Good day to you:
Here is a problem that has come to light and that I feel to be very important information for you to pass along to everyone. During the past several weeks I have run up against this problem on multiple occasions and you all need to be aware of delays that it has and is causing.
Make sure that you tell your people that when they make their application with TSA to apply for their TWIC card that they identify their occupation as a MERCHANT MARINER. If this is not done then the information gathered at TSA WILL NOT BE SHARED WITH THE COAST GUARD.
I believe this is how it is supposed to work.
The mariner contacts TSA to make an application for their TWIC.
If the mariner does NOT state on the application that their occupation is that of a ‘MERCHANT MARINER’ the information goes nowhere except within the TSA system. The TWIC card will be issued if all is cleared through TSA.
If the information from TSA is not forwarded to the NMC then the mariners application is suspended awaiting additional information, because they (NMC) have no information from TSA. This is causing major problems for the mariner. Even if the mariner sends in a copy of their TWIC, the NMC won’t accept it because TSA has not released the information needed to them.
Because NMC does not have this information, the mariners application has been placed into a “suspended” status until this information has been received, will cause the application process to be delayed 10-12 weeks before it goes to an evaluator.
This 10-12 weeks, added to an application that has been at the NMC for 4-8 weeks already, awaiting clearance from the Medical Evaluation Branch and then waiting again for assignment to an evaluator is a devastating set back for mariners wanting to renew or to get an original MMC issued.
So, I am strongly suggesting that you please tell your people that if they have recently made application for their TWIC to contact TSA either via telephone or the website and change their Occupation to ‘MERCHANT MARINER’ (if they have not already done so), and then request that TSA forward the information to the CG as quickly as possible. I believe this should be done for anyone who has had a TWIC issued within the past 4 months as well. This is especially necessary if the mariner has made an application to NMC for an original or renewal within this time frame and has not received their new MMC.
Here is hoping this information will not be necessary for you to deal with, but it is better to be pro-active than re-active.
Norleen L. Schumer