I held 100 ton masters license for almost 15 years and let it expire after I got my nursing license in 2001. I am interested in getting it back to do some part-time work in Florida. Do I have to retake the entire exam? Or is there a way around it? I’ve been told by a couple people that all I have to do is take an open book test, but I am unsure if this is true. Any help would be appreciated thank you.

You have to take the full, original test if your license has been expired beyond the “administrative grace period.” That period had been one year after expiration, but was just changed to six years.The open book test is only for renewals without recent sea time and is ONLY available before expiration or within the “grace period.” If your license expired in 2001, you have to take the full exam.

The only alternative to taking the exam from the Coast Guard is to take a Coast Guard approved course that was approved to substitute for taking the full original exam (a refresher or renewal course is not acceptable). This course is about 2 weeks long, is probably expensive, and will have a final exam that is similar in scope and difficulty to the (full) Coast Guard exam. There are on-line courses available.

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There are other courses. A LOT of other courses. Shop around for one is best for you.