Deborah and I decided that we would enroll ourselves in the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) and targeted the week between Christmas and New Years as the time to do this. We also thought that one of us, Deborah, would pre-register and make an appointment for the registration and that I would not- hopefully generating some comparative data on whether pre-registration was worthwhile.
On December 26th, 2007 Deborah pre-registered herself in the system electronically (www.tsa.gov/twic). She was on line about half an hour.

The biggest hurdle was choosing a username-(which had no parameter specifics beyond requiring six characters)- and choosing an account password, which had to be of at least 9 digits, at least one upper case, one lower case letter and one special character, with no identical letters or numbers beside each other and no words or names used. They also specify no recognizable numbers such as Social Security or passport.

Deborah then requested an appointment, while still on line and was given one at 1140 hrs. The source on line indicated that the office was completely booked and that 1140 was the only time available.

On December 27th, 2007 we arrived at 17 Virginia Ave at 1030 hrs. The TWICs registration office was located in commercial short term office rental space and the interior was cordoned by curtains into 4 offices where the registrations were being processed. One other person was registering when we arrived. Deborahs appointment not withstanding, we were both immediately brought into the registration process.

The sequence of the registration;
–sign in and fill out a one page form indicating that you had not broken the law to an extent which you were not eligible to have a TWIC and then proceed into one of the offices to verify ID (in both our cases by passport),
–determine whether we wanted the remaining time on our existing security clearances (from MMDs and Licensing) to apply as a discount from $135.00 to $105.00 registration fee (as that meant that we would have to renew our TWICS in three years rather than five, we both opted for new security clearances. If we had gone with our existing clearances then our TWICS would have expired at the same moment as our MMDs only three years hence)
–make payment in the form of credit card or business check. (Personal checks and cash are not allowed.)
–be electronically fingerprinted

User names and passwords were not mentioned-to Deborah or to me! Deborah had chosen those in pre-registration and I anticipate that account info will be assigned to me at the issuance of the card. I expect that her personalized password will be a lot easier to remember than what ever one I’m issued…

We were told that the TWICs cards would be ready in 4-6 weeks and were able to choose method of notification, phone, mail, E-mail or Fax.

Total time in the offices; for pre-registered Deborah 13 minutes, for non pre-registered me, 22 minutes.

On other notes, we understand from the personnel at the registration that there is some difficulty with the finger printing process where in finger prints taken by the computer may not duplicate well enough to be read on the TWICS cards, necessitating re-finger printing. This had happened “a lot” and any problems in this vein would not be evident until the TWICs card was manufactured, 4-6 weeks down the road.

It was also mentioned that groups with some significant numbers of people to register could request of the Captain of the Port that a mobile registration unit be sent to their location and do the registrations on site.

Hope this is useful.
Cheers John Beebe-Center

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