Captain’s Licenses: TWIC Card

Securing Maritime Transportation: Understanding the Importance of TWIC Cards

What is a TWIC card used for?  

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential or TWIC is a vital security measure to ensure that individuals who pose a threat do not gain unescorted access to secure areas of the nation's maritime transportation system. TWIC was established by Congress through the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and is administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard. 


TWIC cards are tamper-resistant biometric credentials issued to workers who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports, vessels, outer continental shelf facilities, and all credentialed merchant mariners. Over one million workers, including U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains, longshoremen, port employees, and others, are required to obtain a TWIC card. 


How can I obtain a TWIC card? 

TWIC Card FingerprintsTo obtain a TWIC card, an individual must provide biographic and biometric information such as fingerprints, sit for a digital photograph, and successfully pass a security threat assessment conducted by TSA. Pre-enrollment is recommended as it's designed to save the applicant time by enabling them to provide their biographical information and make an appointment for in-person enrollment. 


Which captain's licenses require a TWIC card?  

The OUPV/Six-Pack license and the 25/50 and 100-Ton Masters licenses require a TWIC card as part of the application. 


Do I need a TWIC card to renew my license?  

The requirement for a TWIC card may be waived when you apply for a captain's license renewal. If you have a valid TWIC card, you can include it with your renewal application, but if your TWIC card has expired since you got your license, you may not need to renew it.