So, you’ve successfully completed your U.S. Coast Guard-approved Captains License Course! Congratulations!! Now for the next step – preparing the application for your Captains License.
How to prepare your application for the United States Coast Guard so you can obtain your Merchant Mariners Credentials:
You are applying to the USCG for Merchant Mariner Credentials. The scope of your basic license will be designated as an OUPV or “Operator of an uninspected passenger vessel.” This is commonly referred to as a “6-pack License.” This allows you to carry 6 paying passengers and 1 mate on your uninspected vessel. “Uninspected” means that your vessel is not subject to yearly USCG inspections.
What you will need for your application:
The first thing is the certificate of achievement provided by your course administrator, letting the USCG know that you have successfully completed the course, met all of the in-course time requirements (56 hours in class), and passed the 4 final exams.
There are five USCG forms that require completion by the applicant (and a few other things that you need to include with your application). Following is a list of what is required (we will go over them in more detail later).
- Form cg-719B (instructions and application)
- Form cg-719K (medical certificate)
- Form cg-719C conviction statement (DWI-DUI and other convictions)
- Form cg-719S (sea service Form)
- Form cg-719P (USCG periodic drug testing form)
- Merchant Mariner Oath
- TWIC Card (Transit Worker Identification Credential)
- Proof of United States Citizenship - birth certificate or 1-551 alien registration card (for OUPV only)
- Receipt of payment for USCG evaluation and licensing
- Current USCG-recognized First Aid AED CPR card
Application requirements in detail:
- Form cg-719B (instructions and application): This is where you give the Coast Guard all of your relevant up-to-date information about where you live, who you are, and what you are applying for. APPLICATION FOR MERCHANT MARINER CREDENTIAL (FORM CG-719B)
- Form cg-719K (medical certificate): This goes to your doctor, who must evaluate you for fitness on board a vessel. If you use your own doctor, make sure that everything is filled out and initialed as needed. You need a basic physical, hearing test, and vision test (including ability to distinguish colors). All medications the applicant is prescribed must be listed, as well as any factors that may limit your ability such as sleep apnea or seizures. Be aware that there are other conditions that may hinder your application process. If you think you may have a condition that could limit or exempt you from obtaining a license, you should visit: National Maritime Center | Top 10 Medical Conditions
- Form cg-719CG (DWI-DUI and other convictions): If you were ever in court and found anything but not guilty of anything other than a parking or traffic ticket, please pay attention and visit: DISCLOSURE STATEMENT FOR NARCOTICS, DWI/DUI, AND/OR OTHER CONVICTIONS (OPTIONAL FORM CG-719C)
Note that even if you received PTI or probation, or had a conviction expunged, it still needs to be addressed here. A signed conviction statement must be provided.
- Form cg-719S (Sea Service Form): This is the number one question that we get at least twice a day ... How do I document my sea time?? Sea service forms are an approximation to the best of your memory of the time you operated a vessel since your 15th birthday. It is submitted on the honor system and I can tell you from my many years of speaking with OUPV applicants that everyone I have come across is honorable, asking questions like what if I am short by two days? My answer? Spend two more days on the water!!! It’s this easy… if you’re documenting time on your boat, you need to provide proof of ownership for the time period you are documenting (titles, registrations, insurance documents, etc. are all acceptable). If you are documenting time on someone else’s boat, they need to provide a vessel registration number and their signature attesting that you were on that boat on the dates and times that you listed. SMALL VESSEL SEA SERVICE FORM (OPTIONAL CG-719S)
- Form cg-719P (USCG periodic drug testing form): This form asks if you have ever used or been addicted to any illegal drugs, and requests that you provide a USCG-approved drug test (performed within six months of your application date). If you have a prescription for any opioid-based pain medication, your doctor may be requested to provide additional information. Please be reminded that marijuana is an illegal Class 1 drug and even if you have a medical marijuana card from a state that regards marijuana as legal in any sense, it is still illegal on a federal level. The USCG has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to any federally classified drug. DOT/USCG PERIODIC DRUG TESTING FORM (OPTIONAL CG-719P)
- Merchant Mariners Oath: If you are sending your application by mail or email, you must have the Oath stamped and signed by a Notary. If you are hand- delivering your application, the Oath will be administered and signed by a Coast Guard Official.
- TWIC Card: As a Merchant Mariner, you will be working in the transportation field and the USCG and homeland security want to know who you are. Technically, a TWIC card is needed to enter US ports and secure locations. It is used here as a secondary background check. A copy of your TWIC card must be included with your application. Apply on line @ TWIC Card
- Proof of United States Citizenship: Birth Certificate, 1-551 alien registration card (for OUPV only), or valid US passport must be provided.
- USCG evaluation and licensing fee paid: Pre-pay your application and licensing fees and submit the receipt with your application @ PRE-pay Here
- Current USCG-recognized First Aid AED CPR card: You must submit, with your application, proof of recent completion (within 6 months of application date) of a USCG-recognized First Aid CPR AED course (National Safety Council, Red Cross or American Heart Association).
Your application must be received by the USCG within one year of your Certificate of Achievement completion date.
You may mail, email or hand-deliver your application: To file by US Mail or hand deliver: File by Mail or Hand Deliver
Please note that an appointment is necessary for hand delivery. To file by email, visit File by Email