I'm upgrading my USCG License, do I need to send in previously submitted sea service?

Find out if you need to resubmit old sea service when upgrading your USCG License. Get tips for a hassle-free application process.

2 mins read・Jun 19, 2023
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Let's say you already hold a USCG License or Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) and you have already submitted sea service to qualify for your original endorsements and/or renewal(s) on that MMC. This service likely counts towards your upgrade. You know this sea service was accepted by your evaluator, and it must be on file, right?

The good news is that the National Maritime Center keeps your file, but unfortunately, it is stored offsite and is not quickly accessible for your evaluator when it comes time to include it in the assessment of qualifications for your upgrade.

Your file is kept at the National Maritime Center (Martinsburg, VA) for less than 1 year. After that, it gets forwarded to the Federal Records Center (Washington, DC), so it's likely your original and/or renewal file is in storage offsite.

For upgrade applications, the National Maritime Center (NMC) advises that you submit all of the sea service letters/forms that will qualify you for the upgrade when you submit your application. This includes the sea service you used for your original and/or renewal.

If you don't have the sea service letters/forms you used for your renewal available, your evaluator can request your legacy file, however it takes 30-45 days for the file to arrive at the NMC (they don't request your file until your application gets all the way to the evaluator's desk).

The best practice is to keep your sea service letters and forms on hand in preparation for eventually upgrading your credential. Using MM-SEAS means that your sea service letters and forms are stored forever with us, so you are ready to submit that upgrade without searching around for paperwork you already submitted!

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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Always Free | $349 if you file with us (Includes fees)

About the author

Sarah Hirsch
Sarah Hirsch

Sarah Hirsch is USCG Licensed Captain

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