USCG Issues Identification Credentials - Clarification

Wednesday, August 07, 2002
The U.S. Coast Guard issued what it refers to as a "clarification" of its existing regulation relating to identification credentials that it considers acceptable for access to waterfront facilities and to port and harbor areas, including the vessels and harbor craft in them. The basic identification credential regulations have been in existence since at least 1950, but lapsed into desuetude over the years. The Coast Guard is now reinvigorating those regulations, effective September 6, 2002. As of that date, every person (including passengers) entering a waterfront facility, or embarking on or disembarking from a vessel or harbor craft may be required to use an identification credential deemed acceptable by the Coast Guard. The credential must, at a minimum, be laminated (or otherwise secured against tampering), contain the full name and a current photograph of the person, and bear the name of the issuing authority. Acceptable credentials include: a military identification card; a badge for a federal employee such as DOT, DOD, FBI, CIA; a driver's license or official identification card issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or a Motor-Vehicle Administration within the United States; a merchant mariner's document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard; a valid passport; a local law enforcement credential; an identification credential issued by a state or local port authority; and an identification credential issued by a company, union, or trade association. By its terms, this clarification will limit the ability of mariners arriving in a U.S. port to step onto the dock to transact business unless they have with them an acceptable identification credential. It will also impact truck drivers delivering or picking up containers and other cargo and anyone else with business on the waterfront. It is unclear who will be enforcing this clarification, since the U.S. Coast Guard does not attend every arriving vessel. Source: HK Law
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