Renewing MMC from overseas

I am applying to renew my MMC after several years ashore and last renewing for continuity. I currently live overseas - is there a “best” REC to apply to?
My “closest” would be HI, but it’s still an 8+ hour flight away. Is there another West Coast REC that has better turn around times than the others? I know Portland used to be considered “the best” back when applications were all processed at the REC, but now that it all goes to the NMC does it even matter where you apply?
Also, has anyone had experience applying from overseas? Can you use a foreign address on your application?
I recognize that I will have to fly back to the States to do all my STCW refreshers , medical, drug test, etc.

Why do you have to go to Hawaii? Nothings done in person. Scan it, email it, done.

I don’t know if you can have a foreign address on it though.

I guess I wouldn’t, but in practice does it matter which REC you apply to? Are they basically all the same?

If “by the same,” you mean slow, bureaucratic, and basically lackluster, than yea. You can use any REC and be subjected to the same level of service.

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I used to run a Maritime School on the Us east coast. I always always always sent packages to Hono. They are by far the fastest, and there’s only 2 gals in the office, which is great trying to get follow up answers to questions. Erika over there will treat you well.

I believe that you’ll need a US DOT test to renew. I don’t know how you would get that in NZ.

I don’t know if you can renew without a current USCG Medical Certificate. You might be able to arrange to have that done by a US doctor on vacation in NZ.