How to Renew your TWIC Card?

Getting a TWIC card is the hardest part. Now that you have held one it's pretty darn easy to renew it.

4 mins read・Nov 24, 2023
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What is a Transportation Worker Identification Credential?

To get your first Coast Guard license you need to have applied for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) or hold a current TWIC card from the Transportation Security Administration. A TWIC card allows you unescorted access to secure maritime facilities and vessels that require a TWIC for entry. To get a TWIC card, you need to provide enough information for the Transportation Security Administration to conduct a security threat assessment (background check) to determine if you are eligible to obtain one.

When is my TWIC Card Expiration Date?

TWIC cards are good for five years. Just like your Coast Guard license, your TWIC card is subject to a five year renewal process. After your TWIC card expires you need to decide if you need a TWIC card for work.

The main reason people endure the five year renewal process is that they need to have access to secure areas at our nation's maritime facilities when they are working. Most applicants for renewing their Coast Guard license do not need a TWIC card and can instead use a TWIC exemption memo.

You can renew your TWIC card one year prior to the expiration date printed on your card and you have up to one year after your card expires.

After your TWIC card has been expired for one year, you will be considered a new enrollee. That means that you will need to redo the standard in-person enrollment process.

Do you need to Renew a TWIC Card to Renew a Coast Guard License?

No, Coast Guard renewal does not need you to have a TWIC card. They will run background checks to determine a person's eligibility. We have not seen a difference in timing for the renewal process between applicants with a TWIC card or a TWIC Exemption Memo.

After your first issuance of your Coast Guard license they have your picture and have already done background checks on you once. The majority of Captain's in the US do not need a Transportation Worker Identification Credential or TWIC card for work. If you don't need one, we recommend you stop reading this and jump into MM-SEAS USCG Licensing Software to create your TWIC Exemption memo instead.

If you do need a TWIC card for work keep reading. We answer all of your questions to make the TWIC card renewal process easy.

What Do I Need to Renew My Coast Guard License?

You will need either a TWIC Exemption Memo, a receipt from your online TWIC Renewal or a receipt from your in person appointment.

  • TWIC Exemption Memo (Recommended for 95% of Applicants)
  • Receipt from your online TWIC renewal
  • Receipt from your in person TWIC renewal

For your TWIC receipt the Coast Guard is looking for your UE ID Number which should be clearly on your receipt. Making sure this is clearly visible will help make your Coast Guard license renewal process smoother.

TWIC renewal process

Getting a transportation worker identification credential or TWIC card is the hardest part. Now that you have held one it's pretty darn easy to renew it. You can renew it online or renew in person. We recommend the online renewal option as it takes about 5 minutes to complete the application online at the official TSA website. You can schedule an in person renewal appointment at an TWIC program application center.

No matter if you are renewing online or plan on visiting a TWIC program enrollment center, you will start the renewal process on the official TSA website.

Renew Online

If you are eligible for an online renewal you can do the entire process in about 10 minutes on the official TSA website. The first section of the renewal application will help you figure out if you are eligible for online renewal. You must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a lawful permanent resident to be able to renew online.

After the initial questions they will ask you about your past five years as well as some reminders of the rules for TWIC holders.

If you are eligible to renew online, you do not have to provide any of the required documents you used when you were a new applicant.

In Person Renewal Process at an Enrollment Center

Complete your pre enrollment on the official TSA website where you will complete the majority of your TWIC card renewal application online.

You will be able to get 95% of what you need for your TWIC renewal done online. The website will prompt your to schedule an appointment at the nearest application center provided by IDEMIA Universal Enrollment Services.

You will follow the same steps you did when you got your first TWIC card. You can use the same documents you used last time such as your birth certificate and driver's license but no matter what you will need to provide all of the identification documents required by the Universal Enrollment Services tool.

The Transportation Security Administration will take a new facial photo which will be used on your renewed Coast Guard license as well as your new Transportation Worker Identification Credential.

What is the TWIC Card Renewal Cost?

If you need to go to an enrollment center to do you TWIC renewal in person it will cost $125.25. If you are able to renew online it is only $117.25.

If you need a TWIC for work, we recommend most applicants skip the enrollment center as you save money renewing online as well as your time.

When Do I get my New TWIC Card?

Typically your new TWIC card is mailed about to 7-10 business days after your Transportation Worker Identification Credential application is approved by the Transportation Security Administration.

Do I Really Mail my Old TWIC Card Back to the Transportation Security Administration TSA?

Yes, all expired cards need to be mailed back to the Transportation Security Administration when you receive your new TWIC card.

What do I put into my MM-SEAS Account for my TWIC?

When you are renewing your USCG License you will add what you have decided to use for your renewal. Follow the steps on your renewal checklist on the homepage.

We recommend everyone uses the TWIC Exemption Memo unless you need a TWIC for work. If you don't need one for work, a TWIC card is a complete waste of your time and money.

MM-SEAS will create a TWIC Exemption Memo for you in seconds inside of the website.

If you run into any issues or have any questions about the TWIC card renewal process you can contact our MM-SEAS USCG licensing specialists via the help button inside of MM-SEAS.

Need to renew, upgrade or get your first USCG license? We're here to help.

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About the author

Nate Gilman
Nate Gilman

Nate has over 15 years of professional maritime experience and has hawsepiped his way to a 3rd Mate Unlimited Endorsement with full STCW compliance. He is proud veteran of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.

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