TWIC® Card and Reader Technology


The Transportation Worker Identification Credential, also known as TWIC®, is a tamper- and counterfeit-resistant biometric smart card credential. The card is aligned with government standards for federal employee, service member, and contractor smart card credentials contained in Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 201-1. While TWIC® complies with most FIPS 201-1 requirements, TWIC® card technology and delivery procedures differ in several ways to meet the issuance and functionality requirements.  

TWIC® card technology is designed to work quickly and securely to confirm the eligibility of the individual presenting the card to access secure areas of the nation’s maritime infrastructure and/or to hold a U.S. Coast Guard mariner license.  TWIC Readers confirm that:  (1) the card is authentic and issued by TSA; (2) the card has not expired; (3) that the card has not been revoked or reported lost or stolen; and (4) through a biometric fingerprint match the person presenting the card is the rightful holder.

TWIC® Readers

TWIC® electronic cards readers are devices that comply with the TWIC® Reader Hardware and Card Application Specification published by TSA. The readers can be fixed or portable. TWIC® card reader technology allows biometric matching using a contactless reader and determines whether a card has been revoked or reported lost or stolen. Many other types of readers can obtain and/or exchange information with a TWIC® card. TSA maintains and publishes a list of TWIC® readers that have been evaluated by independent laboratories for compliance.

For technical questions regarding TWIC® cards and readers please contact