TWICS-Card issuance, Round Two (round one here)

Deborah was notified on February 8th that her TWIC card had arrived at the Providence enrollment center. It was not until February 23rd (a Saturday when the enrollment office was closed) that I was notified that my card had arrived.
With these notifications was a statement saying that people coming in to collect their cards should make an appointment, either by e-mail or phone, so as to expedite the process of issuing the card. Neither Deborah nor I did so, but instead arrived at the enrollment center at 1300 hrs on February 26th and asked for our cards. The center was empty except for the four staff people. There are two machines for issuing the cards, but one was broken so only one card at a time could be issued. I went first. My I.D. was inspected (Maryland driver’s license) and the TWIC card was produced and given to the operator to initialize. In order for the card to be activated, my right index finger print was in-putted and I was asked to select a PIN number of between six and eight numbers. This PIN number will need to be entered into the scanning machines along with the card itself when the scanning machines eventually go into service at some point in the distant future.
The process of activating the card took about seven to eight minutes while the machine apparently encrypted the card and registered the PIN into the federal data base. During the wait I was asked to fill out a survey (multiple choice) discussing how I thought the service in receiving my card had been. I finally received my card, along with a complementary hard plastic card holder for neck wear. Let me add that it represents a new low in photographic representation of myself…
While we were being processed, three more folks came in to pick up their cards and the waiting time went up commensurately. One machine can process between seven and eight people per hour so, knowing what I know now, if I had walked into a crowd of folks picking up their cards I could fairly accurately predict the wait time involved.
We also asked if the present location of the enrollment office, which would presumably become the renewal office as well, would be the permanent location. No one in the office knew for certain where the TWIC office would be other than in the Providence area.

Cheers, John Beebe-Center

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