Legislation Aimed at Reducing TWIC Red Tape

press release
Friday, December 09, 2011

Bill Would Reform Enrollment Process in Flawed TWIC Program.


U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced legislation today that would reform the burdensome enrollment process of the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) program, which provides biometric identification cards to mariners and other transportation workers in order to allow them unescorted access to secure areas of ports, vessels, and other maritime facilities.  Under current rules, merchant mariners, port employees, truck drivers, and other workers are required to make repeated visits to a TWIC enrollment center in order to apply for and obtain credentials.  For some applicants, the nearest enrollment center can be hundreds of miles away from their home or workplace, requiring two expensive and time-consuming round trips.  By contrast, comparable secure identity documents such as passports and merchant mariner credentials require only one in-person visit and can be returned to qualified applicants by mail. 


Senator Ayotte’s legislation would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to reform the TWIC enrollment process to require only one in-person visit to an enrollment center.  Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). “Current TWIC requirements place a financial burden and time constraints on workers who rely on these cards for employment,” said Senator Ayotte.  “As millions of TWICs approach renewal beginning in 2012, it is critical that we resolve this problem.  My legislation would remedy one of the TWIC program’s major flaws and ensure that workers do not have to make multiple, costly trips in order to receive TWIC cards.”    


Senator Ayotte raised concerns about the TWIC enrollment process during a Commerce Committee hearing in May in questions she posed to Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole.  During the hearing, Senator Ayotte also expressed concerns regarding the results of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that uncovered serious deficiencies in the TWIC program, which have raised doubts about its overall effectiveness.  GAO investigators were able to access secure facilities at U.S. ports during covert tests using counterfeit or fraudulent TWIC cards.  GAO also found that program controls in place are ill equipped to positively identify or confirm an individual’s identity.  Senator Ayotte is continuing to press for additional reforms to close the critical security gaps identified by GAO.


Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Security

Behave in the South China Sea, US Admiral Warns China

US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift  has fired a broadside at China and other regional nations who are flouting international law in the South China Sea.

US Navy Joins Piracy Battle

The United States and six other nations kicked off a five-day naval exercise Monday aimed at combating piracy and other crimes in Southeast Asia’s heavily trafficked waters,

Northern Fleet to Conduct Anti-terrorist Exercises

The sailors of the Northern Fleet will conduct anti-terrorism exercises at Novaya Zemlya. During the exercise, the coast will be a landing. The landing will

People in the News

USCG Search for Missing Crew of El Faro

Coast Guard search and rescue crews continue searching for possible survivors from the cargo ship El Faro Monday night, covering a total search area of more than 160,574 square nautical miles.

MECNW Appoints New CEO

Terry Weston has been confirmed as Chief Executive of Maritime and Engineering College North West (MECNW) following the retirement of his predecessor, Jim Teasdale, at the end of September.

Michelle Obama to Christen Navy's Newest Submarine

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will join builder General Dynamics Electric Boat, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, in christening Illinois (SSN-786), the U.

Government Update

Port of Piraeus Privatisation Delayed

The Greek government plans to delay the privatization process for its largest Port, Piraeus, by a few weeks due to delays caused by the September 20 election to

Historic Pacific Trade Deal Faces Skeptics in US Congress

Twelve Pacific Rim countries on Monday reached the most ambitious trade pact in a generation, aiming to liberalize commerce in 40 percent of the world's economy in a deal that faces skepticism from U.

MARAD Backs Emissions Reduction Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced it will provide more than $1 million to support the development of two new emission-reducing maritime solutions.

Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1529 sec (7 req/sec)