Has our experience with the USCG’s move to West Virginia positive?
I really like it. A friend of mine was told that he failed the stability section of his Ch.Mate/Masters exam… the next week he got a call from wet virginia saying they reviewed his test and it had been mis-scored… he had actually passed! They sent him his license the next day.
You can also now check on your license application online:
Check your Coast Guard License App Online
As the old joke goes: “you can get ANY certificate you want from the USCG as long as you have the gas money to drive to each rec and ask for it.” …no longer thanks to the new system! I like it!!
Tracking progress online is nice. It took 3 weeks before the application was assigned to an evaluator, another week to approve application, and now I’m just waiting for the license to be printed. Current status is “approved to print”. If takes less than 6 weeks from submission to issuance, that would be an improvement.
“If takes less than 6 weeks from submission to issuance, that would be an improvement.”
I agree, my last upgrade took Long Beach over 6months.
There is a lot I like about it. One, someone actually picks up the phone. You can e-mail your evaluator and he/she will respond. They will even return your calls. One thing I think is a little excessive is they receive your application it is assigned to an evaluator. Once evaluated it is looked over by the evaluator’s supervisor. Then to an auditor. Then to the auditor’s supervisor. Then to the final man which will either agree or disagree with what four people have already looked at. Then letter of approval to test. So I go test and pass all tests. Then the test scores get sent to the evaluator where once reviewed goes back to auditing. (WHY DO SCORES NEED TO BE AUDITED?) Well that is where your entire package gets “HUNG UP” in auditing. Whatever that means. I really am happy with my whole experience with West Virginia. Really nice people to deal with. I just think some of the steps are repetitive and unnecessary.
Mine has been waiting to print for three weeks and I called them today and it was in limbo land, she had to submit my fingerprints and said it would be “A few more days”. God knowswhat the problem was but you might want to give them a cal.
I guess I got lucky. My license was in the mail today according to the wife. It took 30days to the day for my upgrade to be processed. Not to damn bad.
<font>For more information click on the name of the credential. </font>Credential Trans Type Credential State Credential Status Date License[<font color="#0000ff]</font>](https://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/mmldSearch.do?BV_SessionID=@@@@2004406074.1181032566@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccccaddkmhlflekcfjgcfgfdffhdghj.0#)GRADE RAISE PRINTED 06/01/2007 stcw[<font color="#0000ff]</font>](https://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/mmldSearch.do?BV_SessionID=@@@@2004406074.1181032566@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccccaddkmhlflekcfjgcfgfdffhdghj.0#)N/A PRINTED 06/01/2007
Credential StatusPRINTEDTransaction TypeGRADE RAISEStatus InformationYour application for this credential has been successfully processed and the credential has been produced. Unless other arrangements have been made, the credential will be delivered to you shortly via U.S.P.S. 1st class mail.
Good: Relatively quick on the initial evaluation and background check. They answer the phone and more important they call back pretty promptly. Checking online status is cool.
Bad: After all the evaluations they issue a ready to test letter which takes 3 weeks to actually get to your mail box. Then after you take your exams they have to re-examine your entire application, then issue the license which takes another 3 weeks despite what the online status says (2-4 business days). Why not just issue the license directly at the REC upon successful completion of the exams. Less time and less stress worrying about it getting lost in the mail.
Can you tell I’m still waiting for my 3/ae to come in the mail, happy holidays to me. Finished my exams October 25th…
Having just retired from the military I can’t say whether the system is better or worse. However I can say that the system is still the most horrible system I have seen in my life. I have been battling over a license for the last 18 months to two years. After all the debating and pointing out there own CFR’s to them they finally approved me and gave me list of courses to take prior to examination. After completing the courses, exams and waiting for weeks for issuance they came back with you need to take lifeboatman and we have no score for Nav General and Baltimore won’t return their calls. I completed the lifeboatman course and personally got a hold of Baltimore and they get the test score. I faxed in my lifeboatman cert today and I get a phone call from NMC “Congratulations on completing lifeboatman, but now we can’t find your score for Deck General”. WTF!!! And of course now Baltimore is not answering the phone and next week NMC starts their building move and won’t be issuing again for two weeks. I have been only part time employed while doing all this and now I’m about bankrupt right before christmas. I have 7 good solid job offers and can’t do a damn thing until I get my license. So after all this rant I can honestly say my experience has been anything but positive.
