Begich Provision Streamlines Process for Alaska Transportation Workers
Alaska Pilot Program Announced for One-Stop ID Card Process
A pilot project in Alaska will be the first step in a nationwide rollout of a streamlining process for mariners applying for Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC), U.S. Senator Mark Begich announced today.
As chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard, Begich pushed for the provision to create a one-stop process for mariners filing for TWIC cards in his Coast Guard bill passed by Congress last year. The streamlining provision was unveiled by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) yesterday.
The TWIC is a security credential that ensures workers with access to ports, docks, and vessels have undergone a background check.
“In Alaska, workers in the maritime and transportation industries often have to travel hundreds of miles to get to one of the few TWIC enrollment centers. This often involves multiple flights and hotel stays. To have to go through this process twice just to get an ID card is a financial burden and is just unnecessary,” said Begich. “If you can get a passport with just one visit, you should be able to get a TWIC with one visit too. I’m glad we could work successfully with our transportation workers to make this process simpler for Alaskans.”
Begich was pleased Alaska was chosen to be the test ground for this proof-of-concept program before it is implemented nationwide. The program, authorized by Begich’s Coast Guard Reauthorization Act which passed the Senate unanimously this past December, was announced by TSA yesterday.
The one-stop provision was originally introduced as a bipartisan bill by Begich along with Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Marco Rubio of Florida and David Vitter of Louisiana.