Transportation Worker Identification Credential enrollment deadline draws near

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Coast Guard urges maritime workers who have not yet applied for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to apply as soon as possible before unescorted access to facilities in Georgia ports, including the ports of Savannah and Brunswick, Ga., is prohibited.

Starting December 1, port workers must have a TWIC to gain unescorted access to facilities in all Georgia port facilities. A TWIC is required for any individual requiring unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities, such as vessel crewmembers, longshoremen, truckers, agents, railroad personnel and contractors.

It can take four to six weeks from the time of enrollment to the time that an applicant receives their TWIC, so port workers need to enroll as soon as possible to meet the December 1 enforcement date.

The Coast Guard has been working with port facility operators to gauge the progress of TWIC enrollment leading up to the December 1 deadline. Port leaders estimated that 9,500 workers in Georgia would need to be enrolled, but according to the Transportation Security Administration, fewer than 6,900 people have applied. In addition, local analysis shows that only 62 percent of truck drivers and service providers have their cards.

Enforcement of TWIC is being implemented in stages throughout the country to avoid a rush to enroll. The December 1 deadline applies to the ports of South Carolina, Georgia, Jacksonville, Fla., and ports in Connecticut and Long Island, N.Y. To date, more than 576,000 people nationwide have applied for a TWIC.

Starting December 1, facility security personnel will verify that everyone entering the facility possesses a TWIC, and may turn away those without valid identification. While the new regulations allow people without TWIC cards to be escorted onto facilities under certain conditions, individuals should not expect security personnel to be available to conduct escorts.

The Coast Guard will be responsible for enforcing TWIC rules, and will be assisted by facility owners, port police, and other federal, state and local partners to achieve the security goals of the program. To ensure that all port facilities are complying with the TWIC requirements, Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies will conduct routine inspections and random spot checks.

Violations of the TWIC regulations range from on site education and correction to letters of warning to civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation per day. In addition, operations could be secured at a particular facility depending on the situation.

The address for the Savannah TWIC enrollment center is 5214 Augusta Road, Garden City, Ga.

The address for the Brunswick TWIC enrollment center is 777 Gloucester St., Suite 402, Brunswick, Ga.

Both enrollment centers’ hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Additional information can be found on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil/, and on the Transportation Security Administration’s web site at http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/twic/index.shtm.

To minimize waiting time at the enrollment center applicants may pre-enroll online at https://twicprogram.tsa.dhs.gov/TWICWebApp/.

Pre-enrollment allows workers to provide biographic information and to schedule a time to complete the application process in person.

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