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  • Nate Gilman

How to Read Your USCG License

Here is a guide for how to read your new merchant mariner credential.

First Page

The first page contains mostly your personal information. The part you are not used to seeing is your reference number (red oval in the image below) located near the top right corner of the page. This number is 7 digits long and is how the USCG identifies your records. It is also listed in the bottom left corner of each page in the credential.

Domestic Pages

These pages are split into 2 columns. One is titled CAPACITY, and the other is LIMITATIONS APPLYING (IF ANY). The Capacity column lists the endorsement that you are qualified to work under.

The Limitations column lists any restrictions with the endorsement and the specifics of the scope of the endorsement. In the example below the mariner is allowed to work as a Master on Vessels less than 200 GRT in Near Coastal waters. The "Vessels Including Auxiliary Sail" means that this mariner is qualified for sailing vessels in addition to motor vessels. The Near Coastal phrase indicates mariner cannot operate the vessel on waters more than 200 NM offshore under this license; closer than 200 NM, Inland waters, or Great Lakes are all okay.

For the Third Mate Capacity, the limitations are different from the Master Capacity. The tonnage is Unlimited; sail vessels are not included; and the mariner can act as Third Mate on Ocean waters (i.e. greater than 200 NM offshore). In other words, this mariner has different limitations on vessel size and the operating route depending on whether they're acting as a Master or a Third Mate.

STCW Pages

These pages are split into 2 columns, just like the Domestic Pages. STCW endorsements are listed under the Capacity column.

Some examples are: Basic Training, Advanced Firefighting

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

We do prefer to answer questions live with screen sharing to make both of our lives easier.

We hold free live virtual office hours Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 - 5:30 pm PT inside of under License Guidance and then Daily Office Hours.

Pro MM-SEAS members get access to our daily live office hours Monday thru Friday from 5:00 - 5:30 pm PT. You also get access to unlimited live 1 on 1 calls with one of our USCG Licensing Specialists. Pro MM-SEAS members can access these features inside of under License Guidance.


Need to renew, upgrade or get your first USCG license?
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