Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)

If you were denied a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), you should contact an experienced TWIC lawyer today. At National Security Law Firm we understand the TWIC appeal and waiver process and will put together a comprehensive appeal and/or waiver application on your behalf.

Often times, the TSA bases its initial determination of ineligibility on either inaccurate or incomplete information. In these cases, we recommend that you appeal that determination. At National Security Law Firm, LLC, if we determine that an appeal is necessary, we will gather official documentation relating to the underlying disqualifying criminal offense and submit them to the TSA to show either one or more of the following:

  • You were not convicted of the criminal offense and, instead, you were either found not guilty, the charge was dismissed or nolle prossed, or you were convicted of a lesser misdemeanor offense.
  • You were convicted of simple drug possession.
  • The felony conviction was overturned on appeal or you were issued an expungement or pardon with respect to that offense.
  • For some felony offenses (see list of disqualifying criminal offenses below), that you were released from incarceration more than 5 years ago and it has been more than 7 years since your felony conviction.

If we determine that the information that the TSA based its preliminary determination of ineligibility on is correct, and that you were in fact convicted of a disqualifying offense, the experienced TWIC waiver lawyers at National Security Law Firm will file a waiver on your behalf. In doing so, we will work to gather and submit various documentation in an order to demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated and that you are eligible to hold a TWIC. The kinds of documents we will submit include:

  • Any documentation concerning the circumstances surrounding the disqualifying offense.
  • Any documentation concerning your sentence and the successful completion of your sentence.
  • If your offense involved alcohol or drugs, any documentation showing completion of substance abuse or treatment programs.
  • Court documents relating to the conviction such as transcripts, the indictment, the judgment of conviction, and sentencing documents.
  • Correspondence from your probation or parole officer indicating successful completion of your sentence.
  • Character reference letters from employers, friends, family members, or others.
  • Copies of degrees, awards, or certificates you have earned.

The TSA waiver program was designed to make sure that individuals who do have a criminal record, but no longer pose a threat to national security are not denied a TWIC.  Thus, in the event that you do have a disqualifying conviction on your record, you should certainly take advantage of the waiver process in order to keep your current job.  The TSA itself has stated: “applicants who are disqualified due to a criminal conviction should make every effort to apply for a waiver, assuming the crime is waiver-eligible.”

You have 60 days from the date you receive the preliminary determination of ineligibility letter to file for an appeal or waiver. If you fail to file your appeal within that timeframe (or to request an extension), you will not be granted a TWIC.

If you are interested in appealing or applying for a waiver of your TWIC application, contact National Security Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) – Additional Resources

What is TWIC?

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA).  The MTSA mandates that all port workers that require unescorted access to secure areas of the U.S. maritime facilities and vessels obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).  This includes more than 1.5 million merchant mariners, port facility employees, port truck drivers, longshoremen, administrators, contractors, and rail workers.

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA), together with the United States Coast Guard, developed the TWIC card program in response to the MTSA.  The TWIC enrollment process included a security threat assessment, which includes a criminal background check, immigration inquiry, and terrorism/intelligence watch lists.  Those applicants who are deemed to be a “security threat” will not be issued a TWIC.

TWIC Eligibility

You are eligible for a HME so long as you are a citizen, lawful permanent resident, naturalized citizen or a nonimmigrant alien, asylee, or refugee who is in lawful status.

You will be ineligible for a TWIC due to either:

  • Incomplete or false application information; or
  • Disqualifying criminal offenses and factors.

If you were issued a Preliminary Determination of Ineligibility, you should check with an experienced TWIC appeal attorney to see if applying for an appeal or a waiver makes sense in your case. An appeal is advised when you were either not convicted of a disqualifying offense (i.e., the TSA based its preliminary determination on inaccurate or incomplete information) or if you were convicted of a disqualifying offense a long time ago.

A waiver, on the other hand, is usually advised when the information the TSA made its preliminary determination on is correct, but you have otherwise been rehabilitated and are able to hold a TWIC. You can request both an appeal and a waiver of your preliminary determination of ineligibility.

TWIC Disqualifying Criminal Offenses

Pursuant to the TSA, there are two types of disqualifying convictions: (1) permanent disqualifying convictions; and (2) interim disqualifying convictions.  For both of these types of disqualifying convictions, they include only felonies, not misdemeanors.

Permanent Disqualifying Felonies (Not Eligible for a TSA Waiver)

  • Espionage
  • Sedition
  • Treason
  • A federal terrorism crime or a comparable crime under state law
  • Conspiracy to commit any of the above crimes

Permanent Disqualifying Felonies (Are Eligible for a TSA Waiver)

  • A crime involving “transportation security incident”
  • Improper transportation of hazardous material pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5124 or a comparable state law
  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, manufacture, purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, import, export, storage of, or dealing in an explosive or explosive device
  • Murder
  • Making any threat or maliciously conveying false information knowing the same to be false, concerning the deliverance, placement, or detonation of an explosive or other lethal device in or against a place of public use, a state or government facility, a public transportations system, or an infrastructure facility
  • Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a comparable State law, where one of the predicate acts found by a jury or admitted by the defendant, consists of one of the permanently disqualifying crimes
  • Conspiracy to commit any of the above crimes
  • Attempts to commit any of the permanent disqualifying offenses (including those listed under non-waiverable section)

Interim Disqualifying Criminal Offenses (All Are Eligible for TSA Waiver)

Interim disqualifying offenses only prevent an individual from obtaining a TWIC if the conviction took place during the seven-year period before applying for a TWIC card, or if the individual was released from prison during the five-year period before applying for a TWIC card.

  • Firearms or weapons offenses including unlawful possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase, distribution, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, delivery, import, export of, or dealing in a firearm or other weapon
  • Extortion
  • Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud and money laundering
  • Bribery
  • Smuggling
  • Immigration violations
  • Distribution, possession with intent to distribute, or importation of a controlled substance
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping or hostage taking
  • Rape or aggravated sexual abuse
  • Assault with intent to kill
  • Robbery
  • Fraudulent entry into a seaport as described in 18 U.S.C. 1036, or a comparable State law
  • Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act under 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a comparable state law, other than any permanently disqualifying offenses
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Conspiracy or attempt to commit crimes listed above

If you received an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment (“IDTA”), contact an experienced TWIC card appeal lawyer or TWIC card waiver attorney today.  This notification will not only explains the basis for the ineligibility determination, but also notifies you that you may seek the materials on which the TSA relied in making your ineligibility and that you have the right to appeal or seek a waiver from the TSA’s determination.  Talk to an experienced TWIC appeal attorney to determine whether you should apply for an appeal, waiver, or both

The lawyers at National Security Law Firm handle Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Appeals throughout the United States.


If you are appealing a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) determination, it is imperative that you obtain experienced legal representation. Doing so will provide you with the best opportunity to obtain or maintain your clearance.

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