Wow Doc sorry to hear about that, although I don’t remember WVA talking about a building move. Quick update, it turns out that they send the license certified mail (very good thing) however the notice was mistaken for something else and buried in my aunts purse. Thankfully she caught it before it was sent back. So I’ve got it now. Although Doc’s case is another example of why ALL of the evaluations should be completed before an applicant goes to take the exam, and then it should be a matter of pass exam = issue license on the spot.
It doesn’t look like anything has really changed at all. I was just stuck in a pickle with my radar expiring in February, 2008, but I also will have enough sea time for my 2nd Mate Upgrade in February. I asked for an extension on my radar, but no dice. So I send in my radar renewal with my 95 bucks and they have had it for 4 weeks. It is a radar renewal. I remember I could just stop in New Orleans and get it done on the spot. I hate to see what happens when I send them some more dinero in February for my 2nd Mate. Although I tested and did everything right and all they need is my sea time. Hope for the best, but expect the worst.
Should have done it with the upgrade dummy!!! Now you have to wait twice…glutten for punishment. There isn’t one USCG inspector that will throw you off the boat because your new radar endorsement isn’t on your license provided you DID renew and it’s in the processed of being taken care of…just have the proof on hand, even a copy.
Just to update the continuing saga that is my license. I spoke with the NMC yesterday and they stated that REC Baltimore has given them my Nav Gen test score but can’t “prove” to them that I took the exam. So now I guess NMC doesn’t trust the REC. I don’t know, but now it’s 1am and I have to drive from Norfolk to Baltimore to retake this test. Merry Christmas to my broke, unemployed self. LOL, does this ever end?
My application was sent to the USCG Miami REC on September 10th 2007. It’s been almost 6 months and still no reply. The company I was working for won’t hire me until I get my license upgrade. What the hell am I supposed to do for money?
I just took a shore job and if everything works out, I will never look back. A big reason, dealing with the USCG and the hoops they make you jump through just to work for a living. I have dealt with Boston mostly and they have been very professional, but I hear that is the exception not the rule. I hope WV is a big improvement, but judging from the posts on here it still the same old USCG…Gee I don’t understand why there is a shortage of good officers.
Ok time to play devils advocate. Compared to what I’ve heard WV is actually not too bad. And it looks like they’re trying to meet their advertised goal of ‘standardization’. This is based on some discussions with the staff there and bouncing that off they’re policy letters and NVICs (Ya I’ve had some time on my hands). Now the real pitfall still lies in what happens to the paperwork between you handing it to the REC, and them copying it and mailing it to WV. A plus is that it looks like they have a computer tracking system that they make entries when they receive your paperwork. So you hand them a certificate, they enter it into the computer, and at least WV knows that it exists and should be coming. Of course it can still disappear, but that was the one problem I did not have. My $0.02
while I’m at it, does anyone know if the four electronic courses(analog, troubleshooting, basic electricity, instrumentation) are now a requirement for first assistant engineer? Looking at the STCW approved courses they say they are, but looking at the CFRs and the USCG website the only requirement is just a year of sea time as a second/third while holding a second’s license.
The good news is my radar renwal, received 28 November has been moved up from assigned to an evaluator to being reviewed as of 1-18-08. So with any luck I will have my radar renewal in hand maybe by the 14th of February Valentine’s Day. 11 weeks for radar renewal…now that’s progress!! Hate to see how long a renewal or an upgrade takes. The communications are getting a little worse. I sent 5-6 emails and got one response a week later that simply stated moved to review. Duh, I can get that on the web site under application status. I guess I am just being impatient.
I’ve had fairly good luck with the new place in West Virginia. Whenever I call with a few questions, they seem very knowledgable. In addition, I usually don’t have to wait on hold for 45 minutes, as I’ve done before!! I’ve noticed at trend with my local REC, in that they seem to defer their opinion to the place in W. Virginia. Maybe we can finally get a consensus opinion here, instead of 10 different answers from 10 different Coasties?