Yes, it's encouraged. You can renew up to 8 months before your MMC is going to expire with zero penalty.
When you renew within the 8 month window, the Coast Guard will post-date your new license. This means that the issue date of the new MMC will be the day following the date of expiration of the current MMC, but no more than 8 months in the future.
The new credential will not be valid until the issue date listed on the new MMC. Mariners must continue to carry their current credential until that date.
Mariners are required to return expired or otherwise invalid credentials to the NMC. When the current credential expires, it should be mailed to the NMC.
Mariners may choose to have the new MMC issued immediately. This will result in the new MMC being dated when issued instead of post-dated for the day after the current MMC expires. This option may be necessary for mariners who's company does not allow them to sail under an MMC that is expiring soon.
We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!
No matter what, when you are ready to submit your application, you can choose to have the MM-SEAS staff create a perfect application, handle the USCG application fees and work with the USCG on your behalf to resolve any issues for a flat fee of $299 or you can choose to submit on your own.
Pro MM-SEAS members get access to unlimited live 1 on 1 calls with one of our USCG Licensing Specialists. We've found that answering questions live with screen sharing in a video call makes both of our lives easier. Pro MM-SEAS members can access these features inside of MM-SEAS under License Guidance.
Nate has over 15 years of professional maritime experience and has hawsepiped his way to a 3rd Mate Unlimited Endorsement with full STCW compliance. He is proud veteran of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.