Experience and service on military or foreign vessels is creditable towards eligibility for a U.S. Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC). Such service is subject to evaluation by the Coast Guard to determine that it is a fair and reasonable equivalent to service acquired on merchant vessels of the United States, with respect to grade, tonnage, horsepower, waters, and operating conditions.
Satisfactory evidence of U.S. military service means a Transcript of Military Sea Service or certified History of Assignments (a DD-214 is not sufficient evidence of sea service).
If you do not already have proof of military sea service, you must Request your Military Records (official Transcript of Military Sea Service).
Please make sure you include your Military Sea Service documentation in your application to avoid in delaying your request for a credential.
Satisfactory evidence of foreign sea service must meet the requirements for proof of service for qualified ratings noted in section I.C. above. If the documentation is not in English, then a certified translation should be included.
You must be at least 16 years of age before obtaining a Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC). If you are between the age of 16 and 18, then you must present a notarized statement of consent from a parent or legal guardian providing written permission for you to go to sea.
When submitting your application package for evaluation, you must have a TWIC card or copy of the receipt that you have applied for a TWIC card from TSA. Please visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website.
You may still be considered for an MMC, but you must provide documentation that you are a permanent resident in possession of an Alien Registration Card issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In addition, you must also submit proof of foreign citizenship. Documentation that is not in English must include a notarized translation.
If you are applying for an original MMC, then you must establish proof of having a Social Security Number (SSN). Acceptable proof is a Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). When submitting your application package for evaluation, you must submit a copy of your card. You must present the original card prior to issuance of an MMC. Your card must bear the same name appearing on your proof of citizenship and your application. If you have lost your card, you must apply for a duplicate card from the SSA. If you present a duplicate card or letter from the SSA, it must have your SSN on it. Plastic, metal or laminated cards are not acceptable.
Medical Downloads and Forms:
The table below lists when a physical examination is required for renewal:
|Credential to be renewed:||Physical examination required?|
|Certificate of Registry1:||No1|
|Merchant Mariner’s Credential (with qualified rating other than Lifeboatman):||Yes|
|Merchant Mariner’s Credential (with Lifeboatman or without qualified rating)1:||No1|
Note:1. If you are renewing a Certificate of Registry, Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC) with Lifeboatman, or MMC without qualified ratings and you plan to serve on a seagoing vessel beyond the boundary lines, then you need to provide proof of physical agility, strength, and flexibility. For more information, see Section D below.
If you are renewing a License or a Merchant Mariner’s Credential with a qualified rating other than Lifeboatman (LBMAN), then you must submit an original physical examination report ( Form CG-719K) completed by a U.S. Licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner within one year of the application. This report must certify that you are in good health and have no physical impairment or medical condition which would render you incompetent to perform the ordinary duties allowed by your credential. Please ensure this form has been completed entirely. Delays in approving applications are frequently the result of incomplete physical examination reports. For example, if you are taking any medications prescribed by your physician, then your physician must have all of the medications disclosed in block 15 of the form with a statement regarding whether or not you experience any side effects from them. If side effects are experienced, they must be listed. If no side effects are experienced, then a statement to that effect must be included.
If you are renewing a Certificate of Registry, Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC) with Lifeboatman, or MMC without qualified ratings, you are not required to submit a physical examination report (Form CG-719K). However, if you plan to work on seagoing vessels beyond the boundary lines, you will have to submit documentation from a U.S. licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner certifying that you have the agility, strength, and flexibility to:
Not meeting the vision, hearing, or general physical condition required for renewal does not automatically cause you to be denied. The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard may consider you for a physical waiver if extenuating circumstances warrant special consideration. The REC reviewing your application may request that your physician provide additional information to support a waiver in such cases.
"Dangerous drugs" - under the Department of Transportation rules are: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), and amphetamines. Proof that you are free of dangerous drugs is required with your renewal application. Only a screening that tests for the five dangerous drugs is accepted. All tests must be conducted in accordance with "Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug Testing Programs" in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 40 and done by laboratories certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. All qualifying random and periodic drug-testing programs must also meet these requirements.
A listing of approved laboratories is also available online at www.drugfreeworkplace.gov. When the main page comes on screen click on "Drug Testing" and then click on "Certified Labs". By contacting one of these labs they will direct you to the collection facility that is nearest to your location
Acceptable proof of meeting the drug testing requirements can be any one of the following:
You must document all convictions including DUI/DWI infractions, regardless of how old, regardless of the court in which convicted and regardless of whether or not the conviction has been expunged. Please be ready to submit documentation of any offenses in the form of court records, copies of legal proceedings, or evidence of rehabilitation upon request.
All MMCs with endorsements, Licenses, and Radio endorsements require completion of a written examination. These examinations are administered at your nearest REC. You can connect to the Examination questions link on the Information Center page for specific examination structure, questions, and passing scores. An examination is not required for unqualified (entry level) ratings (i.e., OS, WI, SD) or CORs. Deck Exam Questions / Engineering Exam Questions
The Coast Guard does not provide study materials for your examination. For suggestions on where to find some study materials, click on the Examination questions link above.
You must agree to a check of the NDR for offenses in connection with your operation of a motor vehicle.
Your application may be disapproved if information from the NDR check leads the Coast Guard to determine that you cannot be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of holding a U.S. Merchant Mariner document or credential.
You must complete an Application (Form CG-719B) and all necessary paperwork to support meeting qualification requirements. Read all instructions thoroughly on filling out the application and other forms prior to submitting an application package to your nearest REC. Please note that an application is ONLY VALID FOR ONE YEAR after approval by an REC. Connect here to the Forms and Application page.
The REC that reviews your application package will notify you in writing on the status of your application, including whether you have been approved or additional information is required. If you are approved, you will receive the renewed credential as part of your approval. The time to complete the review of each application varies greatly depending on the complexity. Please feel free to contact your local REC any time after submitting your application. However, it is recommended that you allow sufficient time for receipt and processing of your application before contacting the local REC.