Document holder

Anyone got any recommendations for a folder/binder? Pockets for passport and MMC. Smaller pockets for cards like TWIC. Also somewhere to keep the pages of certs.

There are also some others in this section.

I used a cloth zippered 3-ring binder, I think it’s by Mead. Then I used heavy duty sheet protectors to hold my certificates.

That plastic pouch would nicely fit over your head, after taking copious amounts of sleeping pills.


Perfect. I can put all of my crayons and colored pencils in there when I go to the beach.


Glad you like it. Good luck. What have you been putting your documents in up to this point?

Most of the sailors I sign on hand me crumpled up masses of paper in a haphazard order. Officers are usually a little more organized.

You can get a good impression of just how professional someone is going to be for their hitch based on how they present their documents.

OP. Get a decent zip up binder and a bunch of plastic sheet protectors. You can put certs in back to back and when the captain asks you for one, can quickly access it in a professional manner.

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Good tips Damn Yankee and Capt. Phoenix. I wish I could tell a few stories from over the years. W.T. Sherman good question on trying to improve your organization of stuff.

What do you carry with you for certifications?

I only carry my MMC, Medical card, passport, and Twic. I have radio licenses, STCW and safety certificates on a thumb drive, but I don’t carry them. Of course I’m in the Jones Act trade with only occasional nearby foreign voyages. No one has ever asked to see my certificates .

MMC with the medical card and TWIC tucked into the back pocket
Dues book with benzene card, shipping card, and physical card tucked in
2 vaccine books. (I don’t fucking remember why)
FOC books/certs
Couple of little cards that say I did HUET or some bullshit day of training.
Drug free letter
Certs from the 3 gap classes. (They’ve been a hot item)
Lots of carbon copies of shit i’ve been given.
Also carrying a checkbook so I can remember my bank numbers.

Right now its all in something like this. It feels like i’m one step above the hobo bindle. I ordered a new folder but I couldn’t put a MMC or passport in any of the pockets. I’ll take one of my old MMCs to Staples and hunt around I guess.

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I carry my mmc passport and all my assorted cards in an Alpha One Niner travel organizer. The organizer is not very expensive and it zips closed. It also has room for my moleskine notebook and fisher space pen…Then i have all my certificates and what not in a three ring binder in plastic sleeves.

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Do any employers actually require that you carry all the certificates?

In my underwear.


My company requires copies of all my certificates on file. Only thing I have ever been asked for other than mmc, passport and med card was my first aid, benzene and hazwopper cards. That was during an audit.

I’ve never needed everything I’m bringing. Having some BS piece of paperwork sure does help smooth things out with some of the dispatchers and HR types though.

It is funny when you’re at work and they ask for everyones MMC. A couple times I just said fuck it. If they want to see it they can come ask me. I’m not going to let it out of my sight. Never was a problem, Auditor was more interested in the ECR fridge than credentials.

Edit: Went to Target. They didn’t have shit.

Mine does… but I think most of the OSV companies are like that too… There have been issues with people having expired documents coming to work, and they want to mitigate that. Had one Master come to work with an expired medical just in time for an external audit… apparently didn’t realize it wasn’t good for five years like he thought.

The TWIC is literally a pain in my ass.

Yes been there in my younger days. The documents help and are mandatory when your just getting started. But in the long run, you can use them to wipe your ass.


I use an old DayRunner day planner 3 ring binder. It’s small, 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", and zips shut completely. There’s a flat zippered compartment on the cover that I’ll use in transit to hold a copy of my itinerary or, when I used to crew change in less savory parts of the world, my reserve cash separate from the baksheesh in my pocket. It has 4 business card slots inside the cover that hold passport, mmc and vaccination card. I clip the TWIC’s plastic holder to the middle ring of the binder and an encrypted USB with scanned copies of everything gets clipped to the top ring. On the rare occasion that I need a full size sheet of something, I fold it in half and slip it behind the passport/mmc flap.

I pulled all the day planner calendar sheets out and just kept the contacts and notepad from original. I did run across a plastic business card holder sheet and a ziploc style pouch that I use for business cards and other miscellaneous stuff.

It’s worked for me since about 2008 but it’s definitely starting to show its age.