TSA bulletin outlines impact of COVID-19 on TWIC
March 23, 2020
•Land Line Staff
The Transportation Security Administration advises transportation professionals who will need a new or renewed Transportation Worker Identification Card or Hazardous Materials Endorsement to plan ahead when attempting to visit an enrollment center, during the COVID-19 national emergency.
“If you are planning to visit an enrollment center, please use the Find an Enrollment Center feature at the bottom of the Home page to determine if the center is open and its hours of operation,” the agency said on its Universal Enroll website.
“Health and wellness are critical to our ability to provide services to the public,” a notice at the top of the page states. “Our staff are trained to sanitize their hands between customer interactions, and to disinfect surfaces that customers come in contact with regularly.”
In a bulletin to transportation industry partners on Friday, March 20, TSA stated it is working with federal, state and local authorities to develop contingency plans to mitigate possible impact to industry caused by the state and federal shutdown orders issued in response to COVID-19.
“Due to the evolving public health situation and circumstances, some enrollment centers may close for a period of time to ensure the safety, health and wellness of staff and the public,” TSA stated. “Applicants planning to visit an enrollment center should use the ‘Find an Enrollment Center’ feature at the bottom of the enrollment services home page to determine if the center is open, its hours of operation, and if appointments are required.”
TSA’s enrollment network services multiple programs, including TWIC, HME, and TSA PreCheck. The agency says is working with its enrollment provider to continue to deliver essential services to the public in a safe operating environment.
For drivers who have a TWIC card that is about to expire, TSA recommends applicants apply at least 60 to 90 days in advance of expiration to prevent disruption in TWIC validity.
If an enrollment center is closed, a TWIC applicant or cardholder may request that his/her TWIC card be transferred to another enrollment center or request direct shipment of the card to a designated address at no cost. Requests can be made by contacting the Universal Enrollment Services Call Center at 855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. Additional information about TWIC can be found online. Specific questions may be emailed to TWIC.Issue@tsa.dhs.gov.
The agency also says that in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, it has increased cleaning protocols related to high-touch surfaces. It has also directed employees to stay home and see a doctor when they are not feeling well. The notice states that individuals who have a scheduled appointment but are feeling sick to visit the website and reschedule.
“Be aware that if you are exhibiting symptoms while at an enrollment center, we may kindly ask to reschedule your appointment,” the notice states.
Appointments are also recommended over walk-ins, because the agency says it will notify those with appointments in the event it becomes necessary to cancel.
“Customers with canceled appointments are notified and given the opportunity to book at another open location,” the agency stated. “The ability to book appointments at alternate locations is dependent on overall site availability in a particular region.”
Hazardous Materials Endorsement
TSA says drivers waiting on a HME should check with their state for potential impacts.
“If you have already enrolled, there should be no additional delay as TSA adjudications are still being processed,” the bulletin states.