The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would be issued outlining specific details of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. Once published in the Federal Register, the rulemaking is subject to a 45-day comment period that includes four public meetings hosted by the TSA and U.S. Coast Guard.

As the TSA announced the impending action on the TWIC, the U.S. Coast Guard approved a proposed regulation that works in conjunction with the TWIC relative to merchant mariners. Its proposed regulation will publish on the same day as the TWIC notice.

Earlier, Michael Chertoff, DHS secretary, announced DHS would begin name-based background checks on about 400,000 port workers in the U.S.

Under the rules proposed by TSA, it would collect the worker’s biographic information, fingerprints, name, date of birth, address, telephone number, alien registration (if applicable), photo, employer and job title. Workers with unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels would be required to have a TWIC. This includes longshoremen, port operator employees, truck drivers and rail workers. Merchant mariners would also be required to obtain a TWIC.

Background checks would include criminal history, terrorist watch lists, legal immigration status, and outstanding wants and warrants.