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
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.
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
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)
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.
CG719S (Small Vessel Sea Service Form)
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 email@example.com. 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.
We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!
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 $299 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.
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.