Recently one of our clients notified us of problems they were having getting timely TWIC renewals for their workforce. We reached out to Captain Brad Clare, the U.S. Coast Guard MTSA program director for port facilities at Coast Guard Headquarters, who in turn reached out to his TSA counterpart to determine the extent of the issue.
The root of the problem is a substantial increase in applicants which is overwhelming enrollment centers. TSA provided the following report:
TSA is experiencing a surge in enrollments across all vetted populations in the National Transportation System to include aviation, maritime and surface populations. Beginning December 2020, TWIC® enrollments exceeded forecasts on a monthly basis. In March 2021, TSA recorded the highest single monthly enrollment total since 2017. TSA is prioritizing adjudication resources to adjudicate cases in a timely manner.
TSA encourages all applicants to enroll or renew at least 60 days before they require a TSA security threat assessment. While most applicants (~55 percent) are approved within 48 hours, the processing of certain applications requires review by a TSA adjudicator, and these cases are averaging 30 days for eligible applicants to receive a TWIC®. Applicants should use the Check My Service Status capability on Universal Enroll to check their status.
So this is a great time to remind your workforce to check their TWIC status and apply early if their TWIC is soon to expire.
Captain Clare also offered that the Coast Guard has issued several COVID related TWIC policies that provide some flexibility, and that facilities that find themselves in a bind should work with their local Captain of the Port. Seebald & Associates can help facilitate any such communication.