U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License

If you enjoy working at sea and think you want to get a captain’s degree don’t wait any longer, this is a great idea. Licensing offers a world of options in the merchant marine industry, whether you are a decker looking for a promotion or own a boat and want to start making money.
USCG-approved marine schools can help you earn a degree and teach you skills to make you a better rower. You’ll be on your way to some rich and exciting adventures before you know it.

Who needs a captain’s license?

In short, anyone who wants to sail a boat for a living needs a captain’s license.
Remunerated passenger ship operators must hold a captain’s license, according to the United States Coast Guard. License holders have a huge advantage over those without. The competition would be very strong if all those who were able to steer the boat could make up for doing so. Fortunately, good captains will find plenty of job opportunities.

You have standards concerns if you plan to enroll in a USCG-approved captain’s degree school for your master’s or 6pack. It’s a bit complicated at first, but this guide will walk you through it and answer some frequently asked questions.

How to become a captain

To put it more simply, being a captain consists of three things:

  • Sailing experience: gaining experience, either on your own boat or as a member of the crew. other is the first step to becoming the captain of any ship.
  • Passing the USCG Exam: You will need to pass an exam approved by the US Coast Guard to earn your captain’s license. This is a necessary step to earn your captain’s license. Taking a USCG-approved Captain’s Certificate course helps you prepare for the exam and provides you with useful information and study materials.
  • Completion of Certificates, Forms, and Fees: You will submit your application to the Coast Guard after completing your course. It contains, among other things, a medical examination, proof of drug testing registration, and maritime service documents.

How Long Is Captain’s License Valid?

Your captain’s license is valid for five years after passing the test and meets other criteria.

Types of Captain’s Licenses

Before getting into the specific requirements for obtaining a captain’s license, it is important to understand the many types of permits available.

Your sailing experience will determine what certification you qualify for. You will need to apply for one of the following three permits, depending on where you may operate and the tonnage of vessels you may use.

1. Unchecked Passenger Vessel Operator (OUPV)

The title of the uninspected passenger train operator, commonly known as a 6-pack certificate, allows you to carry up to six people on The ship is not inspected. The Coast Guard doesn’t have to inspect your boat before you can use it, and the boat’s design and safety standards aren’t as strict.

Coast Guard provides 6pack captain’s licenses for a certain beach depending on your marine service, like Inland, Inland, and Great Lakes, or Near Coastal, which allows you to go up to 100 miles offshore. The criteria for a 6-pack permit (OUPV) is 360 days of sea travel, 90 of which must be in the area you are applying for. For example, OUPV near the coast requires at least 90 days of exposure to coastal or oceanic waters.

2. Main Inland

Within approved limits for inland waters – primarily lakes and ports – the Inland license allows you to operate both inspected and uninspected vessels. You can also use this license to serve as a deck officer on ships close to the sea if you can prove that you have spent 180 days at sea. If you want to operate a boat in the Great Lakes, you will need 360 Days of navigation on all waterways, plus 90 days on the Great Lakes.

3. Captain Near Coastal

You can operate inspected and uninspected vessels in inland waters and up to 200 miles off the coast of the United States with a Near Coastal license. Yes, 200 miles is close to the shore. You will need 720 days at sea, including 360 at sea.

Types of Certification

Some vessels will require approval with your license. Here are some examples:

  • Sail Rider: This rider is required if you intend to work as a yacht captain. It takes you 360 days onboard, in addition to the 360 ​​days required for your license and there will be a little extra on your written test.
  • Towing Assistance Certification: You will need a Towing Assistance Certification to work for a marine company that specializes in towing other vessels. While no prior boating experience is required, you must pass the short written test found in most captain’s courses.
  • STCW Rider: If you want to sail over 72 feet or sail overseas, you may need to take an STCW course in addition to your captain’s license. The acronym STCW stands for “Standards of Training, Certification, and Care” and is commonly referred to as “Basic Safety Training”. Fire fighting, survival, and first aid are among the topics covered in the training.
  • On your original Merchant Seaman certificate, you should ask for as many claims as possible. The more you earn, the less time it will take to upgrade later.

Standard and Application Requirements for Captain’s Licenses

We will review the specific requirements you will need to obtain your certification now that you have read the licenses and certifications. Here’s what you have to fill out on your Coast Guard application:

At least 19 years old:

To get a captain’s license you must be 19 years old.

Time at sea: A master’s license requires at least 360 days of experience within the previous three years.

Seafaring Service Forms:

Complete your seaworthiness documents and have your time verified by the ship’s owner or manager. Eight hours of work on a ship is equivalent to one day of maritime work – this does not include overtime.

Completed USCG Approved Exam:

Attending a USCG-approved marine training school is the fastest way to pass your licensing exam. Upon completion of the course, you will be awarded a one-year certificate of course completion.

Transport Worker Identification Card (TWIC):

The TWIC Card is issued by the TSA and is required for all commercial seafarer certifications. To get your card, you’ll need to pay a fee and pass a federal background check.

Medical Checkup:

Use the USCG’s medical examination guidelines before making a doctor’s appointment to avoid common mistakes that the Coast Guard will fire.

Proof of Drug Test Registration:

You must participate in a randomized drug trial for each Merchant Crew Certificate. Some companies in the marine industry offer them, but you’ll need proof of registration to get your license.

MMC Application:

Carefully complete your captain’s license application form. Unless you are looking for an OUPV license, be sure to indicate the scope and payload of the license you are requesting.

Photo ID:

Once you have obtained your TWIC card, you will meet this requirement. This will also be the photo on your driver’s license.

Proof of Application Fee:

Make sure you pay the correct fee using pay.gov. To find out how much you will need to pay for your license evaluation, visit the USCG billing website. After payment, you need to print a confirmation page.

US Coast Guard Oath:

A verified USCG Oath is required for all initial Merchant Seaman qualifications. This can be done at a Coast Guard-approved facility, such as a regional examination center or marine training school.

First aid and CPR certificate:

You must be certified in first aid and CPR for your initial license. There are regular classes, no matter where you live, and most are inexpensive. The course time usually in the afternoon.

Proof of Residence (OUPV only):

If you are applying for an OUPV permit, you will need to provide proof of permanent resident status in the form of a valid green card or state ID.

How to renew your captain’s license

We strongly recommend that you do not let your captain’s license expire after receiving it. Even if you don’t plan to use it anytime soon, you should keep renewing it just like you only need to do it every 5 years. If you let it expire and then wish to continue sailing, you will need to meet all Coast Guard standards in order to get a captain’s license from scratch. It’s easy to renew your license.

You just need to:

  • You must take a refresher course at a USCG-approved training facility or 360 days at sea within the past five years.
  • Completed Renewal Request Form – this is the form you used to obtain your initial license, so be sure to mention that you are renewing your DOT drug trial registration – as well as documentation of the review performed during the previous six months.
  • A USCG Marine Medical Exam, similar to the one required for your first license.
    You can pay your fees online at the USCG website.
Karine H

Karine H

Karine is a newcomer in the content writing field. She is studying biomedical engineering at NPUA, previously she studied marketing at LPFA. Also, she takes part in different engineering projects and competitions like USWC 21 - Venture Cup. She started content writing a year ago and since then wrote about 100 articles for various websites. Karine has done various volunteering work, business meetings, etc. According to Karine, all the volunteer jobs helped her improve her communication, team working, problem-solving skills, which nowadays helps her in content writing as she knows what people want to hear, and what information they need. This is just the beginning and everything just stats for this girl.