How to upgrade a Captain’s License

Many upgrades of existing Captain Licenses can be accomplished without taking the entire course, and some can be accomplished without taking a course at all. When upgrading a Captain License the applicant must meet all the sea service requirements of the new endorsement, but they can use all previously submitted experience and any additional experience that they may have.

  • Example: You want to upgrade an OUPV Inland to an OUPV Near Coastal. To get the Inland license you needed to document 360 days of experience, the Near Coastal license requires 360 days of experience that includes 90 days on ocean waters (seaward of the demarcation line). The applicant can use the 360 days already submitted for the Inland license, but must include 90 days on oceans.

It should be noted that all mariners should keep copies of their sea service experience records. The Coast Guard does not keep track of a mariners experience and they have stated that holding a license is not evidence of sea service experience. A request that the Coast Guard reference sea service records submitted in previous applications can delay an application for several months.

Here is a list of common upgrades that do not require exams of courses, they are issued on qualifying experience alone.

  • Master 25 ton to 50 ton, or 50 ton to 100 ton, or 150 to 200 ton.
  • Mate 25, 50, 100, 150 or 200 ton to Master without changing the tonnage.

Here is a list of common upgrades that can be accomplished with an short upgrade class.

  • OUPV Inland to OUPV Near Coastal.
  • OUPV to Master 25, 50, or 100 ton.
  • Master 100 ton or less Inland to Near Coastal.
  • Master or Mate 200 ton Inland to Near Coastal.
  • Master 100 ton or less to Master or Mate 200 ton.

Check my website for more upgrade classes or email me if you have a question.