Captain's Scuttlebutt


The following bits of information from "the Captain":

For Your Information:


US Coast Guard websites and important telephone numbers:


Help Desk and License/Renewal Status Checks: 1-888-427-5662 or  

Medical Questions: 1-888-427-5662 or  

TWIC Card information and registration:


RENEWAL of your Captain's License requires the following:  

Coast Guard website to obtain the required forms for license renewal:   Click on "CHECKLIST" on the top of the page. Then "Forms" option; you can get all forms needed here..  Your Captain's License is good for 5 years from the date of issue.  You have a 6th year "grace period."  You are not permitted to use your license during the 6th. year.  Don't procrastinate, renew a few months before your license expires!   See Part 1 and Part 2.

PART 1 - Prepare your paperwork for submission to the Regional Exam Center (REC).  Keep originals, SEND COPIES to the Coast Guard..

a.  As of 19 December 2011, the Coast Guard has made changes regarding the Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC): If you have a valid or expired TWIC card you must send a copy with your renewal application.  If your card has expired; you may be exempt and might not have to get it renewed. Send a copy of the card along with a "TWIC exemption form." This form is available on the Coast Guard -  National Maritime Center website along with the other forms you need.  Please refer to the following link to see if you are required to have a current TWIC card to renew your license.

b.   Coast Guard Application for Merchant Mariner Document form CG-719B. Copy only.   Complete page 1, 2 and top of page 3. Any notary can administer the oath that is required on page 3.  Download a sample OATH form - go to "FORMS" then "MISCELLANEOUS FORMS" on the CG website:

c.  Complete a Small Vessel Sea Service form for each vessel you are claiming time on.  Document 360 days boating experience within the last 5 years.  Include proof of ownership for the vessel if self owned.  If it is not self owned, the registered owner must also sign form. Copies only, keep originals in your file..

d.  SAMSHA Drug Test-Form CG719P (Cannot be over 6 months old) Copy only, keep originals in your file.

e.  Physical - Form CG719K (Cannot be over 12 months old) Copy only, keep originals in your file

f.  Copy of your current license (front & back)

g.  $95.00 Evaluation user fee:  Pay via credit card or bank account using  IMPORTANT - PRINT AND INCLUDE YOUR PAYMENT RECEIPT AS PROOF OF PAYMENT.

** You do not need to send a copy of  CPR/FA card or Character references for renewal. 

PART 2 - IMPORTANT!   The MMC License Application packet (a through g above) must be submitted to any Regional Examination Center (REC) and may be delivered by mail.  In person visits are no longer required.  DO NOT submit your application package directly to the National Maritime Center (NMC) as this will result in delays. If you do not send a copy of the TWIC card the Coast Guard will return your application to you.  If any of the items are missing (b through g), you will be provided a "Notification of Incomplete Application" letter and will have 60 days to provide the missing information.  If the missing information is not provided within the 60 day period, your application will be returned to you.



" The carriage of any passenger for hire on the navigable waters of the United States require that an individual licensed by the Coast Guard operate the vessel.  Properly licensed Captains may carry up to six passengers aboard an un-inspected passenger vessel, provided they meet federal safety regulations. To further ensure the safety of potential customers, vessels carrying more than six passengers for hire are inspected annually by the Coast Guard and must display an approval decal and Coast Guard Certificate of inspection." taken from U.S.C.G. Marine Safety Newsletter, September 2000.

Frequently asked questions:

1.  Do I need a "TWIC CARD; What is a "TWIC CARD"?   (A)  This is a "Transportation Workers Identification Card."  As of 19 December 2011 all new applicants for a merchant mariner license must hold a valid TWIC card.  Anyone renewing their captain's license must show a valid or expired copy of their TWIC card..

2. What is the latest news on up-grading a 6 PAK boat to a 12 PAK boat?  (A.) Nothing, no plans in the making - itís on the back burner.

3. In Florida, does a charter boat need a state fishing license?  (A.)  YES.

     *Four (4) or less customers        /      *Five (5) to ten (10) customers 

    *Contact your local county tax collectors office for the current fishing license fee..

4. Does my original Coast Guard License need to be aboard while Iím chartering?  (A.)   YES, the C.F.R. states that the original must be in your possession (Keep a copy home on your wall!)

5. What about Life Jackets? (A.)   You need a type I, with reflective tape. Inshore, offshore the same plus a personal floatation device light that is C.G. approved under sub. part 161.012, C.F.R. sub chapter C /un-inspected vessels Part 25.25-13 A & B states very clearly that if you are operating beyond the shoreline (meaning coastwise and oceans) you are required to have this light on each personal floatation device (P.F.D.).

6. What about Fire Extinguishers?  (A.)   Well, all of you that know me, know that I am a firm believer that you canít have too many aboard!

7.  Renewal of Licenses:  Your CG Captain's License expires in 5 years.  You may renew after 4 years.  You renew by mail.  Remember, the Coast Guard DOES NOT notify you, it's up to you to do it!  SEE ABOVE INFORMATION FOR DETAILS ON RENEWING YOUR LICENSE.

8.  Do I need to belong to a drug consortium?  (A.)  Yes, CFR 46, Part 16,16.23 points that out. 

9.  What about boat and liability insurance?  (A.)  Some captain's don't have any!  But, the SMART THING to do is to contact a "Marine Insurance" company for coverage at a fair price that will suit your needs.  

Well that's it for now, I'm on the road doing more training!

  Stay Safe and Have Fun Boating!

  Captain Mike Adams

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