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The National Maritime Center uses the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as their primary source for information when conducting background investigations. We highly recommend that you apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).
When applying for your Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) please ensure you identify your occupation as a "Merchant Mariner", so that the National Maritime Center is able to conduct a safety & suitability evaluation of your application.
A TWIC is a credential for all personnel requiring un-escorted access to secure areas of regulated facilities and vessels, and all mariners holding United States Coast Guard-issued credentials. Individuals who meet TWIC eligibility requirements will be issued a tamper-resistant credential containing the worker's biometric data (fingerprint template) to allow for a positive link between the card and the individual.
Step 1: Gather Documents
Step 2: Enroll
Step 3: Pick up TWIC
46 CFR § 10.203 is the federal mandate that requires holders of a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) to hold a TWIC. This regulations states the following:
Failure to obtain or hold a valid TWIC serves as a basis for the denial of an application for an original, renewal, new endorsement, duplicate, or raise of grade of a mariner's credential and may serve as a basis for suspension and revocation under 46 United States Code 7702 and 7703.
Although an MMC serves as a certificate of identification, a TWIC must be retained by the mariner to whom it was issued and, while valid, serves as the mariner's primary identification document. The TWIC must be produced to verify identity when required by an authorized official as identified in 33 CFR 101.515(d).
Coast Guard Policy Letter 11-15: The purpose of this policy letter is to describe both policy and forthcoming regulatory solutions that the Coast Guard is undertaking to implement the requirements which excludes certain mariners from the statutory requirements to obtain and hold a TWIC in order to receive a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC).
There is an exemption to the requirements regarding holding a TWIC prior to applying for a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). The exemption can be found in Coast Guard Policy Letter 11-15 and excludes certain mariners from the statutory requirements to obtain and hold a TWIC in order to receive a MMC. In the policy letter solution, the Coast Guard is allowing mariners without a valid TWIC who operate on board vessels that do not have a security plan to acquire and renew a MMC.
If you are a mariner who operates on board vessels that do not have a security plan and do not have a valid TWIC, you may utilize the following form, when submitting your application:
TWIC Exemption Sample Statement