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  • Writer's pictureSam Mckay

Should I get an OUPV or a Master’s License?

It depends on how many people you plan on carrying, and how far offshore you go.

What are the some of the differences?


An OUPV license allows you to carry up to 6 paying passengers, on an uninspected vessel.

A Master's license does not have any restrictions on number of passengers onboard, and allows operation of inspected or uninspected vessels.


The maximum vessel tonnage under an OUPV license is 100 GRT. This GRT limit does not change.

A Master's license allows you to operate vessels up to the GRT limit listed on your license. With additional Sea Days this limit can be increased when you renew your license.

Distance off shore

An OUPV is limited to the waters described in the license; i.e. OUPV Inland can operate on Inland waters, similarly for OUPV Great Lakes on the Great Lakes. An OUPV NC can operate on waters out to 100 nautical miles offshore.

A Master's License on Inland or Great Lakes allows for operation of vessels within the prescribed waters (Inland, Great Lakes). A Near Coastal Master's license allows for operation offshore. There is no 100 nautical miles offshore restriction.

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?
We're here to help.

Always Free | $299 if you file with us

(Includes fees)

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