License Sticker Requirement

Random kind of question. Is it required to put your new license stickers into your MMC? I’m not aware of any regulation for not having it if you’re not sailing on that particular license/endorsement. I understand on the next issuance of the entire MMC it’ll be in there.

For example a 2nd mate gets his C/M license but for whatever reason doesn’t want to sail C/M. He doesn’t put the sticker in his book so the union doesn’t know he has it and can’t try to coerce him into taking a job.

Asking for a friend? :wink:

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Actually no, just curiousity. Since it is up to the end user to post it in their book, it seems like it should be a non issue. However, maybe there is something else required that I’m not aware of.

What union “coerces” people into sailing?

Additionally, as a captain, I can work with a first time Chief Mate but not with one who doesn’ t want to be there in the first place.


I usually stick them on my uniform so people can see my qualifications.


All the union has to do is verify your license is plug it into the MMLD Credential Verification website:

It’ll tell them what your license is and what endorsements you carry.

I have talked with one QMED who requested that the NMC remove his tankerman endorsement. He really didn’t want to sail as a tankerman and his unlicensed union had tried to pressure him into it as a “favor”

Having it from the website doesn’t make it legal for you to work if its not in your MMC…

Last I checked this wasn’t a profession of indentured servitude. I thought the prevailing problem was being under qualified for work. WTF?

I’m trying to figure out, in a hypothetical sense, why someone would go thru the herculean task of becoming a chief mate, with the goal of not sailing as one?

I’m not gaining endorsements and upgrading so I can have my wife lose my stickers from the nmc in last weeks junk mail, especially with how much mentally and financially they have cost me. I wanna advance and make some more $ !


That’s true, but if you’re trying to avoid being in a situation where you feel pressured to take a CM job then how is the conversation going to go when the union asks why you’re unable to sail as CM when according to the NMC you have a CM license? And what’s the plan when it’s time to renew? Electrical tape over your licenses held?

Something to the effect of; ‘Because I don’t feel like it today. Now go fuck off’

Did this “union” hold your eyeballs open alla Clockwork Orange to force you into getting this Chief Mates license? No. You made a choice to upgrade. You now have the right to turn down work if you don’t want it. They work for you!

I do agree with @Ctony though. In my experience, the effort involved in getting the license had me chomping at the bit to put it to use. If you are just waiting for the perfect moment or the right ship you probably shouldn’t. There are little to no similarities between second mate and Chief mate. Best to dive in head first, learn quick, and suffer the growing pains for a couple years. Then you’ll be a seasoned Chief mate which only comes from trials and tribulations.

Just my two cents. In the meantime I’d find a better union that you’re not scared of retribution from.


Folks who want to prepare for their future while waiting for the right time and place to do it.

The guys I’ve known to do this at MSC got their chief mate license but don’t want to sail as chief mate for MSC. They’re waiting for a job outside of MSC (pilot, other company, shoreside). Depending on the hiring/retention cycle it’s common for the office, a captain or chief mate to pressure an unwilling person to ship as chief mate.

A common situation is a chief mate who wants to take a month or two of leave without giving up his ship for good. Or a chief mate wants to pay off but the office can’t or won’t send a relief. Or an injury or personal emergency puts a chief mate off while there are no reliefs immediately available.

In those situations considerable pressure is put on a ‘warm body’ to fill the billet - willing it not. Therefore guys hide their endorsements.

Honestly, I’d tell them to to pound sand. Why would you force someone into a job that they have no desire to do? That’s just asking for trouble IMO.

What union “coerces” people into sailing?

MMP is almost having to re-write the rules and allow Applicants to take CM/Master jobs because of the lack of A-Book members willing to sit for their upgrades, which creates shortages.

They can’t force anyone, but they do ask why one has and does not use it, or why one will not upgrade. Seen it happen.

I’m trying to figure out, in a hypothetical sense, why someone would go thru the herculean task of becoming a chief mate, with the goal of not sailing as one?

Resume builder? Shows experience when one has an upper level license?

No idea… frankly the people who look down on/give a hard time to those who do not advance to CM/Master or at least hold the license (with or without using it) baffle me. Not everyone wants to bang away on cargo max or deal with the massive lack of sleep when in port dealing with planners and other visitors. I’ve always preferred sailing Second Mate, and some people find something wrong with those who find what they enjoy and stick to it.

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And then what? To me it’s the same as turning down night work. Maybe you just don’t want to work that day. They can beg you but you don’t have to bite. It’s your choice to work or not to work. I have never seen anyone “coerced” by MMP to do anything they didn’t want to do and I have never feared retribution from any union leadership because I passed on a job.

As for the dearth of qualified senior officers forcing the MMP to consider changing the shipping rules. That is a problem when you are the only dedicated deck officer union in the country. Sailing as Chief Mate or Master is not for everyone. It didn’t seem to be a problem in the past but I guess times are a changing and there are some bottom barrel contracts that some don’t want. You don’t see a problem with Matson or any of the top tier contracts attracting willing participants do you? I also personally prefer that senior officers can be groomed from junior officers with extensive experience within the fleet and the company. Those persons are out there and they typically have A cards. They just need a little nudge in the direction of professional development every once in a while.

You don’t see a problem with Matson or any of the top tier contracts attracting willing participants do you?

Seems to be the Patriot vessels they have trouble with, particularly the ROS dumpsters.

I can get that…however according to your logic why bother upgrading? It’s one thing to decide after doing it, ‘hey this isn’t for me. I wanna sail in a lesser capacity’ but getting it with the notion of keeping the stickers out of your book make no sense to me.
I’m sure it looks good on a resume but if there is no experience along with it, then what does that say? I’m not in HR or management but all paper and no experience isn’t the best of equations.

I’m sure it looks good on a resume but if there is no experience along with it, then what does that say?

The associated classes that go along with it, in my mind, give you more knowledge of the upper level officer’s duties than one without them. Just a guess.

If you are reluctant to bump up to Chief mate you have formed your own opinion of what the job entails and thus don’t want to take on the extra work and stress. That’s your prerogative just as it’s the other guy’s who is willing to take the extra load to double his income. I haven’t sailed below Chief mate or master for 12 years and don’t know if I could at this point. Not because of the loss of earnings (though that would definitely suck) but because of the loss of work to do. Call me a workaholic but I enjoy being swamped with a work load/list a mile long. It makes the hitch fly by. Those that do not see this as a good thing should probably not move up to Chief Mate or even consider getting the license.