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  • Nate Gilman

Three Resolutions to Stay on top of Your MMC Paperwork in the New Year

Updated: Sep 12

The MM-SEAS team is seeing mariners renew and upgrade their licenses a lot faster when they have all of their paperwork in order. Accurately tracking your sea service and using the right words in sea service documentation all are key to an easy renewal process.


Here are our three top tips for a fast U.S. Coast Guard License renewal in 2022


1. Gather Your Sea Service Documents From the Last Year


It’s time to make sure you have sea service letters from every boat you worked on in 2021. Go track down every CG-719S (Small Vessel Sea Service form), sea service letter on company letterhead, certificate of discharge and active duty/ reserve documents (USCG TOSS, Army TOSS, NOAA TOSS, USCG AOPS) of sea service you have earned.


Use something to count your creditable sea days up. A notebook, excel, google sheets. The goal is to know where you sit so you can plan for upgrades as well as which training you might need to renew your MMC in the future.


2. Make Sure Your Sea Service Documentation has the Required Verbiage for STCW, Radar Observer, Master of Towing and Mate (Pilot) of Towing Endorsements


If you also hold any STCW, Radar Observer, Master of Towing or Mate (Pilot) of Towing endorsements you need to make sure that your sea service documentation has the right words on it.


This is really important because you won’t get credit for renewing these endorsements, if these exact words aren’t on your sea service documentation.


The idea is for the USCG to verify that your “service includes ongoing participation in training and drills relevant to Basic Training” for STCW endorsements as well as Master of Towing and Mate (Pilot) of Towing. You also want to get credit if you “carried out Bridge Watch duties in a position that routinely uses radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes” if you hold a Radar endorsement.


Sea Service Letter on Company Letterhead

  • If you hold any STCW Endorsement, Master of Towing or Mate (Pilot) of Towing: You get credit towards renewal only if your letter states verbatim, “VESSEL NAME is required to conduct regular fire, emergency, and abandon ship drills. YOUR NAME’s service includes ongoing participation in training and drills relevant to Basic Training.”


  • If you hold Radar Observer: You get credit towards renewal only if you are serving as a Master, Mate, Operator or AB and your letter must state verbatim, “YOUR NAME carried out Bridge Watch duties in a position that routinely uses radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes.”


You have two options if you are missing these exact statements on your sea service letter. Either have the company create a new sea service letter with the right verbiage or you can have them create a separate memo with exact dates listed on your sea service letter that has the correct verbiage. If you do not have this exact verbiage your sea time is not counted towards renewal of your STCW, Master of Towing, Mate (Pilot) of Towing or Radar Observer endorsements.


Certificate of Discharge and Active Duty Seatime (TOSS or AOPS)

  • If you hold any STCW Endorsement, Master of Towing or Mate (Pilot) of Towing:

No action is needed and the USCG will give you credit for renewal as long as they believe that the vessel regularly conducts training and drills relevant to Basic Training.


  • If you hold Radar Observer: You will get credit towards renewal as long as you were serving as a Master, Mate or AB.


CG719S (Small Vessel Sea Service Form)

  • If you hold any STCW Endorsement, Master of Towing or Mate (Pilot) of Towing: You need to create memo with exact dates listed on CG719S that must state verbatim, “VESSEL NAME is required to conduct regular fire, emergency, and abandon ship drills. YOUR NAME’s service includes ongoing participation in training and drills relevant to Basic Training.”


  • If you hold Radar Observer: You must be serving as a Master, Mate, Operator, Deckhand or AB on your CG719S and you need a memo with the exact dates listed on CG719S that must state verbatim, “YOUR NAME carried out Bridge Watch duties in a position that routinely uses radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes.”


3. Make Sure Your Medical Certificate is Valid for Your Endorsements


If you hold any STCW endorsements, your medical is only valid for two years. If you hold any STCW endorsement and your STCW medical is expired, you are not allowed to sail on any part of your MMC until you have a valid medical certificate.


Luckily, renewing 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 U.S. or U.S. Territory. Bring the printed form CG-719K with you to your medical exam appointment and have your medical provider complete and sign the form.


After your exam, email the completed CG-719K form directly to medaip@uscg.mil. Make sure to include your full name in the subject line of your email to medical. Gilman usually uses this format: Last, First, MMC Reference number. His would be: Gilman, Nate, 3473478.


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We all know that U.S. Coast Guard licensing is a pain. By staying on top of your paperwork, you make your life so much easier when it comes to progressing in your career and renewing your MMC.


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