Upgrading a Merchant Mariner Credential

The USCG application process for upgrading a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) is easier than getting your original issue. Columbia Pacific Maritime (CPM) has upgrade courses to fit your needs. Upgrade courses only cover the material required for the upgrade exams. CPM Upgrade Courses include:

  • Upgrade OUPV to Master 100-ton.
  • Upgrade Master 100 to 200-ton.
  • Upgrade OUPV Inland to Near Coastal.
  • Upgrade Master / Mate 100 or 200-ton Inland to Near Coastal.
  • Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessel upgrade.
  • Master / Mate of Fishing Industry Vessel (500 to 5,000-ton) upgrade.
  • Visit CPM website for more information >>

Follow these steps to upgrade your credential to the next level.

Step 1: Sea Service Requirements

With a few exceptions, you will need to meet the all the sea service requirements of the superior credential that you are upgrading to. The USCG has stated in a policy letter that holding an MMC endorsement is NOT evidence of having sea service experience, so always keep copies of the sea service that you submitted to the USCG. Sea service is not “used up” when you apply for a credential, and it never expires. It is a measurement of your lifetime experience on the water.

Example: Mariner Joe is renewing his OUPV Near Coastal (NC) and wants to upgrade to Master 25-ton NC. To qualify for his original OUPV NC Joe documented 400-days that included 120-days on near coastal ocean waters. For the renewal Joe has documented a total of 500-days in the past five-years that includes 300-days on near coastal ocean waters, giving him a total of 900-days of experience that includes 420-days on ocean waters. The Master 25-ton NC requires a total of 720-days that includes 360-days on ocean waters. Joe meets the sea service requirements for both the renewal (360-days in the past five-years) and the upgrade (720-days total that includes 360 on oceans).

Step 2: Physical Exam and Drug screening

Check the expiration date on your Medical Certificate. If it is within the expiration date for National Endorsements than make a copy of both side of the certificate to satisfy the Physical Exam requirements. If it is expired or about to expire than you will need to get a physical exam using the Coast Guard form 719K Application for a Medical Certificate.

If you are participating in a USCG/DOT Random Drug Screening program than get a letter from the drug screening consortium stating that you are participating in the program. If you are not participating in a USCG/DOT Random Drug Screening program you will need to get a drug screening using the Coast Guard form 719P.

Step 3: Application Package

In addition to the sea service documentation, and the physical exam and drug screening, the application package must include a completed MMC Application Form 719B. If you have a valid TWIC than make a copy of both sides and include that with your upgrade application. If your TWIC has expired you can either renew it OR check the box on the top of page 4, in Section III, TWIC Exemption Statement. Enrollment in TWIC is required for the original issue of any MMC, but is optional for the renewal or upgrade of an OUPV or Master less than 100-ton.

Pay the evaluation and issuance fees online at the Pay.Gov website and include a printed copy of the receipt with the application package. Deliver the application package along with a copy of your Columbia Pacific Maritime upgrade course completion certificate to your local Regional Exam Center (REC).


About Dennis

Instructor and Director at Columbia Pacific Maritime LLC
This entry was posted in Frequently Asked Questions, School News, Scuttlebutt and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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