TSA finalizes port ID rule

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last month released a Final Rule for its biometric identification card program for workers and drivers requiring unescorted access to ports.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last month released a Final Rule for its biometric identification card program for workers and drivers requiring unescorted access to ports.

At presstime, the agency's web site indicated that it expected the rule, known as the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), to appear in the Federal Register about January 25, 2007. (See tsa.gov/twic.)

Expected to affect more than 110,000 truckers, the ID rule spells out the enrollment process, disqualifying crimes, usage procedures, fees and other ID card requirements for workers, port owners, and operators.

According to TSA, applicants for the ID card must undergo a comprehensive background check of criminal history records, terrorist watch lists, immigration status, and outstanding warrants. The rule also would require that applicants submit a complete set of fingerprints and sit for a digital photograph.

The fee for TWIC applicants will be between $139 and $159 for a card that is valid for five years. Workers who have undergone background checks for a CDL hazmat endorsement or a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) credential are eligible for a reduced rate of between $107 and $127.

The TWIC credential will be a “smart card” containing the applicant's photo and name, an expiration date and a serial number. There will also be an embedded circuit chip that stores the holder's fingerprint, a PIN and a “card holder unique identifier.”

Enrollment for the TWIC program will begin in March 2007.

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