Murkowski Working to Simplify Port Workers ID Process

Senator Cites “Unique Burdens,” Unrealistic Requirements for TWIC Enrollees

Senator Lisa Murkowski is urging the Department of Homeland Security streamline the process for Alaskans working in the maritime industry who need to renew their Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card, a security badge required for access to the state’s ports and marinas. Presently, Alaskans suffer from a complicated process that means at least two separate visits to a handful of locations closed more than they are open.

In her letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security (attached), Murkowski writes:

  • “Alaska … has seven TWIC enrollment centers in Anchorage, Juneau, Ketchikan, Soldotna, Sitka, Unalaska and Valdez.  Of these communities, only three are on the road system… the current application process requires at least two visits to a TWIC office… many of these TWIC offices are open only one day per week.”
  • “I would like to meet jointly with [TSA] Administrator Pistole and [United States Coast Guard] Admiral Papp in order to discuss additional options that  might be taken, including:
    • Eliminating the second visit to a TWIC enrollment center
    • Opening more enrollment centers in Alaska, and
    • Establishing a mobile enrollment capability in which TWIC contractors travel to other DHS, federal, state or local facilities in order to process applicants.”

How we got here:  In the wake of 9/11, Congress passed the Maritime Transportation Security Act which requires government-issued IDs for all Coast Guard-credentialed merchant mariners, port facility employees, long shore workers and truck drivers seeking access to secure areas of ports.  Unfortunately, the geography and schedule that must be overcome by Alaskans seeking IDs or a renewal are unnecessarily expensive and onerous.