All Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC) are issued for five years. Your MMC will have an issuance and expiration date on the first or second page. The Coast Guard does not send out renewal notices, so you need to keep track of the expiration date on your credential. It is your responsibility to keep your credential current.
You can renew an MMC at anytime prior to the expiration date and there is a one-year administrative grace period to renew an expired credential. If you wait beyond the grace period to renew your credential you will be required to complete the exams or course as you would for the original issuance of that credential. It must be noted that you cannot work on an expired credential, even during the one-year grace period.
To renew your credential you need to have a valid TWIC, get a physical exam and a drug screening as you did for the original issue. Document your sea service while holding the credential, and complete the application form requesting a renewal of your MMC. If you have 360 days of experience since the MMC was issued you can renew without taking any exams, if you do not have the experience than you have a couple of choices to renew.
- You can request to take the open book renewal exams. Form the OUPV and Master 100 ton license this is two exams; a Rules exam, and a refresher exam. The Regional Exam Center (REC) will mail the exams to you and give you 30 days to complete and return them to the REC. Both exams require 90% passing scores, but you can use any and all reference material.
- You can complete an approved one-day Refresher Course. I offer this course 7-days a week for $100. This provides an easy way of renewing an MMC when you do not have the required sea service.
If you have a credential that you do not plan to renew because of financial reasons, or maybe you just don’t think you will ever need it again; don’t let it expire. Put the credential into a Document of Continuity. You cannot work on a Document of Continuity, but it will keep the credential from expiring so if you ever need it again you can simply renew it rather than taking the course or exams again.
As always, if you ever have any question just send me an email and I will do my best to answer your MMC questions.