Safety & Compliance

TSA Recalls Improperly Encoded TWIC Cards

December 08, 2011

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The integrated circuit chips on approximately 26,000 previously issued Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs) issued prior to April 5, 2011 were improperly encoded and may not work with TWIC card readers.

The Transportation Security Administration says it will replace these cards at the cardholder's request at no cost.

Every TWIC contains a Federal Agency Smart Credential Number (FASC-N) on its ICC. The FASC-N uniquely identifies each card. When TWIC cards are 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. The system error causing the FASC-N to be truncated was corrected on April 5, 2011.

TWICs issued after that date do not have truncated FASC-Ns. TWICs issued before April 5, 2011 could potentially have this issue and as a result, TWIC readers could have problems reading these cards.

If your card has this issue, it is still valid and provides evidence of your eligibility for unescorted access to secure areas. This issue only affects your card when using it with some readers.

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.

Identifying Truncated Cards

The TWICs that have this problem can be identified by the 8-digit Agency Serial Number (ASN) printed on the back of the TWIC. The ASN is on the bottom left side of the back of the card, as shown in the red box in the illustration above.

If the ASN on your TWIC matches a number on the TSA list, then your card has a truncated FASC-N and you may need to obtain a replacement depending on how you use your card.

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.

View the TSA Truncated card list here.

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