How to Renew a Captain License is a question I hear often. Consequently the renewal process is similar to the original application process. But there are a few differences.
The Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) is valid for 5-years. Therefore the MMC can be renewed anytime before it expires, and within 1-year after it expires. In other words, you can renew it up to 1-year after it expires. But you cannot work on an expired credential. To renew a credential that is more than 1-year past the expiration date you must complete a course or exams for the original issue.
Document of Continuity (Inactive Status)
If you do not wish to renew your MMC, or are unable to renew it, DO NOT LET IN EXPIRE. The alternative to expiration is to put the document into continuity. To clarify, continuity means an inactive status. You cannot work on it, but it never expires. Therefore you can renew it at anytime without retaking the entire course.
To place your MMC into continuity use Application for a Merchant Mariner Credential form 719B. Complete Section I as normal. However in Section II is different. For the type of transaction select Continuity. And then write the description of the endorsement that you want to put into continuity. For example OUPV Near Coastal. In contrast, ignore Section III. But sign and date Section IV. And then scan and email the form to a Regional Exam Center (REC). There are no fees for continuity.
How to Renew a Captain License: an outline of the basic renewal process.
TWIC: Renew or not to renew; that is the question?
Renewal of the OUPV or Master less than 100-ton does not require renewing the TWIC. However, because enrollment in TWIC provides the Coast Guard with a background check; NOT renewing your TWIC delay your approval. To renew your MMC WITHOUT renewing the TWIC locate the TWIC exception statement on Coast Guard form 719B. It is located at the beginning of Section III, top of page 4. Read the TWIC exception statement. And then check the box if the statement is true.
How to Renew a Captain License: Sea Service Experience
Document your sea service experience over the past five years using Coast Guard form 719S. If you can document 360 days over the past five years you can renew without any exams. If you can not document the experience than give us a call and we will schedule the one-day License Refresher course. To clarify, if you can document 360 days in the past five years the License Refresher course is NOT required.
How to Renew a Captain License: Physical Exam and USCG/DOT Drug Screening
Renewal of the MMC requires both a physical exam and drug screening. But there are some options for drug screening. Reference the second page of the DOT/USCG form 719P for drug screening options.
Application form 719B
All MMC renewals require the Application for Merchant Mariner Credential form 719B. For the renewal complete Section I thru Section IV. In Section II type of transaction, check renewal for each endorsement category that applies. And then write in a description of all the endorsements that you are renewing in the Description of Endorsement box.
Pay USCG Application Fees
Go to the Pay.Gov website to pay the USCG application fees. The fees for the renewal of an officer endorsement is $95. Firstly, the evaluation fee of $50for the renewal of an officer endorsement. Secondly, the issuance fee of $45. But, most important, the application package must include the payment receipt.
Scan and Email the application to an REC
The renewal applications must scanned and saved to a pdf file. And then emailed to a USCG Regional Exam Center. USCG instructions for scanning and emailing.
We recommend Portland REC, but any REC will accept your MMC Application.
- Portland REC contact information.
- 911 NE 11th Ave, Room 637
- Portland, Oregon 97232
- Phone (503) 231-2296
- Fax (503) 231-6738
- Email to RECPORTLAND@USCG.MIL
Access to all the Coast Guard forms and help information is available on this website. However, Columbia Pacific (ColPac) Maritime is here to help you. Helping mariners to get and keep their professional credentials is our business. Call or email us if you need help.