Marine Transportation Security Clearance

The Marine Transportation Security Clearance Program (MTSCP) is a federal requirement for drivers and other workers who have to enter a restricted clearance area at a marine port (also referred to as a "Restricted Area 2" or R2. An R2 is the area adjacent to a cruise ship designated for the loading or unloading of cargo and ships' stores). MTSCP came into effect December 15, 2007. Drivers who need access to these areas must have a Port Pass along with either a valid Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card, a YVR (Vancouver Interntional Airport) clearance OR pass a transportation security clearance (TSC) assessment that includes providing background information.

Who needs to apply?

Under the MTSCP, the federal government carries out security assessments on different types of workers who need access to marine facilities and ports. Commercial vehicle drivers, including bus drivers, who must enter Ballantyne Pier and Canada Place (lower level) cruise ship terminal docks need to apply for security clearance if they do not already have a FAST card or YVR clearance.

Commercial drivers with FAST cards can enter an R2 as long as they agree to abide by the procedures and requirements identified by the operator of the marine facility or port administration. Other than a Port Pass, they do not require additional security clearance.

Commercial drivers with a YVR clearance can have BCTA request their clearance information be transferred to their Port Pass.  Transfers can take up to one week.

BCTA's role

The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) does not grant security clearance. This is a federal program overseen by Transport Canada. BCTA does, however, have signing authority to act as the sponsor for drivers.

Information for companies

  1. To apply for security clearance, drivers must first have a Port Pass.

    Click here for information on Port Passes and instructions for companies.

  2. Ensure that your drivers have applied for security clearance well before they need to enter either the Ballantyne or Canada Place cruise ship terminals.

    For your convenience, BCTA has created a handout explaining the application process for you to give to your drivers.

Information for drivers

All drivers who do not have a FAST card and need access to the Ballantyne and Canada Place (lower level) cruise ship terminals must apply for security clearance. Drivers are personally responsible for completing TSC applications and providing the required documentation.

How do I apply?

To start your application process click here.  Once you have completed your on-line application form print a hard copy so you can obtain a sponsoring signature from the BCTA office.

As a reminder, all applicants must utilize the interactive on-line application form and to electronically submit the completed form via the web. The applicant must still obtain the required signatures from BCTA and visit the Westguard Security for processing.

Get a sponsoring signature at BCTA

The BCTA office is at 100 - 20111 93A Avenue in Langley. Click here for directions.

Please note the following before you come:

  1. You need a Port Pass to apply for the TSC security clearance. If you do not have one, you can apply for one at the same time by bringing a completed Port Pass application form and required identification (ID) with you. For more information and the Port Pass application form, click here.
     
  2. BCTA will fill out Part A of the TSC application form for you during Port Pass application hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. No appointment is necessary.

Submit your TSC application

Westguard Security is located at 999 Canada Place, Cruise Terminal Level (Port Cochere), Vancouver, BC. Make an appointment by calling 604-665-9661, by email MTSC_PortPass@portmetrovancouver.com or online at pmv.simplybook.me

  1. Take a copy of your completed on-line application form with you.

  2. Take the following original documents:
    • Birth certificate (if born in Canada) OR Landed Immigrant/Permanent Resident/Citizenship document (if born outside of Canada)
    • Driver's license
    • Passport (if you have one, valid or within one year of expiry)

The security officer will examine the originals, make copies and return the originals to you.   A photograph and fingerprints are required. 

When will I receive TSC?

BCTA cannot give estimates for the length of time the government will take to process your application. The sooner you apply the more likely you are to have security clearance when you need it.

BCTA will notify you once you are granted security clearance. You must return to the BCTA office to receive a new face for your Port Pass that includes a TSC logo, your eye colour and height. Our representative will attach the face to your Port Pass at the BCTA office.

Is there a fee?

Transport Canada does not charge for a background check. Applying at the BCTA office is free for members. There is a $15 administration fee for non-members, but you do not pay this fee until you receive security clearance and come in to the BCTA office to have your new Port Pass face attached to your card. Payment is by cash or credit card only; no invoices and no prepayment.

Expiry dates

TSC is valid for 5 years and ideally should be linked to your Port Pass expiry date. If your Port Pass is close to expiry, BCTA strongly encourages you to renew your Port Pass at the same time that you apply for security clearance, to avoid multiple trips to the BCTA office each time you need to update either your Port Pass or TSC status.

How do I renew?

Transport Canada will accept TSC renewal application three months before the expiry date. The renewal process is the same as that for a first-time applicant:

  • Your Port Pass must be valid.
  • Fill out Transport Canada's on-line TSC application.  To start your application process click here.  Remember to print a hard copy.
  • Visit the BCTA office in Langley to have the application signed by a BCTA representative.
  • Submit the completed application by appointment only to Westguard Security , located at 999 Canada Place, Cruise Terminal Level (Port Cochere), Vancouver, BC. Make an appointment by calling 604-665-9661, by email MTSC_PortPass@portmetrovancouver.com or online at pmv.simplybook.me
  • Return to the BCTA office to have your Port Pass updated once you have been notified that your clearance has been approved.

Transport Canada does not charge for a background check. Applying at the BCTA office is free for members. There is a $15 administration fee for non-members, but you do not pay this fee until you receive security clearance and come in to the BCTA office to have your new Port Pass face attached to your card. Payment is by cash or credit card only; no invoices and no prepayment.

Questions regarding your TSC expiry date or the renewal process should be directed to BCTA's Sharon Hansen at 604-888-5319.

Where can I get more information?

The Transport Canada website provides a detailed Information Package on the entire process, including the type of information collected, how Transport Canada uses it for background checks and any privacy concerns you may have.

What if my application is refused?

Transport Canada will notify you directly if they have refused your application and why. You may apply to have this decision reconsidered through Transport Canada's Office of Reconsideration. This office will arrange for an independent review and assessment of your application and any supporting comments that you wish to provide. For more information and the necessary forms, click here.