Starting A New Career Path? Long Time Wanted

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Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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Have you tried CFI? Our traing is 3 weeks of free school, pas your CDL then paid orientation, then either home for up to 7 days or out with a trainer. Our current time with trainer is 21 days unless more is needed. Then upgrade to a truck that is 3 years old or newer.

You go home with truck and trailer and there is a Pilot in Crossville you could park at for hometime.

At CFI your traing is free. Stay for one year and owe nothing.

Time out with trainer is dispatched as solo, you do all the driving, backing and work. You are paid 29 CPM during this time. Trainer shows you how and is in the passenger seat while you're driving.

Once you upgrade, you will start at 35 CPM. By the time you reach one year you will be at 41 CPM. Solo drivers average about 2500 miles per week.

In case it wasn't obvious, I am 100% biased to CFI.

Best of luck to you.

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CFI sounds like a good company, my thing is finding a good company to stick with honestly. Stevens sounds nice but at the same time all I see are reviews about it being a training only company. I really want a company that’s easy to settle and build with, that treats employees fair enough to maintain a good relationship. I don’t think I’ve seen their application so I’ll definitely do my research, I greatly appreciate it!!

CFI treats us great. I would not be here if they didn't. In the last 3 years they have been getting rid of the old equipment for new.

We have over 200 million miles with the company. That is a long time to be with one company.

It is good to do what you're doing and casting your net wide.

Hopefully you will end up with several companies to choose from.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Robin Hood's Comment
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Howdy, Robin Hood / Orian~!!

Welcome to TT as the others have said, and I as well, adore this site, LoL~!

Big Scott's suggestion to look into CFI sure holds water; I'd check into that. Click here

As mentioned, CRST is a GREAT company, but being team .. will be a nolle on bringing the truck home; trailer or not.

Millis, as Greg stated, is also someone to look into.

Did you use our 'one and done' application? Millis will be submitted if you click this link below.

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Prime is an excellent company, yet they tend to be 'choosy' with applicants, as they CAN be.

There's no 'country' lingo that I don't know, btw... hahahaha!

Wish you well, and don't be a stranger!!

~ Anne ~

ps: for fun, in case you didn't find these yet: (and make SURE to read Brett's book...FREE, right here!)

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Thanks for the CFI referral site!!! I absolutely applied. I’ve also applied to the link that sends out my app. Funds are tight due to my current occupation and John Deere and covid not mixing very well. I’ve most definitely cast my net wide, and I’ve applied to TLD and epes as well as a few others that are well known? I try not to go off of the reviews as I think most are people who didn’t think through before jumping into it. I know trucking is a fun but challenging career and I know it’s a commitment. My deal I guess is adjusting to having all these options and trying latch on one. It’s new to have this many options, I honestly thought I’d be more restricted but it’s more open then I originally thought. Lol I’m evidently as hillbilly as they come to hear the poor guys I work with talk.

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Always here to help .. all of usn's! (<< Yep, from one hilla to another. Wouldn't trade it for the world!)

Keep us in the loop, Orian!

I'll be following your journey; wherever it leads, in this profession!

You're welcome on the link; let us KNOW.. if you need MORE links!

~ Anne ~

ps: Stay OFF Indeed & Glassdoor ... and especially a forum that has the last word being 'report.' It's more of a 'retort' IMHO!

Ain't nary nobody gonna out hilly me! (Well, maybe PackRat, LoL~!!)

~ Anne ~

I am very seriously stumped. I have the pre hire through stevens, and I’ve pulled my feelings on the home time, and I only pay 400 rent and it’s only me, my bf left me because this occupation means few actual days off, which I’m 100% aware of and I’m positively ok with. Tdl is based out of crossville and I prefer them, but if they can’t take my schooling at Tennessee truck driving school, then I have to cross them off the list. Knowing this job is it’s own lifestyle, I’m prepared to bite the bullet and work for Stephen’s for atleast a year to fulfill my obligations and appreciation for helping me obtain my cdl. The school called today and I START THE 1st!!!! I’m so excited!!!!!! The only thing I’m not 100% on with Stephen’s as I’ve studied this site is their pet policy. I decided to take your advice and from what I’ve read on only this site, I have most definitely got a less anxiety inducing feeling about this whole deal. You guys are amazing!!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Pre Hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Robin Hood's Comment
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I guess I’m looking for helpful ways to bash this worry and anxiety over what I hope is gonna be the fulfillment of my boyhood dreams.

