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  • Nate Gilman

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

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.


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 (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/nmc/checklist) 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 (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/portals/9/NMC/pdfs/courses/courses.pdf). 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? Take First Aid and CPR Training if Required!

If you are working to obtain or upgrade a domestic officer endorsement such as OUPV, Mate or Master of any tonnage, Chief Mate, Licensed Engineer, Chief Engineer or DDE of any horsepower, you will need to provide documentation of First Aid training within a year prior to the day you submit your application as well as a valid CPR card or proof of USCG Approved CPR training. If you are working on any non-licensed credential or any STCW credential you do not need to provide CPR training. If you already hold a valid STCW Basic Training, it takes care of this requirement.


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 (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/nmc/medical_certificate/). 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 medaip@uscg.mil.


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 (https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/twic) 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

(https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/workflows?servicecode=111111&service=require

d-doc) 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 (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/NMC/pdfs/twic/TWIC_exemption_statement.pdf) 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 (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/NMC/pdfs/forms/CG_719P.pdf) 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 (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/nmc/drug_testing/) 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 (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/nmc/drug_testing/) in your letter.



6. Take your Merchant Mariner Oath Again


In this step, you will need to take your Merchant Mariner Oath typically in front of a Notary. Your oath may be administered by any Coast Guard-designated individual or any person legally permitted to administer oaths (This means any notary can help you out!) in the jurisdiction where the person taking the oath resides.


Make sure the notary witnesses you reciting your oath and then signs and stamps your oath form.


The oath form provided by the USCG says sample on it. But, it works great and you can use it as your oath form. (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/NMC/pdfs/forms/Merchant_Mariner_Oath.pdf)


You can also have the notary sign the bottom portion of Part 5. Signature in Section IV: Mariner’s Consent/Certification of the Application For Merchant Mariner Credential Form (CG-719B). Make sure the notary witnesses you reciting your oath and then signs and stamps after their signature on the form.


7. 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 Pay.gov. First, you need to use the table as set forth in 46 CFR 10.219 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/46/10.219) 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 Pay.gov (https://www.pay.gov/public/form/start/4795779/). 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, Pay.gov 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 Pay.gov fees are included in the $299 price for a Perfect MM-SEAS application. You are welcome to figure out pay.gov 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!


8. 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 (https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/NMC/pdfs/forms/CG_719B.pdf). 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 an easy to use software that guide you through this process so you can stop

worrying about reinstating your license and have more time to focus on the things you

enjoy in life.


This is a complicated situation and we recommend joining us in our Office Hours or 1 on 1's so we can answer questions live with screen sharing to make both of our lives easier.


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


Pro MM-SEAS members get access to our daily live master classes and 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 mmseas.com under License Guidance.

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