Is there anything better than the NMC?

Personally my experience with the NMC can be summed up into two words. Beaucratic, and apathetic. Is there better way than there is now? I understand international terrorism is a concern. But the mariner trade is a cornerstone to the US economy.

Imo the NMC is only hurting that corner stone

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I wish it was like how I started out 20 years ago…the RECs handled everything and there was no NMC…but that system had its flaws as well. Depending on the REC you chose, super long transaction times.

I will say though, my last couple go arounds with the NMC renewing my mmd and medical have been efficient. Very efficient.

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I wish I could say the same. It seems I’ve been waiting to pass security clearance for a good minute now for my original.

NMC is an incompetent failed agency, but the USCG brass simply does not care, neither does Trump or Congress.

If congress would put in 1/10 of the effort they put into this “collusion delusion” into what they were elected to do, we might have border security and a functional NMC.


I used to hate dealing with them but they’ve actually upped their game in my opinion. They even renewed my medical certificate in no time during Gov shutdown. Everything has been efficient and effortless for me for the past couple of years. Their call center, however, is a complete absurdity, but if you know what you’re doing, you don’t need them anyway, unless you’re in a mood for some jokes.

I wonder how much of your security issue is tied to their interface with TSA. I’ve had no issues with my last several transactions. My renewal was super fast, and my last medical took a week I think. Give them a call.

I thought the FBI ran the fingerprints and criminal records checks for the USCG. Maybe that has changed with TWIC being required for a MMC.

My last medical card was held up during the government shutdown ( some may have been processed during the shutdown but not mine ), but it came very quickly once the shutdown was over.

My impression is that NMC is doing much better on simple ROUTINE applications now that the gap closing course deadline is behind us.

I’m sure that if I bother to ask for anything that is non-routine again, it will be another six month or more nightmare.

I still enjoyed the early '70s where you showed up at many more Coast Guard offices than there are now, fill out an application. You’d then produce your discharges or sea time letter, wait for approval and take your exam.


Exactly. The good old days. Competent people. Prompt free service. No computers.

No coal miner’s daughters or affirmative action hires in West Virginia, who have never seen a ship, making mariner licensing decisions.

In my last dealings with the Houston REC I submitted my paper work as usual and was advised a short time later that my file had been lost on the way to this newfangled NMC. It was eventually recovered but from what I read about NMC on this forum, and all the other new hoops to jump through, I retired at the right time.

If your application is straightforward, it’s not bad. If it’s a tiny bit complicated, it can really stump some of these people. I did get a call from an evaluator which was nice but she wanted to knock down my HP over a handful of days on a lower HP vessel and I had to explain to her that such a decision would make me virtually unemployable as a licensed engineer at my own company. She got it, thankfully

Now, I don’t even request a sea letter from T-AGOS boats or anything under 3000 HP

I’ll see where I am when I am 2 years out from renewal. I may just call it quits.