Even if I do not agree with it, it seems that I have to get it. The process wasn’t too terribly bad. I think it is a little pricey. I had to pay 105.25 because of a recently issued MMD. They did not have to do a back ground check because of this, but the normal full priced rate is around 135. The link below has a pre-enrollment guide which I filled out. Once you are pre-enrolled (Please read the instructions for the pass word, there has to be 1 capital letter, numbers and at least one symbol “*”) you can find your nearest enrollment center. They are sprouting up like ant beds in the summer. Then you can sign in under you ID and make an appointment. Mine was for 1220. I got there at 1230 and was gone by 1245. You can pay by VISA or Mastercard only or money order or cashiers check. It takes 10-30 days for your card to come back and you have to pick it up at the enrollment center. It has other rules on the site. I just did it in Port Fourchon. They have a nice little set up, but are in no way set up to handle mass numbers of people, so I would suggest to get it early to beat the rush. I have not received my card yet, but so far it has been pretty painless.
I went in early at the center in Houston. Was in and out in less than 20 minutes. I just got my notifacation Friday that my TWIC was in. That was 17 days.
My observation is if you’re applying, go in early as they are more busy in the afternoon with people picking up their cards.
If you get the reduced rate, your card expires at the same time as your Z-card.
Injunear, “If you get the reduced rate, your card expires at the same time as your Z-card.” That’s not entirely true, but it is based on your last active background check at the USCG REC. For instance, if you applied for an upgrade last month, but you renewed your Z-card two years ago, your TWIC will expire based on the FBI check associated with the application last month, not the older Z-card expiration. In most cases, it seems to me that the extra $30 is worth a fresh 5 years unless your about to renew or upgrade (which is the case with me), so I’ll wait till April, then apply for the TWIC at the reduced rate based on my USCG application and have everything expire in 2013…and I hate to procrastinate, but this makes the most sense to me.
The girl told me you can get the reduced rate if your Z-card was issued after March 31 05 and the Twic would expire with your Z-card. You’re right, It’s generally worth the extra $30.
Yes, that’s when the USCG started the background checks and issuing a Mariner # associated with credentials. You certainly have to have a background check on file to get a reduced rate, but the girl has no way to know if your most recent background check is the one associated with your Z-card, she’s just assuming that it is, and in most cases she’ll be right.
Correction on the date for Z-card…It’s after 5/31/05.
Thanks for the info Capt. Lee.
Is there any truth that this card has the same weight as a passport?
Well 4 weeks wait and 2 hours of my life wasted and I got it. I should have paid the extra 30 bucks though because my card expires 2012 instead of 2013 if I would have paid the extra 30 bucks. They went from the last background check on my MMD. So effectively my TWIC and MMD expire on the same date.
The ladies at the Harbor commision in Fourchon were very nice and professional. I hope they can keep up their spirits as more and moe traffice moves their way. They need more space and more people to better manage the flow of transportation workers that are on the way!! Good Luck Ladies!
Damn Capt. Lee, thanks for sweating it out for us! We appreciate the input!
I just went enrolled at the Martinez, CA center. It was pretty painless once I found the building. Just be sure to pre-enroll and you’ll be fine.
For those of you Jacksonville, FL, the process is just as painless there. It took six weeks start to finish and my card is in hand. Be advised that due to the fact that traffic in the Talleyrand office is far below projections and the powers that be are considering closing the facility in favor of a mobile facility based out of Blount Island.
I found the stats on the number of mariners who applied for the cards… looks like I’d better get my ass in gear. (see attached pdf)
I went and applied for my TWIC card on Monday, and it wasn’t quite as ‘smooth’ as some other people have described it as. I went to the office named Port of NY/NJ #2, which basically means that it’s the one in the Staten Island Ferry terminal at the Battery in Manhattan. I don’t think they could have found a more inappropriate space to use for something that is described to be so technologically advanced. There is no office – it’s a room about the size of a dorm room, 3 desks, 4 chairs, and a crappy paper sign on the window explaining what to do. The “offices” consist of card tables with computers, separated by the drawback curtains you would see in an emergency room. Everything is done online there, and they don’t have any sort of hardwired internet – they use 3 laptops with Verizon wireless cards. A friend of mine was there at 8 that morning (I went at 11), and they sent him away for 3 hours because the wireless cards were down. I got there a little early, and they told me to come back at my appointment time, which was 11:30. I went back around 11:15, and there were 7 people waiting. So by the time I got in, they finally had two “stations” going, and then I had to start the process. They make you read through everything you already inputted in the pre-enrollment thing online, and then ask for your employers information. Your fingerprints go into the card somehow, so they take them electronically, instead of with the ink and card system. It’s cool, except the one I was using had a crack in the screen so my prints kept getting messed up and I had to do it a half dozen times. Then they scan your license and put it on the card or something – I’m not really sure what happened, but then they take your picture, and send you on your way. Apparently in 8 weeks my card will be there, and I have to make another appointment to go all the way back down to the Battery to pick it up. Maybe they’ll have a bigger office by then…but probably not.
I’ll let you know. Any other fun experiences?
Ok now that I’m done with my appointment I’ll let the cat out. I pre-enrolled, but wanted to go earlier so I showed up, one week early, around 0830 at the Norfolk office(Which is actually in Chesapeake). No appointment, I just had my paperwork a red bull and a smile. I was in and out in about 30 min. Didn’t notice any verizon cards, however it definitely looked like a fly-by-night operation. The place was a freshly rented office with folding chairs, folding tables, curtains, and the cameras were just hand held digital cameras lashed to a bracket that sat on the table. But overall it was easy.
you shouldn’t need an appointment to pick up yer card. You’ll get an email or phone call indicating it’s ready. Drop in, pick it up.
The office in JAX ain’t no high-dollar operation either. You’d think the likes of LOCKHEED MARTIN could afford just a little more…
As for NY. There is another office on Staten Island at Howland Hook container terminal and they are taking walk-ins who’ve pre-enrolled. My deckhand did just that on Monday.
I did mine at Port of Tacoma, saw the same jury rigged office everyone else experienced. These make-shift offices are probably to get the ball rolling and then in the future there will be more permanent, and fewer, offices. I went the $135 route and was told that it would be ready in 3 months and that “I” had to pick it up. Going to to be tough as I live in the Philippines! I don’t know why they wont mail them to us, (ya, I know security) but we get Passports, Green Cards, Social Security Cards, Drivers Licenses and more through the mail. If I’m sailing exclusively foreign routes, I wonder if I’ll ever even use the damn thing? If foreign governments know we have them I guess they could request to see them.Huh?
<P>I did mine in Houston and they told me 4-6 weeks and it would be ready to pick up. Its been 7 weeks already and still haven’t heard a thing. </P>
<P>Jeffrox, if you wouldn’t mind answering… I have been trying for quite a while now to find work outside of the US. I had planned to move to Thailand before my previous company brought our boat to the Gulf of Mexico. I can not afford to move and then fly back and forth every time I get off. Besides, I started sailing for the chance to see the world. I’ve already spent more than enough time in the Gulf! Do you have any ideas on who has work overseas, preferably non-union? </P>
<P>JP, write this guy: <A href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]email@example.com</A>, Capt Cliff Ruggles. The vessels are in rough shape but the the guys in the crew were a good bunch. </P>
I just found this on MM&P’s newsletter:<br><br><a title=“TWIC Status” href="https://twicprogram.tsa.dhs.gov/TWICWebApp/StatusCheckPrep.do]Check the Status of your TWIC Online