Q: What is a Merchant Mariner's Credential?
A Merchant Mariner's Credential (MMC) is issued by the United States Coast Guard, and it is required documentation for all crew members of U.S. ships with a Gross Register Tonnage of over 100, and for all vessels that are required to operate with a licensed Master, regardless of size. MMCs allow you to work in the deck, engineering, or steward's department of a ship.
Applying for an MMC is a six-step process:
- If applicable, obtain a Transportation Worker's Identification Credential (TWIC) from the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).
- Submit the application by fax, mail, or e-mail.
- The REC processes the application in an electronic database and then mails it to the National Maritime Center for further processing.
- The application is reviewed. They will do a criminal record review, verify citizenship, look at the results of a physical exam, and look at professional qualifications including service experience, training, and examinations.
- The credential is printed.
- The credential is mailed to the mariner.
Mariners applying for an MMC need to make sure to include all proper documentation, training, sea time, and medical records because if anything is missing, the entire application process will be delayed. Once a maritime employee has received his MMC, it is valid for five years. Once five years have passed, he must apply for and meet all renewal requirements.
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