Newly posted on the TSA TWIC site, news about TWIC/ HME compatability:
Effective January 2012, the TSA Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment Program (HTAP) will offer the ability for TWIC holders the option to obtain an HME without undergoing a new, full security threat assessment (STA). The STAs for both the HME and TWIC programs have been deemed comparable, therefore applicants will not be required to submit a new set of fingerprints and will pay a reduced fee when applying for a Comparable HME. The ability to apply for a Comparable HME within each state will be determined by each state’s division of motor vehicles. More details will be provided closer to implementation of HME-TWIC Comparability, including a listing of those States that will offer this capability. Click here for frequently asked questions on this topic.
HME/TWIC COMPARABLE SECURITY THREAT ASSESSMENTS
- Are the background checks for an HME the same as the background checks conducted for an individual applying for a TWIC?
- Yes. They have the same eligibility requirements, share a consistent waivers and appeals process and leverage the same fingerprint-based criminal history records check. As a result, the HME and TWIC have been deemed comparable.
- Is someone with an HME required to repeat the security threat assessment (STA) if they are applying for a TWIC?
- No. As a result of this, an applicant who applies for a TWIC after successfully completing the HME STA does not have to pay for a second criminal history records check (CHRC) and as a result, the fee for the TWIC is reduced by $27.25. All TWIC applicants must pay the fees that cover the other components of the TWIC program, including enrollment and card issuance.
- Does someone with a TWIC have to repeat the STA if they are applying for an HME?
- Effective January 2012, TWIC holders will be offered the option to apply for a comparable HME. As a result of this, an applicant who applies for an HME after successfully completing the TWIC STA will not be required to submit additional fingerprints or pay for a second CHRC, thus the fee for the HME is reduced by $22.25. All HME applicants must pay the fees that cover the other components of the HME program, including application fees.
- If someone already has a TWIC and is applying for a comparable HME, what is the application fee?
- The TSA HME application fee, within states that utilize the TSA-agent, is $89.25 – however; the fee will vary depending upon the State in which the individual is applying, if the applicant’s state does not utilize the TSA-agent. The fee for a comparable application is reduced by $22.25 (new total of $67.00 within TSA-agent states). Note: individuals should consider the expiration date of their current TWIC in order to determine if it is more cost effective to apply for a full or a comparable/reduced fee HME.
- Since HME requirements are specific to an individual State, are all 50 States including the District of Columbia, offering this comparability (where a TWIC holder receives a discount when applying for an HME)?
- Given specific State statutes, license cycles, and system limitations, not all States (including the District of Columbia) will be able to offer comparability in January 2012. Applicants in a State that can offer comparability will be provided notice during the application process – and the on-line enrollment system will offer the individual the option to pay a reduced fee by electing to apply for a comparable security threat assessment.
- If a TWIC holder chooses to apply for a comparable HME, what will the length of their HME be?
- The HME will be issued with the same expiration date of the individual’s existing TWIC. This date is the expiration date of the TSA security threat assessment.
- How does a TWIC holder who is applying for an HME know if the State where they are applying for the HME offers comparability?
- Closer to the implementation date of January 2012, TSA will post a listing of States that support Comparability on this website. Applicants can inquire with States about this during their application process, or can contact the HazPrints help desk at (877) 429-7746 (7am-9pm Eastern Monday through Friday). The online application for the HME program will also identify whether or not that State offers Comparability once an applicant specifies the State in which they are applying. The list of states that offer Comparability will be updated as other states determine that they can offer the reduced fee HME.