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Honestly, I don't think you can bash your worries or anxieties about getting into this career. Getting started in a new trucking career is a commitment. A big one at that. It will be something you will have to settle in your heart and mind before you take off for orientation. I used to compare it to riding a bull for the first time. Anybody that tries that knows they are in for a huge conflict that they are going to struggle with for a time before they get the hang of it. If they want to be a bull rider, they make a commitment to see it through no matter how difficult it gets. That doesn't mean they don't experience anxiety or fear and disappointment. They just push their way through it until they've reached their goal.

Let me share with you my personal experience. I had a lot of trouble getting started, and I think my experience can be somewhat helpful to others. I went to three different company orientations where I got rejected for one reason or another. It was a pathetic way to get started. I had made up my mind that I was not going to be demoralized by the people who didn't think I had what it took to do this job. I persevered until somebody gave me a shot. Once I got my opportunity there was no looking back. I applied myself diligently to the things that I thought would make me a successful truck driver. I learned the rules. In fact I mastered the log book regulations because I saw in them the path to being able to outperform my peers at this. Trucking is all about competition. It takes a competitive mindset to understand how you rise to the top in this career.

Top Tier Drivers make their way in this career. They rise to the top and succeed based on their performance. Everything about trucking is performance based. We don't get paid for being on the clock. We get paid for getting the job done. We get paid by how many productive miles we can produce for our employer. We get to measure out our own pay level by being more productive or less productive. The folks who recognize the uniqueness of this opportunity will strive to work at their highest levels and they reap the highest reward. It is really great to be recognized for your efforts and your accomplishments. Very few jobs offer that kind of satisfaction.

You will have to make a big commitment to this career. If you let your fears and anxiety control your decision making you will not make it as an over the road truck driver. We face new challenges daily. Even after years of being on the road you will be surprised by things that happen. That's why I stress the commitment. Set yourself and resolve that you will see it through. Make that commitment and carry out your plans. Don't look back. There is a rewarding career ahead if you stay the course.

Old school, I greatly appreciate your input. I personally, after taking a lot of advice on here, have bashed much of my anxiety. It’s the worry of something bad happening since I’m never this lucky, because after taking mom cats advice on staying away from reviews, I’m not as nervous. I’m prepared to be alone and learn everything humanly possible , because I don’t have any external worries as long as my pre-hire through stevens is secure. I’m just scared to be around new people and be in a small space with a trainer, I’m definitely a handful because I love to chat, and I’m my own character, however I’m also respectful of others privacy and I’m not a rude person. I’ve just wanted this career for so long and I was scared to even attempt, and now I’m faced with who to pick instead of worrying if I’ll get responses and it’s oddly made me paranoid because one side feels like, “man this is easy” and then the other wonders ,”what’s the catch” beside the usual alone time. All I have at this point is mom so the loneliness doesn’t scare me, I’m quite confident in my abilities to learn and observe, I just always second guess myself and if I get the sense I’m doing bad I personally break down, if that makes sense. But I greatly appreciate your input. It helps put a lot into perspective

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Robin Hood's Comment
member avatar

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Have you tried CFI? Our traing is 3 weeks of free school, pas your CDL then paid orientation, then either home for up to 7 days or out with a trainer. Our current time with trainer is 21 days unless more is needed. Then upgrade to a truck that is 3 years old or newer.

You go home with truck and trailer and there is a Pilot in Crossville you could park at for hometime.

At CFI your traing is free. Stay for one year and owe nothing.

Time out with trainer is dispatched as solo, you do all the driving, backing and work. You are paid 29 CPM during this time. Trainer shows you how and is in the passenger seat while you're driving.

Once you upgrade, you will start at 35 CPM. By the time you reach one year you will be at 41 CPM. Solo drivers average about 2500 miles per week.

In case it wasn't obvious, I am 100% biased to CFI.

Best of luck to you.

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CFI sounds like a good company, my thing is finding a good company to stick with honestly. Stevens sounds nice but at the same time all I see are reviews about it being a training only company. I really want a company that’s easy to settle and build with, that treats employees fair enough to maintain a good relationship. I don’t think I’ve seen their application so I’ll definitely do my research, I greatly appreciate it!!

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CFI treats us great. I would not be here if they didn't. In the last 3 years they have been getting rid of the old equipment for new.

