Do I need sea service and training to get my entry level USCG license?

Entry level USCG licenses like OS, Wiper, and Food Handler don't require sea service or training. Just a valid TWIC and medical form.

2 mins read・Jan 25, 2023
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Nope. If you're working on your entry level MMC which is OS, Wiper and Food Handler you don't need either.

The entry level MMC always gives you Ordinary Seaman (OS - Deck Department), Wiper (Engine Department) and Food Handler (Cook).

To get your entry level MMC you only need to provide the following:

A Valid TWIC

A valid Medical (CG-719K or CG-719K/E is accepted)

The CG-719K/E is only for entry level mariners and is a shorter form. If you use this you will need to do another physical if you want to move up to Able Seaman, QMED, Mate or Master.

A DOT 5 Panel Drug Test from the last 185 days

Here's in depth instructions

Verification of your identity

To receive an entry level MMC you can either provided proof that you are a US citizen, or provide documents that allow you to work.

The options as a US citizen are any one of the following: certified copy of birth certificate; U.S. Passport; Certificate of Citizenship issued by U.S.; Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S.; Merchant mariner's document from the Coast Guard after Feb 3, 2003 that shows you are a citizen.

If you are not a US citizen, you need one of the following; Permanent resident card (form I-551); a declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States issued by a naturalization court; or a certificate issued by the consular representative of the country of which the alien is a citizen or subject.

A notarized Merchant Mariner Oath

In this step, you will need to take your Merchant Mariner Oath typically in front of a Notary. Click on the link below for a sample oath form provided by the USCG. It says sample on it. But it works great, and you can use it as your oath form.

Receipt from

This is where approximately 1/3 of the mistakes were made with USCG License applications in 2021. You can either pay fees on your own and upload them to MM-SEAS; or the easier way is to have MM-SEAS automatically take care of paying your fees on your behalf.

A completed CG-719B (MMC Application Form)

You can check the box and you're good to go. If you do have sea service letters or have taken USCG approved training make sure to add them into the site.

We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!

MM-SEAS is free to use on your own and if you need some more personalized help you can upgrade to MM-SEAS Pro inside of the site.

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 $349 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.

Need to renew, upgrade or get your first USCG license? We're here to help.

No matter if it is your first MMC, your second Upgrade or your fifth Renewal USCG Licensing is easy with MM-SEAS.
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About the author

Nate Gilman
Nate Gilman

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.

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