License Renewal Question?


Hi. I have a 3rd Mate license. I renewed in 2005 with lots of sea time. I haven’t sailed since though. How do I renew again. Do I have to take the exam again? Or do I have do the STCW classes again? Or something else? The USCG info is less then clear and the people that answer their phones give contradictory answers.


The only time you take the full exams again are if you let the license expire by more than a year. If it hasn’t expired by over a year, you need either 1 year sea time in the past 5, or you have to re-take basic safety training and do a take home test.
<div><span>James D. Cavo</span></div>
<div><span>USCG National Maritime Center</span></div>
<div><span>Chief, Mariner Training & Assessment Division</span></div>
<div><span>[<font color="#3354aa]</font>](</span></div>


<span style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: Arial]Yes. And IMHO, that 1 year sea time in the last 5 is a ridiculous requirement. It’s purpose is to prove you’ve been practicing your craft and by doing so you’ve stayed fresh on things by participating in shipboard drills and training and such. Correct? - - Here’s the rub, you could go to sea for 364 days in the first year of the 5 and then not go to sea at all for the next 4 years and go to sea for 1 day before you renew and you would be able to renew unencumbered by any requirement for taking BST and the take-home test. You would be deemed more “up-to-speed” than an individual that doesn’t go to sea for the first 4 years of the 5 and then goes to sea for 364 days in the 5th year. It’s nonsense.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>And this is from the folks that brought you the term “recency”.<o:p></o:p></span>


I guess you forgot the history behind the ridiculous requirement. Initially, we required tyhat BST be renewed every five years. Some may recall that their first STCW 95 certificate (pre-2001) had an expiration date for BST on it. The general consensus internationally at the time was that BST needs to be renewed, and many countries still hold this interpretation. This is a topic currently uinder consideration at IMO as part of the on-going comprehensice review of STCW.
In order to make things easier, we eliminated the requirement to re-take BST every five years, but felt it could only be defended if it was confined to actively sailing mariners, we felt it was indefensible to make it apply to all. <span><span> </span></span>
<div><span>James D. Cavo</span></div>
<div><span>USCG National Maritime Center</span></div>
<div><span>Chief, Mariner Training & Assessment Division</span></div>
<div><span>[<font color="#3354aa]</font>](</span></div>


In my examples the most activley sailing mariner HAS to retake BST and the least actively sailig mariner DOESN"T retake BST. I can agree with the concept but some adjustment for recency is needed.


I wonder why the folks who don’t cross the boundary line, even though they are working full time on the water, being safe, doing drills etc must attend two days of class each year for the five years of their license term in order to not have to re-take BST? Seems a bit silly that one group gets BST “renewed” automatically and the other doesn’t.


Here-here! Yet another unexplained discrepancy…


Everything in STCW refers to “sea-going service” which is defined as beyond the boundary line. When trying for the most generous interpretation of STCW that led to it not being a recurring requirement for some, it was felt we could only extend this interpretation to service that met the STCW requirement for sea-going service.
<div><span>James D. Cavo</span></div>
<div><span>USCG National Maritime Center</span></div>
<div><span>Chief, Mariner Training & Assessment Division</span></div>
<div><span>[<font color="#3354aa]</font>](</span></div>


Yeah. What a shame it doesn’t say “maritime service”, as the salt water I spend half my life upon doesn’t know where that boundary line is, nor does my vessel, but a comittee somewhere on dry land sure does.


I’m preparing to renew my Master 1600/2nd Mate AGT Oceans License. While adding up my seatime I noticed that the letter from one company states the days sailed represented 12 hour days. Does this mean that 120 of these 12 hour days represent 180 days seatime needed for the renewal?


Yes you receive 1.5 days sea service credit for 12 hour days if specified on the letter of sea time.


Be carefull jeffrox, make sure the letter is worded properly.
Time-and-a-half credit will not be allowed without verification in the letter of service (or on the discharges) that the day consisted of a 12-hour workday while working on a two-watch system. Otherwise, a 12-hour workday will count as one day of underway time.
It must also be on vessels where a 12-hour working day is authorized by regulations and practiced, as in for instance, the six-on/six-off watch schedule.


The letter does not state “2 watch system” just “12 hour workday”. The vessel’s COI states “Master and 3 Mates” when Oceans and “Master and 2 Mates” when Near Coastal. We were in near coastal waters. I guess I’m in a crap-shoot.


Thinking on it more, the COI may say something about 3 or 2 mates based on distance of the voyage. The stuff we did was almost always within whatever it read for 2 mates only; I’ll have to get a copy…


Required BST (renewal every 5 years) is probably coming back and sea service will not move the date forward. It is an IMO discussion item. Additionally, many, if not all the schools have Basic Fire fighting within BST rather than the STCW Fire prevention. The NMC I dont think will even approve a BST course that does not have basic fire fighting so they have already imposed a 5 year renewal.


I didn’t take BST or fire fighting last time I renewed in 2005. I only took a radar renewal class. I guess BST wasn’t required, when renewing with seatime? My STCW certifcate is pre-2001 and I think it does have an expiration date, long gone. I feel kind of bad that I can do celestial navigation, but I can never figure out the Coast Guard requirements.


Under current regs you can move the bst date forward with sea service. On the other issue, When the STCW 95 certificate expired it does not have the same one year window that mmds and licenses have for renewal after expiration. Different REC’s prior to the consolidation interpreted STCW locally which added to the confusion.
Then the other confusion answer could be renewal of the third mate license domestically non-stcw like the lakes. The STCW OICNW requirements may have to be renewed.
My best advice with all the variables is to apply through the REC service counter and get the application to the NMC for evaluation and renewal they are getting better up at the offices, let an evaluator determine what you need to do and it will be in writing back to you…