We have over 200 million miles with the company. That is a long time to be with one company.

It is good to do what you're doing and casting your net wide.

Hopefully you will end up with several companies to choose from.

I am definitely looking into CFI, I’m not worried about starting pay truthfully, I want a company that makes for a lifetime career. My career path thus far is bumpy because I was young, dumb, and didn’t have a steady home. But I’ve lived here for almost a year and held my job for well over a year, and CFI definitely has a lot of potential and has expressed interest in me, I honestly need to talk to them more. But I’ve never had the option of me choosing companies cause I’m used to hoping I get hired with x but going with y instead. This has been the exact opposite

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
It’s the worry of something bad happening since I’m never this lucky

Don't ever sentence yourself to having to live a life of shame, rejection, and adversity. That is something a lot of people do in their own mind. That is a completely self defeating and demoralizing way to live. I'd fight those type feelings like a warrior. You don't have to be a victim of your own thoughts. Luck has very little to do with success in life, careers, and relationships. Commitment and determination carry the banner of victory. Be a man of action. Pursue what you want with an unrelenting realization that it is attainable. That doesn't mean you won't face difficulty or adversity. It means that you refuse to give in or give up. Don't ever give up! Fight for what you want.

if I get the sense I’m doing bad I personally break down

Orian, I understand how this is sort of overwhelming. It's that way for most of us when getting started. Trucking is a really cool career. It is filled with adventure and opportunity to see new places, travel all across the country, and meet all kinds of interesting people. It was always one grand adventure for me. You mentioned being "paranoid" because this is seeming too easy right now - you actually have companies that are interested in you - that is a new and strange experience. It's something that you don't want to blow - I get it!

Trucking has it's ways of humbling each of us. Hang in there brother. I can promise you that you are going to want to throw up your hands and quit this career several times after you get started. I'm hoping you've got some of that Appalachian fortitude in you - I'm betting that you do. In the end, this is going to be a huge commitment on your part. There are going to be some really challenging days during your first year. I'm going to lay out for you what I think will challenge you the most. Here they are...

  • Trucking School
  • Orientation & Training
  • Your First Three Months as a Solo Driver

Let's talk about each of these...

Trucking school will put you in a close quarters learning environment with total strangers. It can be uncomfortable. There will be a diverse group in there, and each of you will be feeling the pressure of seeming like a doofus at the wheel of a tractor trailer while the others are in there watching you mess things up. Get over it. Nobody is born knowing how to maneuver a tractor trailer. It's very awkward at first. In fact it may feel awkward for about a year! My best advice is that you purposely try to be friendly and encouraging to your fellow students. That will help break the ice for the whole group. Hopefully by the end of a couple of weeks you will have developed a little camaraderie with some of the other students. Show up everyday with a positive attitude and a stubborn willingness to conquer your feelings of ineptitude. Be prepared to process a lot of information. If you struggle, and you will, just keep listening and learning - it will come together.

Orientation and training, at whatever trucking company you end up with, will challenge you to your limits. I don't think I've ever seen a trucking orientation where somebody didn't go home empty handed. Do everything in your power to not be that guy! Soak in everything like a sponge. They are going to give you an overwhelming amount of information. Most of it important, though you may not realize how important at that moment. The training portion is the hardest part, so just be prepared for a tough challenge mentally, emotionally, and physically. This time period can be so draining. I'm not trying to frighten you - I just want you to be forewarned and ready for the challenge. It is totally doable, but you need to be prepared for it. Life being lived in the space of a walk-in closet with a person that you just met has it's challenges. Try to see the humor in it. There is no avoiding it, but it will challenge your sensibilities. I honestly and seriously wanted to quit a half dozen times during that point in my career. I was miserable, but I knew it was just a step in the process of getting to where I wanted to be. Endurance became my mantra. It paid off big time too!

Your first three months as a solo driver are exhausting, exhilarating, and frustrating. You are going to ask yourself a thousand times, "What have I got myself into?" You are going to feel inadequately trained, way out of your comfort zone, and completely ignorant at times. You are going to make some mistakes and probably get yourself in a panic more than a few times. That's just normal rookie truck driver stuff. Swallow it all like bad medicine. You are going to get better.

