My USCG License has been expired for over 1 year. What do I do to get it back?

Learn the necessary steps and documentation required to renew a USCG license that has been expired for more than a year.

7 mins read・Apr 01, 2022
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When you let your USCG License fully expire you're in a blend of getting a complete new one again and renewing.

Getting your Domestic Endorsements reinstated is fairly straightforward. STCW is a completely different story and you are starting from the lowest STCW again. If you only held a domestic USCG license such as OUPV, 100 ton master or Able Seaman you are going to need to follow these 8 steps.

If you also held STCW endorsements we will talk about what you also need to do at the end.

1. Sea Service

If you still have your old expired Merchant Mariner Credential you can include it as part of your application in lieu of sea service documentation. Recency (90 days in the past 3 years) is not required for reinstating an expired credential (46 CFR 10.227(i)).

2. Training

Course in Lieu of Test and Possible Required Training

You will either need to either take another course in lieu of test or take tests at the REC again for everything you used to hold. Use the checklists ( on the USCG National Maritime Center website to decipher what USCG Approved Courses you need to take again for each License and Endorsement.

Once you know what courses you need to take, you need to download the USCG Approved Course list ( Search the document using CRTL+F to find the course you need in a location that works for you.

  • Course in Lieu of Test: These courses allow you to learn from instructors for lower level licenses and then take the test right on their premises instead of testing at the REC. Examples are a 100GRT Master Course, OUPV and an Able Seaman Course. These course certificates must be used within one year of the issued date.
  • Required Training: Numerous USCG licenses and Endorsements require some portion of training as part of the requirements for obtaining the License and Endorsement. Examples are an Advanced Fire Fighting Course, a Radar Observer Course or a ECDIS Course. These course certificates must be used within five years of the issued date.

Is First Aid and CPR Required to reinstate my expired USCG license?

No. If you've already met this requirement before you are all set.

3. A Valid Medical Certificate

You need a valid medical certificate for the type of endorsement you are requesting. It must either be an unexpired medical certificate or submit a medical certificate application. Getting your medical certificate is easy. Print off a CG-719K form from the USCG NMC Medical website (

Schedule your medical exam with a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner who is licensed in the US or US Territory. Bring the printed form CG-719K with you to your medical exam appointment and have your medical provider complete and sign the form.

Make sure that you also sign the form on Page 9, Section X: Applicant Signature. It’s one of the most common mistakes we see with CG719Ks!

After your exam, email the completed CG-719K form as one large 10 page pdf directly to

Make sure to include your full name in the subject line of your email to medical. We always strongly suggest this format: Last, First. Mine would be: Gilman, Nate.

4. A Valid TWIC or TWIC Exemption Memo if Acceptable

If you need a TWIC for the Vessels you want to work on

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issues Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). Follow these three steps to get your first TWIC.

Step 1: Go to the TWIC for Industry website ( and fill out the online application.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment on the TWIC for Industry website when your application is complete.

Step 3: Make sure you bring the right documents to your appointment! Use the

Universal Enroll Documents Tool

( to use to verify which identification documentation you need to bring with

you to your appointment!

If you Do Not need a TWIC for the Vessels you want to work on

If you are only working on vessels without a security plan or that are not inspected by the USCG you can reinstate your MMC without renewing your TWIC as long as you are working on very specific vessels. This is not related to the type of endorsement held (officer or unlicensed) and instead dependent on the specific vessels a mariner is employed on. In addition, Law Enforcement Officers do not need a TWIC as long as they are only using their license for Law Enforcement.

This only applies to the following types of vessels:

  • Uninspected passenger vessels less than 100 GRT and you can never carry more than 6 passengers. (Example OUPV 6 PAX)
  • Uninspected passenger vessels greater than 100 GRT and you can never carry more than 12 passengers. (Example 200 GRT Master running a Yacht)
  • Vessels inspected under subchapter T that are not required to have a security plan
  • Towing vessels that are not involved in towing barges
  • Towing vessels that are only involved in fleeting, docking, or ship assist

To renew/upgrade your USCG License without a TWIC, you will need a memo ( as part of your renewal/upgrade application which states why you qualify to not have a valid TWIC as well as providing the required additional information required to run a “name-based” background check on you before renewing your MMC.

You typically need your full name, social security number, and date of birth. Your past TWIC picture will be used for your new License.

5. A Negative Drug Test

For all reinstatement applications, you’ll need evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs. You may also use a letter from a marine employer attesting to participation in a random drug testing program, or a letter attesting to pre-employment drug testing from your employer instead of a drug test.

There are three options to meet this requirement. You only need to fulfill one of the options and it must be dated within 185 of your application being submitted.

Option One: Provide the results of a DOT 5 Panel Urine Test for Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, Phencyclidine, and Amphetamines. Make your life easier by bringing the CG-719P Periodic Drug Testing Form ( with you to the clinic with a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) approved through AAMRO or MROCC.

Make sure your test states Negative and is signed by the Medical Review Officer (MRO). The USCG will not accept a Positive Result, a Negative - Dilute Result or a Drug Test Document that is not signed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO)

Option Two: Provide a letter on marine employer stationary or on command letterhead attesting to participation in random drug testing program. You must include the exact text from the Overview of Drug Test Requirements Option Two on the USCG website ( in your letter. Drug testing letters from a Union will not be accepted by the NMC.

If you are part of a Drug Testing Consortium they can provide you a Drug Test Letter. You will need to reach out to your Drug Testing Consortium and ask for a Drug Test Letter to use on your upcoming USCG License Application.

Option Three: Provide a letter on marine employer stationary attesting to pre-employment drug testing. You must include the exact text from the Overview of Drug Test Requirements Option Three on the USCG website ( in your letter.

6. Your Federal USCG Fees

A reinstatement is the same for federal fees as a renewal. In this step you will calculate your reinstatement/renewal MMC fees and pay for your reinstatement of your MMC on First, you need to use the table as set forth in 46 CFR 10.219 ( to calculate the appropriate fees for reinstatement (look up renewals) of your MMC.

Next, go to the USCG Merchant Mariner User Fee Payment page on ( Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Continue to Form” button. Fill out the form with your personal details. At the bottom of the first section, “Applicant/Mariner Details,” you will need to choose a Regional Exam Center (REC). Choose the REC that is closest to your home address.

The “User Fee Information” section will populate as you select your credential category, endorsement, and credential fees. When you are ready, click “Continue” and pay with a credit card. After payment, will automatically email you a receipt. Keep this email receipt and submit it with your original application as proof of payment.

If MM-SEAS is creating a Perfect MM-SEAS application for you all of your fees are included in the $349 price for a Perfect MM-SEAS application. You are welcome to figure out on your own and we drop the MM-SEAS Perfect Application price down to $199 if you paid the right fees. If you paid the wrong amount it will be full price plus any extra fees we have to pay on your behalf!

7. Fill Out the CG-719B Application Form

You must ask for every single endorsement that you want to reinstate. If you do not put it in writing as part of your original application, the USCG does not typically look for additional endorsements you are qualified for.

First, fill out the CG-719B form ( Make sure you add all of your requested endorsements in the Description of Endorsements Desired Box in Section II.

The Description of Endorsements Desired Box on the form is small and you might not have room to fit all of your requested endorsements in the box. If you can’t fit everything in the box, attach a memo to the form with every single endorsement you are requesting and outlining why you are qualified for them.

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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