Coast Guard Med Cert Delays

How on Earth is a simple med cert a 90 day lead time plus the wait for them even to look at it? I know they’ve made everyone well aware of it but how is this remotely acceptable when we are short of mariners in every sector? What is the actual cause of this, it used to take a week or two then randomly increase and decreases by months each year.

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It’s our hopelessly inept and mismanaged government productivity doesn’t matter.

A great many federal employees have no interest in their jobs. They’ll take any Federal job just to become an insider able to apply for other jobs that are only open to Federal employees. Then they spend all their time applying for other Federal jobs that sound more interesting and pay better.

There are a good many very capable Federal employees desperately doing their best in a sea of incompetence and mismanagement.

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How’s the pay? This sounds better than sailing.


I used the ask NMC about some certs I emailed to the “awaiting information” email. I asked if they received my certs

What a clown show. 9 weeks on a renewal so far.


The “contact center” are inexperienced defense contractor employees. It appears that their primary purpose is to insulate the NMC staff from mariners asking why they don’t do their jobs.


I just renewed mine, less than 4 weeks in my mailbox from the time I emailed it.


I recently renewed my Med. Cert. 30 days from email app to “in the mail”.

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Just renewed mine.
Jan 18th sent email
Feb 03rd Didn’t hear anything back so I contacted REC and resent.
Feb 15th in the mail.

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The Med Certs are the fast thing that the USCG does.

I renewed last year and it took about two weeks.

It sounds like it has slowed down.

I’d better renew earlier this year.

Based on what? The original poster, who appears top have not actually submitted anything? All of the anecdotal accounts of actual submissions that follow suggest it’s about the same.

This notwithstanding, renewing early is always a good idea.

A year ago from Med Cert application to new card in my mailbox was about 2 weeks. I was very surprised by how fast it was.

Things have definitely slowed down. A LOT.
In a chat with the NMC last week where I was asking for simple confirmation of receipt of my med cert renewal app which I had emailed in, the answer was:

“ Chat 2024.02.09

Contact Center Agent 7
09:32:05 Thank you for contacting the National Maritime Center. My name is Erica. I am reviewing your question and will be with you in a moment.
Contact Center Agent 7
09:32:39 After being sent to or faxed to 304-433-3407 you need to allow Medical up to 18 business days to note receipt of your application and receive the application ID. Make sure the email was in PDF format and each email was less than 35MB. Please allow more time.
Contact Center Agent 7

That’s a calendar month from date of submission to acknowledgement of receipt, not even to be assigned an evaluator.

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The actual website where it says apply 90 days in advance?

My theory is that the prompt processing of Med Certs was making the rest of NMC look terrible. So the Med Cert section was told to slow things down. Or, maybe they had their staff and budget cut.

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We will just have to wait and see what happens and if that reduces document processing times at NMC.

Or maybe they are realists and recognize that patchwork “continuing resolutions” to fund the Federal gov’t for a short term mean they don’t know if they will have to shutdown and furlough all staff. The current continuing resolution (the 3rd this fiscal year) runs out early March.


A CR that runs out next month is the reason for 90 days processing time now?

If your 719K is clean (no remarks) the chances are pretty good, it will be a fairly quick turnaround for issuance. If it goes to review…no telling. My son had a comment on his 719K during one renewal that his legs had sunburn (from being outside). The medical review took nearly 2 months. The following renewal had 719K with no comments and it was issued in 2-3 weeks.

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719K form should be sent to , not to your REC. Sending it to the REC will likely result in a delay as it may take time for it to be opened and forwarded at the REC level. By sending directly to the address above, you are skipping a unneeded step and going directly to the med department at NMC which is what they tell us to do on the NMC website. I send a dozen in every week for our mariners and always get a response the same day stating that it was received. On average, a mariner who has no medical issues and a 719K that has no missing information, will result in a med certificate being issued withing 3-4 weeks. We keep track of our submissions and certificates received so we have a pretty up to date window on the application timeline at any given time. It can fluctuate throughout the year, but med certificates are pretty consistent.


Yes. If they wait until a shutdown happens it’s too late. It’s recommending prudence in light of an uncertain future. They did not say it will take 90 days.

Also and maybe more relevant, it recognizes some med cert applications are not clean and take longer. They have seem more than a few last minute submissions from mariners with potentially disqualifying conditions that require additional information and/or testing to evaluate.