Here is the policy letter That I read awhile ago.
Toward the end, it talks about who would/could be exempt from having to have a TWIC. Basically, licenses under certain tonnage (100) and vessels that do not require a security plan.
After a closer read, if it's a 1st license..you still need to go and apply for a TWIC, in order to have the background checks done and pay. But those exceptions don't actually have to obtain the card.
So, at the end of the day..you might as well get it. Until they figure out the final process.
I will still renew mine when it expires.