What Boats Can I Work on Without a TWIC Card?

Passenger Vessels

A sailor can work as service staff on large passenger vessels with shared crew and passenger spaces. They can also work as a deckhand underneath a licensed Captain on a vessel small enough to have no security plan.
A Transportation Worker’s Identification Credential (TWIC) allows a sailor to access designated secure and restricted areas without escort. A vessel must have a security plan in order to have these designated areas. T-boats and 6-pack vessels do not require a security plan. As a result, deckhands working aboard T-Boats and 6-pack  vessels do not require a TWIC. A deckhand can work as an assistant to the captain in this capacity and perform engine checks and enter the wheelhouse without escort.
Small vessels that require security plans are K class vessels and H class vesselsSecured areas on a passenger vessel are marked with signage and include the engine room, maintenance corridors and the wheelhouse. The rest of the areas are designated “common areas”, such as lobbies, stairwells and dance floors for passengers, or “employee access areas” such as the galley. A crew member does not need a TWIC card to work in these common areas. Jobs that would not require secured area access include servers, bartenders, cooks and cruise directors.

Towing Vessels

A TWIC card is also not required on a towing vessel less than 8 meters in length. However, the exempted towing vessel is not permitted to tow oil barges, seagoing barges or barges carrying dangerous liquids/compounds except in routine shifts in harbors and canal locks or in emergencies. .

Ship Assist Tug Boats

Deckhands on tug boats less than 100 tons that assist docking and tendering vessels do not require TWIC card.

Fishing Vessels

Commercial vessels are exempt from needing a vessel security plan. As a result, fishing vessels  do not require the deckhands to have TWIC cards.

General Cargo Vessels Less than 100 GRT

General cargo vessels include oil skimming boats, small equipment shuttle ferries and other auxiliary vessels. Deckhands on these vessels do not need TWIC cards.