Government shutdown delays

Hello all… Was chatting yesterday with the NMC chat person online about my application. I was told that due to the government shutdown there may be some delays…fyi

Say it isn’t so?!

Yes. Still waiting for them to hopefully publish an extension letter like last time.


So many long delays at NMC we won’t notice any difference.

You might be waiting a while. Last time, the office and division chiefs for Mariner credentialing in CG HQ worked during the lock out (shutdown), and they did the extension. This time, they are also locked out (aka the sanitized version, “furloughed”).

But, I’m locked out and don’t know. I just think it’s less likely.

I’m gonna disagree with you. Walked into my REC with everything in order for renewal of my license and stcw on the 30 November 2018. New red book showed up at the house 3 weeks later. I’m happy to knock those guys too, but typically it is a measure of how well prepared you are when you submit application. I do hope they get back to work soon and first order of business should be to allow a dispensation for those who applied for renewals/upgrades to allow them to continue to sail.


Well… My 90 days is up the 26th… Supposedly my license is ready to go. If I miss the deadline and there’s not an extension… That won’t be cool.

If you are only working domestically, you’re probably OK as it’s the USCG that would be checking. Even if, probably a good idea to carry some proof that you applied. If one is issued, it probably won’t include STCW and may be of little value to foreign port state control.

I sent my renewal in on Dec.6th and got my red book on Dec. 26th. It’s never been that quick before.

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NMC was prompt once, a medical card. Another clean physical medical card took several months. A simple request for a duplicate medical card took months. One complete application took 8 or 9 months. A successful request for reconsideration (because the NMC incompetents made two stupid mistakes) took almost a year.

NMC performance depends upon the number and complexity of pending applications, the quality and quantity of staff, and the leadership. Some times are better than others. Simple routine applications get processed more quickly that complex non-routine applications.

Extension letter was published.

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Thanks jdcavo!

It doesn’t seem extremely useful though as it only extends US domestic licenses, endorsements, and medical but not their STCW equivalents. Guys on crew boats and most tugs are covered but not much else.

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I don’t see any language explicitly extending US medical. The disclaimer could be a global one not related to STCW.

This could drag on for quite some time. I am going to get my physical done (due in a few mos) and get it in the queue. Suggest others do the same.


Do you think that there will be any extensions to the end of March given to those who have an Approval to Test letter that expires in early Feb?

The plan was to take the exam during my off time in early January. I will be returning to work during the week on the 21st January and my letter will expire while at work.

You are right. There is going to be a huge backlog and it’s going to take months to get a medical card. Yet another NMC shitshow.

The DOT medicalcard program for truck drivers, upon which the USCG medical card program is based, works differently for card issuance. The doctors issue the cards directly to the drivers.

In Canada, the doctors issue a provisional card that the guys can sail on, a government issue card comes from Ottawa later. In the UK the doctors issue the medical cards.

The USCG needs to move to having the doctors issue the medical cards directly to seafarers.

I agree with that. There’s no reason an MD can’t certify you fit for duty on the spot. Isn’t that what they are signing off on when they sign the 719k? I can see the NMC reviewing new onset issues like diabetes, vision and hearing problems, cardiac issues or folks with significant changes, new meds etc. However-

Healthy individuals and those with mild and well controlled conditions should be allowed to go right to work without interruption.

I’m going to run to my local clinic and just get mine done and submitted, like I said. I am actually in better shape now than when I had my last one. Down 20 lbs, stronger, fitter etc. Been working out since last spring. My employer did it all for me last time, but they are closed…so it’s fork out the 120 bucks for that and the drug screen

I believe that the change was made to combat unscrupulous doctors and individuals from signing off on getting cleared FFD when they clearly were not. I’ve had quite a few less morbidly obese crew members since the system changed. People who would be more of a liability than an asset in an emergency.

While I agree that a vast majority of us could go to a doctor and easily get cleared, some abused the system and this was the solution the coast guard chose. So I’ve been led to believe.