Once again we need to thank fellow bloggers Patrick Coyle of Chemical Facility Security News ( http://chemical-facility-security-news.blogspot.com) who picked up a very important post from John Bennett , Maritime Security News and Views (http://mpsint.com/2011/12/05/some-twics-wont-work-in-readers) and passed it onto the security stakeholder community.
On November 29, 2011, TSA issued an informational bulletin about improperly coded TWICs that may not work in readers. Approximately 26,000 readers may be affected by this problem.
The cards are still valid; they simply have a problem with one identify feature that may prevent them from being read by a reader.
The bulletin tells cardholders how to tell if their card is affected by the problem, and how to get a replacement TWIC (no cost.) The section from the TWIC FAQ that concerns this problem is reprinted below, and may be found at http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/twic/twic_faqs.shtm#improperly_encoded
Improperly Encoded TWICs
- What is the issue with improperly encoded TWICs?
- Every TWIC contains a Federal Agency Smart Credential Number (FASC-N) on its integrated circuit chip.The FASC-N uniquely identifies each card.When a TWIC is read by a card reader, the FASC-N is one of the pieces of information the reader obtains from the card.Due to a card production system error, the number of characters in the FASC-N on some TWICs was shortened (truncated), causing readers to not recognize the card as a valid TWIC. Click here to access the TSA notification bulletin on this issue.
- How many TWICs are affected by this?
- TSA estimates that the integrated circuit chips (ICCs) on approximately 26,000 previously issued TWICs were improperly encoded and may not work with TWIC readers.
- What time frame did this problem occur?
- The system error causing the FASC-N to be truncated was corrected on April 5, 2011 and TWIC issued before this date (April 5, 2011) could potentially have this issue and as a result, TWIC readers could have problems reading these cards. TWICs issued after that date do not have truncated FASC-Ns.
- How can I determine if my TWIC is affected by this issue?
- The TWICs that have this problem can be identified by the 8-digit Agency Serial Number (ASN) that is printed on the back of the TWIC.The ASN is on the bottom left side of the back of the card (on the same line as the numbers ‘7099’ which appear on the bottom right.) Click here to see if the ASN on your TWIC matches a number on the TSA list.If it does, then your card has a truncated FASC-N and you may need to obtain a replacement depending on how you use your card.
- What do I do if my card has a truncated FASC-N?
- If you confirm that your TWIC has this problem (and is on the TSA list), then you have two options:
- If you currently do not use your TWIC with a card reader, then you do not need to get a replacement right away—you will be able to get one later.
- If you currently need to use your TWIC with a card reader and you are experiencing problems, you should get a replacement TWIC as soon as possible
- How do I get a replacement?
- If your TWIC is identified on the TSA list of cards with truncated FASC-Ns you can receive a no-cost replacement by calling the TWIC Help Desk at 1-866-347-8942, Monday through Friday, 8AM to10PM Eastern.Please identify that your card has a truncated FASC-N, and the Customer Service Representative will assist you with ordering a replacement.You must designate the enrollment center where you will pick up your replacement TWIC.You must turn in your TWIC with the truncated FASC-N when you return to pick up your replacement TWIC.
The bulletin may be found at http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/truncated_fasc_n_notification_11182011.pdf.