Disclosure: When you buy through links on our website we may earn a commission.

What Is A TWIC Card – Can It Help You Fly Through Security?

What Is A TWIC Card – Can It Help You Fly Through Security?

Home » TSA Approved » What Is A TWIC Card – Can It Help You Fly Through Security?

What a great question; what is a TWIC card? Well, first off, the initials stand for Transportation Worker Identification Credentials. But who needs a TWIC card and why? In this article, let’s explore many avenues and answer some questions. 

What Is A TWIC Card?

The Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) is an official photo I.D. with an integrated security chip. The chip holds personal information, such as fingerprints, and only employees who work in the transportation industries are eligible. Anyone who requires access to secure areas such as maritime facilities needs a TWIC card.

Who Needs A TWIC Card?

Anyone and everyone who works in the Maritime Transportation Industry and goes into secure areas need a TWIC card.

Here are some workers who need a TWIC card:

  • Coast Guard: The Coast Guard personnel need a TWIC card to help protect U.S. citizens and ships at maritime ports.
  • Truck Drivers: Not all truck drivers require a TWIC card, but the ones who need access to ports to haul goods in and out need one so they can enter restricted areas.
  • Longshore Worker: Those workers who inspect cargo going in and have access to vessels will require a TWIC card.
  • Maritime Security: Ship security protects crew and passengers; therefore, they need a TWIC card to access many areas such as cargo, loading, and unloading of ships.

Do TSA Workers Need A TWIC Card?

If you notice, in the above list, I did not mention anything about TSA security personnel needing a TWIC card. That is because they have already gone through the rigorous process required to get a TWIC card. TSA personnel are one of the groups who do the checks on people who need a TWIC card. 

The Coast Guard also does the checks, but not all workers can approve TWIC card applications, so some need a TWIC card. 

What does this say for TSA personnel? It tells me that we are in good hands when we fly. They have strong background checks and have the training to protect all of us when we fly. Now that is a nice secure feeling.

What Is A TWIC Card pin

How Do I Get A TWIC Card?

TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and the United States Coast Guard are the ones who issue the TWIC cards. 

You must fill out an application if you qualify as a worker needing a TWIC card. You can do this in person at a TWIC application center or fill out an online application at the tsa.gov TWIC site.

After completing your application process, TSA will conduct a background check and check the international databases to confirm your identity.

Are There Special Responsibilities If I Get A TWIC Card?

There aren’t any special responsibilities. But as a card holder, you went through a security threat assessment which was the process to qualify you to access specific areas. Once you have your card, you must continue to follow the same rules and uphold them with the same integrity you exhibited to get the card. 


I’m glad you asked because it will come in handy. If you are a permanent lawful resident, a U.S. national, or a United States citizen with a TWIC card, you are automatically TSA precheck. Your TWIC is proof of identity, which means you don’t have to fill out a precheck application. Going through airport security checkpoints with your magnetic strip just got easier as of July 8, 2020. 

With this in mind, I researched if you can use your TWIC card for global entry. In many places, including the TSA website, it eludes that you can, but nowhere does it actually say that you can. So I need to say no unless I find other definitive answers that state you can. 

In addition, your TWIC card is also officially an I.D., and you can use it in place of your passport. 

Read Next: Top 34 TSA Approved Questions And Answers.

A Video Explaining The Benefits Of A TWIC Card

Here is a quick video with questions and answers regarding the benefits of a TWIC card.

What Is A TWIC Card – Conclusion

We now know what a TWIC card is and who needs one. Also, we have information on where to apply for one if you qualify as a maritime worker. But we may not have known that your TWIC card has a special benefit for you. 

When you fly, it can make the transition through airport security easier. With your card, you had an in-depth close look at your life. Because of the checks you went through, you are a secure person and will reap the benefits. 

Happy travels, my friend.

Photo of author

Laura Fuller

My name is Laura Fuller, I am a fanatic about luggage and all types of travel. I will be your luggage pilot to help you make the right choice for your travel needs.

Leave a Comment

Hey, wait!

Before you go, don't forget to sign up for all the latest news and updates.