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Why You Need a TWIC Card as a Truck Driver

As a truck driver, ensuring that you have the right credentials for hauling certain loads is essential for maintaining compliance with industry regulations. One such credential that has become increasingly important, especially for those looking to maximize job opportunities, is a TWIC card.

What is a TWIC Card?

TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) cards are federal identification cards designed to enhance security at port facilities and ensure that only vetted personnel have access and are required for drivers to access locations like port facilities, boats, and more. A TWIC card is a certificate that can be applied for through the TSA, but it is different from a TSA certificate.

Example of a TWIC Card

Example of a TWIC card.

The Advantages of a TWIC Card

Ports are considered secure facilities, and a TWIC card allows you to haul a variety of freight in and out of these locations. Drivers looking to access a port location without a card may experience significant delays waiting for escorts, additional security clearances, and extra fees; in some cases, you may not be permitted to deliver to a port at all. Having a TWIC card will cut down on possible delays, save you and your company money, and allow you to haul more loads.

How to Get a TWIC Card

Drivers of all levels of experience can apply for a TWIC card. Although there are a few steps to go through, getting a TWIC card is relatively simple and well worth the effort. If you are driving with a passenger and want the ability to haul loads to ports with them, they will also need to apply for a TWIC card.

1. Eligibility Check and Application – Drivers must ensure you meet the eligibility requirements prior to applying- those initial requirements are being a U.S. citizen, being a lawful permanent resident, or having another eligible immigration status. You must also be able to pass a TSA security threat assessment involving a background check and an immigration status check. Once that has passed, applicants will be required to apply in person or online, which will require photographs and fingerprinting.

2. TSA Appointment – You must schedule an appointment at a TSA enrollment center to provide biometric data and proof of identity, such as a passport, driver’s license, and birth certificate.

3. Payment – The application fee to cover the cost of processing the application and conducting background checks is $125.25, though you may be able to get a reduced rate of $93 if you already have a Hazmat endorsement or a Free and Secure Trade card. 

4. Waiting Period – Following your application, the processing time may range from 2 – 3 weeks, up to 2 months. Once approved, your card will be sent to you in the mail and is valid for five years after its issuance.

For any driver or carrier, a TWIC card is a great tool to ensure smoother operations in the day-to-day processes. By understanding the requirements to obtaining and maintaining your TWIC card, you can ensure compliance with security regulations and enhance your career prospects in the industry. At Melton, we encourage our drivers to obtain TWIC cards and other specialized credentials to maximize their hauling opportunities.

About the Author: Melton Truck Lines

Since 1954, Melton Truck Lines has set out to provide quality transportation services to customers, all while treating our drivers like family. Over 70 years later, Melton remains a leader in flatbed transportation.

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