Monday, February 11, 2008

TWIC Applies to ALL Licensed Mariners

At C-PORT last week, there seemed to be a surprising amount of confusion about who is required to obtain a TWIC. Statements like "My friend has a 6 Pack license and runs a dive boat, and he says he doesn't need a TWIC" are just incorrect or misinformed. For the most part, these myths were dispelled and the record was set straight at the meeting, but it bears repeating here.

As required by law, all credentialed U.S. merchant mariners must obtain a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC), prior to September 25, 2008 – this includes all persons holding a Coast Guard-isued License, Certificate of Registry, Merchant Mariner Document or STCW...
If you hold a Captain's License (either Master or OUPV), you are required to get a TWIC, whether or not you will ever use the TWIC at work or for security purposes. Click here for a copy of an official announcement from the USCG. Print that out for your doubting friends. Better yet, post it at yacht clubs and fuel docks in your area. There are probably a bunch of 6Pack guys who will just let their tickets expire rather then endure TWICification. Perhaps a little culling of the pack isn't such a bad idea?

Here is the logic why all CG License holders have to get TWIC'ed. The Coast Guard is using the TWIC program as an opportunity for them to get out of the bureaucratic burden of fingerprinting and background checks. For years, when you obtain or renew your USCG ticket, they would conduct a background check and take your fingerprints. That burden will now be transffered to the TSA, and your TWIC will be all the proof the USCG needs know that you are who you say you are and that the FBI has already got a thick file on you.

For more detailed discussion on the exact CFRs and the TWIC, please click here to see my TWICilicious Webpage.