New MMC Format

I mean, its not terrible. If they send it in a big envelope I wouldnt even fold it, i carry enough 8.5x11 stuff as it is, this would probably hold up better than my current MMC. It probably would look okay framed even.

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The Z cards were good, and they did not need to be renewed. Why not bring them back?
This would reduce the NMCs work load considerably.

I’d like to see the Z card brought back, but as a combination of the old Z card that can be read visually at a glance , and credit card type card with encrypted data that can be read by machine for more detail like STCW expiration dates. There might need to be domestic and foreign going versions of it for foreign port state control.

There is lots of room for improvement over the current system.

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Neither my Liberian nor my Marshall Islands documents or licenses are passport sized…


This is interesting, I am not a policy expert, but after some digging, it appears Liberia still has an older revision of the seamans identity documents convention from 1958 in force, which does not have the passport size guideline in article three. Although Marshal Island has ratified the 2003 convention linked above, so who knows. When I google pictures of Marshal Islands seaman ID documents, it looks pretty passport shaped to me. I thought this was a pretty standard size.

No idea. My office is working on this, but I’m not involved. I’ll tey to find out, but it might be a bit, we have NMERPAC meetings Thursday and Friday.

Addendum: The current mariner reference number will be used on the new format MMC. This format change is not introducing a new mariner number.

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The Marshall Islands tickets are taller and skinnier than an MMC/Passport with endorsements taking up far more pages. I think lifeboatman got its own page etc.

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I thought it would be: “Can I get a draw” and “Do you sell beer out of the slop chest” :rofl: :crazy_face: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


There are many countries that issue documents different than the passport books. Some can be quite ornate while some a minimalist. Some do something similar to a laminated 3x5 card, others do the passport books, others do 11x8.5" for licenses along with books for seamen.

I got used to packing my own bags at walmart but this is a bridge too far!!!

From the “Adding MMC pages” thread.

If it has to be passport sized, I wish they’d just buy a new damn printer and keep the passport book style. At least it’s sturdy and will hold up to the wear and tear of a mariner’s life traveling! A flimsy piece of reinforced paper is going to look like garbage after a couple rotations’ worth of work being thrown into a sea bag (or worse).

Mr. Cavo, if you have any pull, could you suggest that?

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Maybe the USCG should issue a card similar to the US Passport Card?

Maybe that could also replace the useless Twic Card.

They could use credit card technology to encode it with all the necessary data so that it can be read by a standard portable credit card reader (like the ones waiters bring to the table).


You are thinking way too practically with this. :wink:

How is Lockheed Martin supposed to wet its beak with that? :grimacing:


I understand the printer and budget issues and the compromise / reasons for folding the front to make an optional cover. I don’t envy working at a underfunded bureaucracy.

However, they missed a golden opportunity to make it look nice and get industry buy in. The inside looks more like a high school hall pass, or like it came out of a fax machine. It does not “look” like a license.

They missed a golden opportunity. They could have printed the old school (pre 2009) license format and art work people loved on the inside. At least printed it landscape so it looks like most diplomas and doctors licenses. Even with a lot of endorsements there would be plenty of room and would look a hell of a lot more professional.

I think everyone expected this to look like the old licenses. It does not.

Old / what I wish it would lool like.

Vs what you shared (I am sure you know)


They don’t care. They didn’t care when they created the MMC all those years ago, and they certainly aren’t going to care any more today.

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I have no pull, and wouldn’t use it if I did. I generally avoid interfering in others’ work and expect the same from them. Also, it’s a little late to suggest ditching the whole thing and starting over days before the launch.

Also, you are losing sight of the fact that this is a quick fix for a major issue. The alternative ais the lengthy delays with the old mmc, and the likelihood they are would get worse, far worse, in the very near future. You’re also assuming other options weren’t considered. They were, but given the urgency and imminent total failure of the current MMC, how quickly a change could be made was a prime consideration.

Give it a feckin’ break. You know damn well that needs a regulation change and that can take many years. This is a quick fix for an urgent problem causing the delays you all bitch about.

Have you participated in the various public sessions for the new credentialing system being developed? that’s the forum for this, not whining on an internet forum. I know, the unions (to which you don’t belong) should do that.

And you know damn well the Coast Guard has no say on the TWIC.


So the NMC couldn’t maintain a passport style printer to print 45,000 passport style books a year, and somehow it’s not a modern technology and the end product needs a full format change.

But the State Dept can print 24,000,000 of them a year, and will continue indefinitely because it’s the same style book that nearly every nation in the world uses successfully for passports…:man_shrugging:

Really I don’t care what the format is as long as it comes on time and is accepted as valid…just intrigued by some government agencies ability to function.


That’s what I said when they first said the printers were the problems. I was told that the complicated part was printing on the additional pages. The opening pages are easy enough (like the passport), but then the rest of it is harder.

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Of course, it’s too much to expect the Department of Homeland Security that controls and operates both the USCG and the TSA, to coordinate on something simple like including the TWIC within the MMC.

I happen to be acquainted with a Regional Representative of a US Senator. I’ve bent his ear over coffee and beer, and emailed on all these types of issues.

The response is: there are bigger fish to fry, and these days (the past decade) it’s almost impossible to get anything done.

My take is that only a significant political fundraiser, or an organization with lobbyists and campaign contributions (like a Union, or a trade organization like the American Waterway Operators) can make things happen.

US Government is in a major crisis. Congress is dysfunctional and in disarray. Most Federal agencies are barely functional with long delays, staffing and budget shortages, and innumerable mistakes. In country of 350 million people, amazingly, we can only find two corrupt, senile or half crazy, old fools to run for President.

Against that backdrop, I can see why very few people care about the mess USCG has made out of Merchant Mariner licensing.

By the way, I applaud the USCG for changing to an MMC that can be promptly and reliably printed on commercially available printers.


One thing I will miss about the passport style MMC is the little plastic pocket in the back where I keep the med cert together with the MMC.

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