What is a TWIC Card and What Do You Need a TWIC Card For?

For some jobs in trucking, you will need a TWIC card. But what is a TWIC card and what do you need a TWIC card for? Well, you have come to the right place to get answers.

What is a TWIC card?

A TWIC card is short for Transportation Worker Identification Credential card. It is a federal credential ID card that is used by those in the transportation industry and US Coast Guard.

A TWIC card has biometric data about the card holder that can be scanned by a reader or remotely.


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What do you need a TWIC card for?

You need a TWIC card for unsupervised access to restricted maritime areas and vessels across the nation, which is required by the TSA under the Maritime Transportation Security Act. It is mainly for “sensitive” or “protected” areas such as ports, government maritime facilities or boats, and continental shelf facilities.

You need a TWIC card for many trucking jobs and having one only helps open up more options for you as a driver. Being able to deliver to secure places can often be a requirement for companies hiring drivers of all kinds.

Benefits of Having a TWIC Card

There are many benefits of having a TWIC Card including:

  • Being eligible for more job opportunities that require a TWIC Card;
  • You can use your TWIC card at the airport and other places as a form of ID;
  • The more credentials and places you can deliver, the more money you can make;
  • It shows new employers that you are trustworthy and reputable.

The rest of this article is broken up into 3 sections:

  1. How Do I Get a TWIC Card in 3 Easy Steps
  2. Renew TWIC Card
  3. TWIC Card Felony: For Convicted Felons
  4. Frequently Asked Questions about TWIC Cards


How Do I Get a TWIC Card in 3 Easy Steps

We have broken “How Do I Get a TWIC Card” into 3 Easy Steps. First, you apply online. Second, you schedule an appointment at an application centre. Finally, you attend in-person to present ID, get your photo and fingerprints taken and pay the application fee.

Step 1: Application

Complete the online application for your TWIC card by using the fillable form on the TSA website. You could also do the application in person and do the entire process at once by going to a location near you.

If you go in person to start your TWIC card application process, you complete steps 1 – 3 all at once. However, you will have to wait if people have already done their applications online and scheduled an appointment.

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment

You now need to attend in person to provide some documentation and give further identity details. Remember, a TWIC card is used to access sensitive government areas so they must ensure they have all your information correctly documented.

You can either make an appointment online or you can call (855) 347-8371 between 8am-10am. Remember, you can walk-in but you will have to wait for an opening as people who made appointments go ahead of you.

Step 3: Visit a TWIC Application Center

Now that you have scheduled an appointment you need to attend a TWIC Application Center with some identification and the application fee.

The type of ID you need for a TWIC card depends on what you have and what your “status” is in the US. If you are a citizen, national or lawful permanent resident, you can bring a number of different pieces of identification, such as:

  • Valid U.S. Passport (book or card)
  • Valid Driver’s License and Birth Certificate
  • Unexpired Enhanced Tribal Card (ETC)
  • Unexpired Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Card
  • Unexpired NEXUS Card

For the complete list, head over to their fact sheet which shows alternative forms of ID for both US citizens and what non-citizens/immigrants need to get a TWIC card.

Renew TWIC Card

To renew your TWIC card, you must visit a TWIC application center and pay the renewal fee of $125.25. You will have to get a new photo and fingerprint taken, as well as undergo a background check again.

Renewing your TWIC card is basically the same process as getting a new one. The only difference is that if you haven’t gotten into any legal trouble since your last application, then it is really just a formality.

Can a Felon Get a TWIC Card?

Yes, a felon can still get a TWIC card, under certain circumstances. Some felonies disqualify you forever, others only temporarily. You also have the right to appeal if they reject your TWIC Card application due to you one of your felonies.

If you have turned a corner in your life and stayed out of trouble, you can get a TWIC card even if you are a convicted felon.

