Your Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) containing your captain license or other endorsements are valid for five years. The first page of your MMC contains your personal information, digital picture, and the issuance and expiration dates. The Coast Guard does not send out renewal notices, so pay attention to the expiration date. Your MMC can be renewed any time prior to the expiration date; or during the one year administration grace period after it expires. You cannot work on an expired credential, but you do have a one year grace period to renew after it expires. Waiting beyond the grace period means that you will be required to complete the exams for an original issue to reinstate the credential.
To renew your MMC you need to have a valid TWIC, which also expires after five years. You can renew the TWIC by visiting a TWIC enrollment center and updating your personal and digital information, and paying the $132.50 issuance fee. The new card will be mailed to your address. An endorsement as OUPV may be renewed without a valid TWIC by signing the TWIC Exception Statement and submitting this with your application package. If you plan to renew an OUPV without a valid TWIC be sure to apply six-months to one-year prior to the expiration date because you will experience significant delays.
You will also need to get a Merchant Mariner Physical Exam on form CG 719K and a USCG/DOT drug screening on form CG 719P. As an alternative to taking a USCG/DOT drug screening you may provide evidence of participation in a random USCG accepted drug screening program. The instructions for alternative to taking a drug screening are provided on the back of the drug testing form.
Document your sea service experience over the past five years using the small vessel sea service form CG 719S. If you can document 360 days of experience on the water in the past five years you can renew without any refresher exams or courses. If you do not have the sea service experience you will be required to complete either an open-book refresher exam, or a one-day refresher course.
Once you get all this information together deliver it to a USCG Regional Exam Center (REC). They will check the application to make sure it is complete and forward it to the National Maritime Center. If there are not any hang-ups you should receive your new MMC in the mail in about two to four weeks.