I hope I haven't frightened you. I just want to help you face your fears and anxieties. There's not a reason in the world you can't do this. I tell people all the time that getting into this is a huge commitment. That is what it is. Commit yourself to it and make it happen.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Don's Comment
member avatar

Orian:

Did you confirm with your apartment management that you will be allowed to park a Semi-tractor at your apartment? That is highly unusual for one to allow that.

You stated you were not sure about Steven's pet policy. If you have a pet you want bring with you when solo, you had better find out for certain what bvb their policy is.

I trained with CFI and was OTR only a short time before going "local" for the company I currently drive for. I thought everything about CFI w as good as a new driver could ask for.

Their paid training? A+ My experience with my trainer? A+ "Mike" did a fantastic job getting me ready to go solo. My experience with my dispatchers? A Always helpful and understood what we new drivers were experiencing, both relatingbto the task at hand and being "counselors." Haha.

The one absolutely worst thing going with CFI? THE God awful experiences I had on the Grey Dog (Greyhound Bus) traveling roundtrip to Missouri from Ohio. Twice! Absolute joke.

Good luck in your journey.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Robin Hood's Comment
member avatar

Old school, I’ve narrowed it down to either TLD Logistics, or Stevens still. Stevens’s recruiter hasn’t exactly been a batch of roses to me, and where they don’t guarantee hire until I’m already in Texas, and I’m dropping everything into this. I’ve thought about driving and being solo, on my own schedule, I don’t fear it. TLD so far seems safer in the sense the recruiter has been more than polite, and has assured me that as long as I pass my cdl road test I’m hired, no extra interviews, no hidden bs, she told me to do this I do have to drive to Knoxville everyday, and for that I kinda worry cause that’s 2080 miles for my ol Mazda, which won’t be drove much after. TLD also will have me home every 2-3 weeks instead of stevens, and even though I’m not from crossville, my younger working history is spotty because I was a stupid child. So I’ve kinda made this retirement community my home, and the fact TLD is in town and offers parking 4 miles from my apartment? A clinic down the road? That’s free? Plus the fact the recruiter answers the phone and isn’t rude when I ask questions is huge to me. Which I’m 22 and I’m a hermit, so in truth I’ll stay out as much as possible. Furthermore, my store manager, district manager, and store owner offered to assist in food, gas, and if need be cause blue tears up, transportation. They all prefer TLD because either, they want me in crossville, or know people who drive for them and know how they treat their employees. I’m southern to my core, and people.. have issues with my dialect. Don’t think Appalachian, think banjo boy off deliverance, or turtle man. I lived in West Virginia for a spell and no one understood me lol. So going to a big Dallas truck orientation and being nervous and anxious as a possum in headlights, I’d freak. But TLD definitely seems my better bet. TLD is just more solid I guess? But I do appreciate your advice and especially the information on what all is in orientation, that part was scaring me. But the in a truck with a stranger, as I’ve thought on it, makes me ease up a bit because I’m a pretty likable person so I’m just worried about a wrong company choice at this point.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Robin Hood's Comment
member avatar

Orian:

Did you confirm with your apartment management that you will be allowed to park a Semi-tractor at your apartment? That is highly unusual for one to allow that.

It’s a private owned, and actually the way we’re situated it’s 6 apartments to 2 buildings with plenty of space. Now a trailer? That there’s honestly my only issue

You stated you were not sure about Steven's pet policy. If you have a pet you want bring with you when solo, you had better find out for certain what bvb their policy is.

After 90 days from my college recruiter, But TLD logistics sounds safer and more secure for me, and I can have PUPPIES!! but according to the recruiter for TLD apparently they have a driver who has goldfish he keeps with him so...

I trained with CFI and was OTR only a short time before going "local" for the company I currently drive for. I thought everything about CFI w as good as a new driver could ask for.

The responses I received from them was Awesome, polite, informative and courteous. I’m just scared to pay to get my permit cause I have to get a physical and my cash is currently as boxed up as a snappers shell so I’ve been studying cash routes.

Their paid training? A+ My experience with my trainer? A+ "Mike" did a fantastic job getting me ready to go solo. My experience with my dispatchers? A Always helpful and understood what we new drivers were experiencing, both relatingbto the task at hand and being "counselors." Haha.

The one absolutely worst thing going with CFI? THE God awful experiences I had on the Grey Dog (Greyhound Bus) traveling roundtrip to Missouri from Ohio. Twice! Absolute joke.

I dread that if I go with Stevens lol

Good luck in your journey.

And I thank you don!

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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