Not all professions are as closely regulated as the maritime industry. International and domestic agencies regulate how ships are built, maintained, supported, inspected, crewed and operated. Holding a license or merchant marine document, or MMD, proves that you possess the skills and experience required to be part of a team that operates seagoing vessels.
Having a current license is probably one of the most important ways to further your seagoing career. For each mariner, keeping documents up-to-date is a condition of employment and your personal responsibility.
The process of renewing your documents is not complicated, but it does include several steps that must be meticulously completed. Whether you are obtaining your license or MMD for the first time or upgrading your current MMD, you must provide all of the items listed below.
Licenses and MMDs are only valid for five years. However, mariners have a grace period when applying for renewal - a MMD may be renewed for up to 12 months before and after the current document expires.
It is imperative that you provide evidence that all necessary qualifications have been met before a MMD can be renewed. The U.S. Coast Guard will not begin to process an application until the applicant has submitted a complete package. The following is a list of information you must provide: