How to renew your Captain’s License

The first page of your Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) book contains your personal information, and the issue and expiration date. You need to keep track of the expiration date because the Coast Guard does not send out renewal notices. It is the mariner’s responsibility to maintain his or her license.

The MMC is issued for five years and can be renewed at any time prior to the expiration date; or within one year after the credential expires. You can not work on an expired credential, but there is a one year grace period before it completely goes away. Waiting beyond the one year grace period will require you to pass all the exams as if you were getting an original issuance of the credential. To renew an MMC:

  1. Complete the application form CG 719B requesting a renewal of your MMC.
  2. Check the expiration date on your TWIC. If it is within the expiration date it is still valid, otherwise you will need to renew the TWIC before you can renew your MMC. The exception is the OUPV; which can be renewed without having a valid TWIC if you sign the TWIC exemption statement provided by the Coast Guard.
  3. Get a physical exam on form CG 719K and a USCG/DOT drug screening on form CG 719P, or provide evidence of participation in a random drug screening program.
  4. Document your sea service experience over the past five years. If you have 360 days of experience over the past five years you can renew without any exams or classes; if you do not have the experience you can still renew your credential by completing an open book refresher exam or a license refresher course.

If you are unable to renew your credential, or have no need to renew the credential, you may request a Document of Continuity from the Coast Guard. The Document of Continuity maintains the MMC in an inactive status and you cannot work on it; but it will never expire and can be renewed at any time by completing the renewal requirements.