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How to Appeal for a TWIC Card

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The Transportation Security Administration began the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program to enhance port security. The program mandates that all workers must obtain and carry a TWIC card before gaining unescorted access to secure areas regulated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act. Workers denied TWIC enrollment have 60 days to file an appeal with the TSA or to request a waiver depending on the reason behind the initial rejection.

Review the rejection letter that you received from the TSA. The letter states the exact reason why you were denied enrollment into the TWIC program.

Determine whether you need to file an appeal or for a waiver. You will need to file an appeal if you were not convicted of the offense listed in the TSA letter or if the crime you were convicted of was a misdemeanor or a drug possession charge. You also may file an appeal if you were convicted of an "interim disqualifying felony" more than seven years ago and you have been out of prison for more than five years. You must file for a waiver if the conviction took place less than seven years ago or if your incarceration release occurred less than five years ago. If you ever were convicted of a "permanently disqualifying felony," you need to file for a waiver. Visit the TSA website for a list of what are considered permanent and interim disqualifying felonies.

Gather the appropriate documentation to support your claim. The TSA will accept only official documents that you receive from the court, the district attorney or the police department. The TSA does not accept letters from your lawyer. Those filing for a waiver need additional paperwork. You must submit documentation from your probation or parole officer verifying your prison release date and your probation or parole compliance. In addition, you must prepare a personal statement that informs the TSA in your own words what circumstances led to the conviction, the amount of time that has passed since the conviction and a brief explanation of your activities since the conviction.

Use the personal statement to inform the TSA how much you want or need the job and that you are not a threat to security. You must submit letters of support when you file for a waiver. Include letters from your parole officer, your employer, friends, family members and anyone else willing to vouch for your character.

Make copies of all of the documentation you intend to send to the TSA as part of your request. Keep a copy of these records to protect yourself and to save time should the information be lost in the mail or otherwise misplaced.

Mail your documentation to the TSA using the address listed on the TSA TWIC Request Cover Sheet that was included with your letter of denial. Include this cover sheet with your documentation. If filing an appeal, note the reason for the appeal on the TSA TWIC Request Cover Sheet. Pay for a delivery confirmation receipt when using the U.S. Postal Service. The TSA will notify you by mail whether your request for an appeal or a waiver is approved or denied. The review process may take up to 60 days.


If you need additional time to gather the necessary documentation, you may request a 60-day extension by contacting the TSA in writing.


Mindi Orth began writing in 1996 as a technical writer for a consulting firm. She has experience in business documentation and has authored training and instructional materials. Orth holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baldwin-Wallace College.

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