26 August 2008

TWIC

11 July 2008: Hopefully all captains [all credentialed merchant mariners, among others] are aware that they are required to sign up for the Transportation Workers Identification Credential by 15 April 2009 [see http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/twic/twic_faqs.shtm for FAQs on this]. Thought I’d pass on my experience applying for my TWIC card. I made my appointment via the Internet some 5-6 weeks ago, signing up for a 15-minute time slot at 1400 on 10 July at the Port of Bridgeport, CT. On the morning of, however, thought it might be a good idea to go online and check the status of the appointment to be certain all was well. Went on the TWIC site, logged in and found that my appointment was for 21 August at some port in Texas! Called TWIC, finally managed to get a human being on the line who said that I had no appointment scheduled at all. I asked her if they were having some problems with their website; she responded, “No.” I asked her to give me the phone number for the Port of Bridgeport TWIC facility; she said she couldn’t do that. So…I was scheduled to take two anglers fishing out of Stratford later on that afternoon, so figured what the heck…might as well go over to the TWIC center and see what’ going on…perhaps they’d allow walk-ins. Strolled into the center at 1400 and the fellow behind the desk said “you must be Captain Persson.” Somehow or another he knew I was going to be there…not in Texas. I told him about what I’d gone through with TWIC on the Internet and the phone…asked him if there were problems with the TWIC website. He indicated there might be a glitch or two, which roughly translated means it’s fouled up beyond all recognition. Hope this information will save mariners some trouble along the way to their TWIC card.

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