Captain’s License Renewals

RENEWAL of your Captain's License requires the forms to the right (on PC) or below (on smartphone):

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, The National Maritime Center is currently backlogged and is strongly recommending you submit applications a minimum of 90 days in advanced of your expiration date.  See Part 1 and Part 2.

If the links provided do not work, you may go directly to the National Maritime Center's website to obtain the required forms for license renewal:  National Maritime Center home page. Click on "Forms."


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

      1. Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC):
        FOR RENEWAL: If you have a valid or expired TWIC card and you are exempt from having to renew it, you need to check the box on top of pg. 4 of CG-719B. You do NOT have to send in a copy of the expired card with your renewal application.  FOR ORIGINAL APPLICANTS: YOU MUST HAVE A CURRENT TWIC CARD.  MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE TWIC OFFICE THAT YOU ARE APPLYING FOR YOUR MERCHANT MARINER CREDENTIAL!!!  If you do not do this, you may need to send a copy of your birth certificate along with a copy of the TWIC card or receipt.  If you told the TWIC office that you are applying for your Merchant Mariner Credential, then you will only need to send a copy of the receipt you received when you applied for the TWIC. The NMC wants the "TICKET NUMBER" that is at the top of the receipt.  You do NOT need to send a copy of the card IF you have the receipt. If you do not have the receipt, send in a copy of the front and the back of the TWIC card.
      2. Coast Guard Application for Merchant Mariner Document form CG-719B Complete pages 3, 4 and 5.  For ORIGINAL LICENSING ONLY: Any notary can administer the oath that can be found on the last bullet on the bottom of page 4. The applicant and the notary will sign below. They can put their seal over their signature. RENEWALS do not need to do the oath again. Make sure to print your name on the bottom of pages 4 and 5 even if you do not fill out the optional third party info on page 5.
      3. Small Vessel Sea Service Form CG-719S: For RENEWALS, complete one form for each vessel you are claiming time on.  Document a minimum of 360 days boating experience within the past 5 years.  For ORIGINALS, you need a minimum of 360 days for OUPV, 90 days within the past 3 years, and a minimum of 720 days for the Upgrade to Master, 90 days within the past 3 years. Include proof of ownership for the vessel if self owned.  If it is not self owned, the registered owner must also sign page 2 of the form.
      4. Drug Test-Form CG-719P (Cannot be over 6 months old) The test MUST BE A DOT 5-PANEL test. The National Maritime Center will NOT accept 7, 9, 10, or 12 panel tests. You may send a copy. *NOTE- According to 46 CFR 16.230, all licensed captains and their crew are required to join a random drug testing consortium. In that case, you just need to have a letter from the consortium. Please note, the use of medical marijuana is prohibited for ANYONE obtaining or holding a merchant mariner credential. See the following link for FAQ's. Drug Testing FAQ's
      5. Physical Form CG-719K (Cannot be over 12 months old) Send a copy. Make sure the medical provider fills out, initials, and returns ALL 10 pages, including pages 1 and 2 of the instructions. On pg. 3, under "Endorsement Held or Sought," check "deck."
      6. Convictions Form CG-719C If you have checked "yes" for any question on pg. 4 section III, 2, on the CG719B form regarding convictions, you must fill out the separate Convictions Form.
      7. RENEWALS- Copy of your current license (front & back)
      8. Merchant Mariner User Fee Payment: Pay via credit card or bank account using can be confusing. On the website, go to USCG MMC User-Fee Payment. Enter your personal info and select which REC you would like to send your application to. See Part 2 for more info regarding REC's. For ORIGINALS, select the following in the drop down menus: Credential Category-"Officer Endorsement Only," Type of Endorsement-"Original Officer Endorsement $100," Exam/Testing Fees-"Course in Lieu of Exam $0.00," Issuance Fees-"Pay MMC Issuance fee now $45." Total is $145. Then continue to payment method on the next page. For RENEWALS, select the following in the drop down menus: Credential Category-"Officer Endorsement Only," Type of Endorsement-" Officer Renewal $50," Issuance Fees-"Pay MMC Issuance fee now $45." Total is $95. Then continue to payment method on the next page.


    ***You do not need to renew CPR and First aid for renewal.


    The MMC License Application packet must be submitted to any Regional Examination Center (REC) and may be delivered by mail, fax or email.  The REC's in Miami and New York are usually extra backlogged, so choose another REC if possible. ***Emailing your application to the REC is strongly recommended. Scan all pages into a PDF file and email to the REC of your choice. This may need to be done in multiple emails as they cannot except anything larger than 8GB. Make sure you choose the same REC that you selected on Call us for info regarding which REC's are the most timely in current conditions. DO NOT submit your application package directly to the National Maritime Center (NMC) in Martinsburg, WV, as this will result in delays. Current turn-around time to process applications is a minimum of 90 days once the NMC has received your application.

    If any of the items are missing, 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.

Uninspected Passenger Vessel Requirements


Regional Exam Center (REC) Form Links

The following forms are required for renewal:
CG-719B (Application)
CG-719K (Physical)
CG-719P (Drug Testing)
CG-719S (Sea Service)
CG-719C (Convictions)

"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.