a tax and everybody is fully aware of that.
    Stupidity ends up as Stupidity.

  2. Avatar
    Capt. George Sloane on

    The requirement that all comments be submitted by mail or in hand are representative of what has been wrong with the entire program since it’s inception. It’s only been 17 years since this useless program was authorized and they STILL have not deployed the card readers which were intended provide the real security citing “technical issues”. Instead this dinosaur has fleeced mariners of millions of dollars while providing no discernible increase in security. This ridiculous situation would not have been tolerated in the private sector.

    The TWIC program is a complete and utter failure and should be eliminated forthwith. And the government wants to manage my health care? No way!!

  3. Avatar

    TWIC is a political boondoggle. MM Creditials require enogh checks and the TWIC just doubles it with no improvement. MM Credential holders do not need TWIC

  4. Avatar

    There are many places that do not accept TWIC, They have sub-contract the ID processing with some other company making the access complicated for visitors, this is a clear example of bureaucracy interfering with work making it more expensive.

  5. Avatar

    TWIC is a really useless credential and has never worked right. Should be abolished. Us a Driver’s license or Passport.

    Readers were not even installed and working for years. Most Federal Transportation employees did not even know what a TWIC card was for years.

    Expensive, unnecessary, useless.

    Just a way to screw people and companies out of more money and make money for government contractors.

    Already have Security Clearance programs in place where needed.

    And many businesses do not even require TWIC cards for entrance to their facilities.

  6. Avatar
    Robert McLemore on

    It’s not beneficial at all! It’s an increased expense for a mariner to pay for a service you don’t provide. In 10 years I’ve been to one facility that actually had a reader. And I work on a tug boat that goes to refineries. Not some grain barge. I’ve went to airports where TSA doesn’t even know what a Transportation Workers Identification Credential is. It’s not easy to obtain in east Texas. So I have to drive 100 miles at the least one way to renew. I went to a military recruiting station to see if they could advise me of a closer location and they were unaware of what it is. Everyone in the industry I’m apart of is supposed to obtain and maintain a twic card. Yet refineries aren’t enforced to have a reader. So I’m sorry! But at this point in time the TWIC program is little shy of a miserable fail!

  7. Avatar

    I’ve had my 6 pack license for 2 years now, and never have I had to pull out my TWIC card. Should not be required for 6 pack captains. Waste of our money.

  8. Avatar

    ? I have not in my years had anyone use the machine to even swipe my credentials. So its a hassel to have to present credentials everytime we need to board, gain access to plant, etc. If someone is not there using the proper machine what is the point? When we already use a boarding policy for Vessels and check there Twic, it doesn’t go past that. Its just written down names on a log unitl something happens & then they crawl all through the paperwork for after the fact, it does nothing towards prevention

  9. Avatar

    Had one for 7 years and never used it. TSA doesn’t accept it as a form of identification. DMV doesn’t accept it either, as it doesn’t have a home address on it. The local coast guard doesn’t even use it, other than to check the dates to ensure that it is valid. They want to see your state drivers license.

  10. Avatar
    Catp Daniel Armstrong on

    This card is waste. Spent billions of tax payers dollars to get it started and to keep it going. My marine creds should cover me just fine. I been having this card since day one of its birth. Used it once. Tsa doesn’t even recognize it at airports and they are the department that handles it. I have get my family to get one so they can pick me up when they want to.

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