TWIC Card Felony List

The following is the list of felonies that would stop you from getting a TWIC Card, likely permanently:

  • Espionage;
  • Sedition;
  • Treason;
  • Terrorism;
  • A crime involving a transportation security incident;
  • Improper transportation of a hazardous material;
  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, manufacture, purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, import, export, storage of, or dealing in an explosive or explosive device;
  • Murder;
  • Threat or maliciously conveying false information knowing the same to be false, concerning the deliverance, placement, or detonation of an explosive or other lethal device in or against a place of public use, a state or government facility, a public transportations system, or an infrastructure facility;
  • Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, where one of the predicate acts is in this list;
  • Attempt to commit the crimes in items (1)-(4) of this section;
  • Conspiracy or attempt to commit the crimes in items (5)-(10) of this section.

TWIC Card Felony List (Temporary)

The following list of felonies would stop you from getting a TWIC card temporarily, (subject to appeal), if you were convicted or pled guilty (including ‘no contest’) and were in prison within the last 5 years, or 7 years if found not guilty by reason of insanity:

  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase, distribution, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, delivery, import, export of, or dealing in a firearm or other weapon;
  • Extortion;
  • Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud and money laundering, where the money laundering is related to a crime listed in this section or the one above, except welfare fraud and passing bad checks;
  • Bribery;
  • Smuggling;
  • Immigration violations;
  • Distribution, possession with intent to distribute, or importation of a controlled substance;
  • Arson;
  • Kidnapping or hostage-taking;
  • Rape or aggravated sexual abuse;
  • Assault with intent to kill;
  • Robbery;
  • Fraudulent entry into a seaport;
  • Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act;
  • Voluntary manslaughter;
  • Conspiracy or attempt to commit crimes in this section.

Lastly, you won’t be able to get a TWIC card if you are wanted or under indictment in any civilian or military jurisdiction for a felony listed above or until the want or warrant is released or the indictment is dismissed.

What Happens If My TWIC Card Application is Rejected

If your TWIC Card application is rejected you can appeal the decision to the TSA Waiver Review Board. If you are rejected a TWIC Card because you are a felon, they will send you an “Initial Determination of Threat Assessment”. This will give you instructions on how to appeal.

Can I Get a TWIC Card If I Have a Felony?

You can still get a TWIC Card if you have a felony. Just submit your application and then if you are denied, file the paperwork for an appeal. You will need to prove to the TSA that you are not a security threat.

When appealing the “Initial Determination”, you will need to provide them with evidence of things that show that you have changed things for the better in your life. This can include:

  • You followed all your probation guidelines and paid any restitution or fines;
  • The conviction has been expunged;
  • Certificate of completion from a rehabilitation or drug treatment program, if applicable;
  • References from politicians, employers, your probation or parole officer(s), spiritual or community leaders, and even family members. They should describe how well you doing have been since being released;
  • Sentencing report or transcript but only if it contains favorable information on the circumstances surrounding the crime.

This is the actual full PDF from the TSA on how you can get a TWIC card as a convicted felon.

Frequently Asked TWIC Card Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions people have about what a TWIC card is and what you need a TWIC card for.

How Long Does it Take to Get a TWIC Card?

In order to get a TWIC card, they need to review your application, conduct a background check and prepare your TWIC card. The whole process usually takes about 6-8 weeks. Mailing your card takes longer so if you are in a hurry, we suggest you pick it up.

How Do I Get My TWIC Card?

You can check your application status online. Once it is ready, you can choose to have it mailed to your home address which can take 7-10 business days or you can attend an application center in person to pick it up.

How Much is the TWIC card?

A TWIC card costs $125.25 for new TWIC card users. If you have a Hazardous Materials Endorsement Card or FAST card, the cost is reduced to $105.25.

You must pay the cost of the TWIC card when you are the application centre by company check, certified cheque, cashier’s cheque, money order or credit card.

What Do I Need to do at The Application Center to Get a TWIC card?

The reason you need a TWIC card is that the TSA is doing a threat assessment on you. They need to get fingerprints from you and a facial photo. This is what you will do at the TWIC application center, along with paying the application fee and handing in your paperwork, if you haven’t already done so online.

How Long is a TWIC Card Good For?

A TWIC card is good for 5 years typically. If you got the reduced rate, where you showed your Hazardous Materials Endorsement Card or FAST card, it expires when that card expires. So if your card expires soon, you should pay the full amount.

How Much is a Replacement TWIC Card?

The cost to replace a TWIC Card is $60.