What is TWIC Certification?
“So what exactly is TWIC certification?” you are asking yourself. TWIC stands for Transportation Worker Identification Credential. This is a tamper proof card that contains a computer chip with identifying personal information of the holder. It is issued to those who will be working unaccompanied in secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels, such as at ports. The TSA is responsible for issuance of the TWIC certification and an applicant must submit to fingerprinting, photographing and a background security check.
The first part of the security check will determine your immigration status as only certain people are eligible. These include:
• U.S. citizens
• Lawful permanent residents
• Naturalized citizens
• Nonimmigrant aliens, asylees or refugees (with lawful status)
The next step is to determine if you have been convicted or plead guilty or no contest to any criminal offenses and may include searching various national and international databases as well as terrorist watch lists. The following offenses will permanently disqualify you:
• Crimes involving a security incident with significant: loss of life,environmental damage, interruption to transportation system, economic loss
• Improperly transporting hazardous materials
• Crimes relating to explosive devices
• Attempts or conspiracy to commit any of the above crimes
Alternately, some crimes will disqualify you for 7 years after conviction or 5 years after release from incarceration for said offense. These offenses include:
• Unlawful firearm offenses
• Misrepresentation, fraud and dishonesty
• Immigration violations
• Controlled substance violations
• Kidnapping or hostage taking
• Aggravated sexual assault or rape
• Assault w/ intent to murder
• Entry into seaport under fraudulent circumstances
• RICO offenses
• Voluntary manslaughter
• Attempts or conspiracy to commit the above crimes
In addition, if you have an outstanding warrant for any of the above offenses you will not qualify until the offense has been adjudicated.
Lastly, the check will look for any history of mental health disorders. Upon successful completion of all the checks, you will be issued the TWIC certification and will be able to work in the designated areas. As the responsible agency, the Transportation Security Agency can be contacted for more information.