The TWIC Readers are devices that would allow for biometric verification of the identity of the person issued the card. Until those readers are approved by TSA and the regulations put into place regarding the use of those readers the full value of the TWIC program will not be realized. TSA recently completed a field study of the use of a variety of different TWIC Readers and the report on that study should be sent to Congress in the near future. This study was one of the prerequisites to being able to formulate the TWIC Reader regulations.
The first of the TWICs issued are set to begin expiring next year. In a press release dated yesterday, Rep. Thompson, the Ranking Member of the Committee, said:
“Hard working transportation workers shouldn’t have to go through the time and expense of renewing their TWICs if DHS doesn’t even have a finalized plan for deployment of the readers. My bill will address this unique problem by delaying the necessary renewal of these expensive cards until DHS issues the final reader rule or December 31, 2014, whichever is earlier.”Readers of this blog should recall that TSA currently plans to issue their notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) for the TWIC Reader rule in November of this year. This should allow for the issuance of the final rule before the December 2014th date mentioned in this bill.