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The checklists are updated based upon changes to the federal law and US Coast Guard policies.  Links to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and Policies will help you to understand the requirements for our Merchant Mariner Credentialing Program.

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Below are the checklists which may be used to help determine professional qualifications needed for various Ratings and Officer Endorsements.  Each checklist covers the following general and professional requirements:

  • TWIC
  • Age
  • Drug Testing
  • Fees
  • Sea Service
  • Examination

Please select a checklist for the applied for credential.


  • Deck Officers
  • Deck Ratings
  • Engine Officers
  • Engine Ratings
  • Renewal/Entry/Duplicate

National Officer Endorsements (licensed) for Deck


STCW Officer Endorsements (licensed) for Deck

Captains, mates, operators and pilots supervise ship operations on domestic waterways and the high seas. The following are officer endorsements in the deck department:

  • Master means the officer having command of a vessel.
  • Mate means a qualified officer in the deck department other than the master.
  • Operator means an individual qualified to operate certain uninspected vessels.
  • First Class Pilot accompanies vessels while they enter or leave port to ensure safe navigation of entrance and departure.

National Ratings (unlicensed) for Deck


STCW Ratings (unlicensed) for Deck

Able seamen and ordinary seamen operate the vessel and its deck equipment under officer supervision. On tankers, mariners are designated to hook up hoses, operate pumps, and clean tanks. The following are ratings in the deck department:

  • Ordinary Seaman means an “entry-level” unlicensed member of the deck department.
  • Able Seaman means qualified member of the deck department that may work as a watchstander and/or day worker.
  • Tankerman means a qualified member of the deck department trained to assist or supervise the transfer of liquid cargo.
  • Lifeboatman means a member of the crew qualified to take charge of a lifeboat or a life raft.

National Officer Endorsements (licensed) for Engine Department


STCW Officer Endorsements (licensed) for Engine Department

Ship's engineers operate, maintain, and repair engines, boilers, generators, pumps, and other machinery.  The following are officer endorsements in the engine department:

  • Engineer means a qualified office in the engine department.
  • Chief Engineer means any person responsible for the mechanical propulsion of a vessel.
  • Assistant Engineer means a qualified office in the engine department.
  • Designated Duty Engineer means a qualified engineer, who may be the sole engineer on vessels with a periodically unattended engine room.

National Ratings (unlicensed) for Engine Department


STCW Ratings (unlicensed) for Engine Department

Qualified members of the engine department (QMEDs), maintain the vessel in proper running order in the engine spaces below decks, under the direction of engineering officers. Wipers are the entry-level workers in the engine room. They clean and paint the engine room and its equipment and assist in maintenance and repair work. The following are ratings in the engine department:

  • Wiper means an “entry-level” unlicensed member of the engine department.
  • QMED (Oiler, Junior Engineer, Fireman/Watertender, Jr. Engineer, Deck Engine Mechanic, Engineman, Pumpman, Electrician, Machinist, Refrigeration Engineer) means qualified member of the engine department that may work as a watchstander and/or day worker.

Duplication, Renewal, STCW Renewal, and Entry Level


A credential may be renewed at any time during its validity and for one year after expiration. NOTE: Whenever an applicant applied for "renewal" of an endorsement as deck officer, engineer officer, or qualified rating more than 12 months after expiration, instead of meeting the requirements of 46 CFR 10.227 (d) (8), the applicant must demonstrate continued professional knowledge by completing a course or by passing the complete examination.

Upon request and without examination, a mariner may be issued a duplicate credential after submitting an application with an affidavit describing the circumstances of the loss. The duplicate issued will have the same wording, authority, and expiration date as the lost credential.

An applicant must apply as an original MMC if the MMC sought is the first credential issued to the applicant after their previous credential has expired beyond the grace period (one year past the expiration date of MMC) and they do not hold a Document of Continuity.

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