Do I need to have my MMC with/on me while running a charter?

If I’m running charters, do I need to have my MMC in my bag whenever I’m working?

If so, are there consequences if I don’t?


“The original Coast Guard MMC or license suitable for the vessel’s route and service license must be kept on board and be available for immediate presentation it to Coast Guard officials whenever passengers are being carried for hire.”
46 CFR 26.20-1

“Running charters” - if that means carrying passengers for hire you should know at least the very minimum about the scope of the license you hold. :roll_eyes:


Thanks Steamer.

I always carry mine and was always told to do so.

I was training another captain on a boat (with passengers) yesterday and he didn’t have his and so I didn’t let him take the wheel after that.

He thought it was fine as long as he had an image of it on his iPhone and I said that was incorrect but I could not find the evidence in writing 46 CFR 26.20-1 that you provided.

Thanks again.

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Assuming you had your MMC aboard, it would have been fine if he continued to take the wheel while under your command.

Good to know.

Thank you.

I think you have to pay extra for a ‘‘wallet size’’ anymore but no one has “the document” with them !!! … for licensed it has to be as Steamer says.

DO people really think they can be working with out their documents on them?

If you cant drive your car without your license on you what makes a person think they can work without their other license on them?


Interesting points in this one about have proof of license

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They weren’t busted for not having proof of a license, they didn’t have a license.

Looking at the OP question it’s better to look at it in terms of risk rather than in terms of rules.

If the charter is fully booked and ready to go when the captain realizes he does not have his credentials there is some risk he will lose his job if he cancels. There’s an implicit rule that if the boat is safe to run the captain goes.

The risk of forgetting the credentials can be mitigated in various way. On the other hand there is some risk to the credentials on the boat which can be mitigated by leaving them home.

If enforcement is light and friendly having a photo on a phone doesn’t seem like a terrible idea. It’s similar to the way ships solve the problem of the requirement to display the MMC. I don’t display them but will show them on request. It’s never been an issue.

On the other hand if boat operators are being criminally charged in your area it might be prudent to always have the credentials to avoid delays.

Dood, just buy a Captain’s ring from the back of Workboat magazine and supplement with a sailor tattoo…


Follow up question. If my bag goes overboard with my MMC and I apply for duplicate, can I work while I wait for the duplicate to arrive?

I guess that is up to the master. It would be his ass on the line if the boat was boarded. Or are you the master? The same thing applies though… it would only be bad if you were boarded. If you have a copy you can show I doubt the CG would care.


DO people really think they can be working with out their documents on them?

If you cant drive your car without your license on you what makes a person think they can work without their other license on them?

Here’s a true occurrence - all bridge officers of a just-recently-launched anchor handling towing supply vessel (at the time the largest OSV in the GOM) met at the company office prior to crew change and the vessel manager said everyone must give him our original Master credential in order for the New Orleans RTC to issue us 3000 ITC endorsements. After much disagreement we complied and left for the vessel with photocopies of our documents. The next day USCG and ABS were aboard for initial inspections and the CG inspector nearly fainted when we four bridge officers presented him with photocopies of our licenses. He used words similar to what Jemplayer wrote, “do you think you can drive a car with a copy of your drivers license?” That was before cellphones were reliable and it took lots of calls between our manager and the NO RTC to get things straightened out to the satisfaction of the inspector.

It really behooves mariners to know what the requirements are for carriage of work related documents.


If you have to ask…then the answer is yes.