WASHINGTON – 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. 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 thorough background check and is not a known security threat.
"American ports from coast to coast are more secure today because of the significant progress this program has made," said Gale Rossides, acting administrator, Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "Enrolling 1 million workers in less than 18 months is a testament to the collaborative efforts of TSA and the United States Coast Guard on this important maritime security effort."
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.
Workers are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at the Coast Guard's Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil. 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.
For more information about TSA, please visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov.