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How To Use TWIC Card At Airport – What Is A TWIC Card?

What Is A TWIC Card feature

If you’re wondering “How To Use TWIC Card At Airport,” you’re likely have one and need to better understand its function and benefits within the airport environment.

With the many layers of security in place at airports, understanding where and how a TWIC card comes into play may require further knowledge.

As a seasoned traveler and luggage enthusiast, I’m well-versed in various airport security measures, including the role and benefits of how to use TWIC card at airport. This guide is for TWIC cardholders and future holders, aiming to understand the functionality of the card at airports.

How To Use TWIC Card At Airport

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. So if you ask, “Can I use a TWIC card to fly,” the answer is yes. But only if you put your CIN in the right spot. When you book your flight place your CIN in the slot marked for a KTN then you will have TSA Precheck access going through security.

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.

Moving forward, together, let’s dive deeper into the uses of a TWIC card at the airport. Ready to breeze through the airport like a pro? Let’s get started on how to use TWIC card at airport!

Who Needs A TWIC Card?

Now that we know what is a TWIC card we will explore who needs one. So, 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 and are searching for how to use TWIC card at airport :

  • 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.

Quick Video On What Is A Twic Card

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 ask what is a TWIC card and who needs one. 

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 travel by air. Now that is a nice secure feeling.

How Do I Get A TWIC Card?

If you are wondering how to use TWIC card at airport but don’t yet have one, this will help. 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.

Benefits of Having a TWIC Card

Before we can completely answer “How to use TWIC card at airport” we must better understand who needs one. The TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) Card is an incredibly valuable asset for individuals. It allows unescorted access to secure areas of maritime facilities, vessels, and even airports. Here are the key TWIC card benefits at airport:

  1. Ease of Access: The primary benefit of a TWIC Card is its ability to grant holders access to secure areas across maritime facilities, vessels, and airports. It effectively reduces the need for constant escorts and supervision, significantly streamlining operations and logistics.
  2. National Recognition: A TWIC Card is recognized nationally across the United States, simplifying identification processes for workers in the maritime and transportation sectors.
  3. Security Compliance: By undergoing the stringent background check required to obtain a TWIC Card, cardholders demonstrate their compliance with national security standards. This often makes them preferred candidates in industries where security is paramount, such as airports. (For how to use TWIC card at airports, see the section below.)
  4. Enhanced Mobility: The TWIC Card enhances mobility within the work environment, allowing cardholders to move freely within secure areas without the need for additional checks or permissions.
  5. Streamlined Administration: The TWIC Card simplifies various administrative procedures, enabling cardholders to go through security TSA PreCheck more swiftly and efficiently at airports.

In essence, a TWIC Card is a mark of trustworthiness and adherence to the highest levels of security standards, ensuring the smooth running of operations in critical security areas.

How To Use TWIC Card At Airport For TSA PreCheck?

If you have asked, “Can I use my TWIC card at the airport,” you are in luck because the answer is yes and sort of. Your TWIC Credential Identification Number (CIN) will come in handy for you at the airport. 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.

Now, I don’t want to mislead you when asking, “How to use TWIC card at airport.” The term automatic TSA Precheck means that you will have access to the TSA Precheck line when you put your Credential Identification Number (CIN) on your boarding pass. The slot where TSA Precheck members put their KTN number will allow you to enter your CIN.

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 CIN number on your boarding pass just got easier as of July 8, 2020. So, if you have wondered, is a TWIC card TSA precheck? When asked, “How to use TWIC card for TSA precheck?” the answer is you can use it for TSA PreCheck, but the card itself is not PreCheck.

With this in mind, I researched can a TWIC card be used 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 may be able to use it in place of your passport on domestic flights. So, yes, you do have benefits as a TWIC card holder.

How Can You Use A TWIC Card At The Airport?

Your TWIC card has a magnetic strip on it. For most places, you use your TWIC card, you simply swipe it, and you are clear. But as mentioned above, you are required to have your CIN on your boarding pass to enter the TSA Precheck line. If you forget to put your number in the KTN slot, then simply swiping your card will not give you access to the TSA Precheck line.

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding How To Use TWIC Card At Airport.

Here are just a few FAQs regarding how to use TWIC card at airport.

How do I use my TWIC card for TSA precheck?

You must first find your CIN (Credential Identification Number ) on your TWIC card and enter it into the area for a KTN (Known Traveler Number.) Once this process is complete and your CIN is on your boarding pass, you can use the TSA Precheck line to expedite your move through security.

Can you use a TWIC card as a passport internationally?

For international travel, a passport is generally required, regardless of whether you hold a TWIC card. A TWIC card allows the cardholder access to secure maritime areas. So, it is good for airline travel when the CIN is used as a KTN TSA PreCheck tool. However, I do not recommend it if you’re only considering it as a tool for personal or business travel.

Is a TWIC card Global Entry?

A Twic card when flying is only good as a TSA PreCheck. Global Entry kiosks require you to use a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident card or passport for entry. A “Global Entry TWIC card,” or you may have heard it called “TWIC Global Entry,” is not actually a card that can be used to enter the US. It is not a government-issued card.

Is my known traveler number on TWIC card?

Your TWIC card does not have a KTN (Known Traveler Number); however, it does have a CIN below the barcode on the back. The CIN is the number you use as a KTN.

Where Is The CIN Number On Benefit Card

twic cin

To answer the question, “How to use TWIC card at airport?” it is necessary to know where your CIN is. I am assuming you mean where is your CIN on your TWIC card. It is on the back on the lower left side of the card under the bar code. Your CIN is the number you put into the KTN area when you book your flight so you can take advantage of TSA PreCheck.

Does A Twic Card Get You Through Airport Security

Yes, having a TWIC card can help expedite the airport security process. It can be used as an additional form of identification, enhancing the verification process and potentially speeding up security procedures at airports. In many cases, you may still need your passport to fly, especially when flying internationally.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs, and troubleshooting on TSA, here are some additional posts about TSA:

What Is A TWIC Card – Conclusion

If you have ever wondered what is a TWIC card, you now have that information, and you know who needs one. There are TWIC card benefits, such as using it at the airport as a TSA PreCheck. Also, you 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 TWic card when you use it as TSA PreCheck. Together, we have navigated the ins and outs of “How to use TWIC card at airport.”

Here are some articles that you may find helpful:

Happy travels, my friend.

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Laura Fuller

Hello, I am a luggage and travel fanatic. With a vast knowledge of TSA regulations, I am here to assist you on your journey. Please join me, and together, we will navigate the world of travel. From TSA and air to cruising the high seas, we will explore the best accessories and tips for smooth travel.

4 thoughts on “How To Use TWIC Card At Airport – What Is A TWIC Card?”

  1. Sorry but your information on a TWIC and TSA PreCheck is a little misleading. YOU still must get TSA PreCheck on your boarding pass to be able to use PreCheck. You can’t just show them your TWIC to enter that line. You follow the same guidelines and rules as other PreCheck folks. Please note that TSA PreCheck is never guaranteed.

    • Thank you for this information. My understanding is you can use your TWIC card number and place it in the KTN slot on your boarding pass. You will not need to get TSA Precheck, yet with TWIC clearance, you can go through the TSA PreCheck line. In light of your comment, I will look at this post and make sure it is clear. Again thank you. I appreciate your input.

  2. Please change “TWIC card” to “TWIC” throughout. The “C” in TWIC stands for “credential”, which has the same meaning as “card”. “Transportation worker identification credential card” is redundant.

    Like “ATM machine” means “automatic teller machine machine”.

    • Thank you for bringing this to my attention. On the official TSA website, TWIC is Transportation Worker Identification Credential. The word credential is not synonymous with card; therefore, it is not redundant. Again, thank you for your input.


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