From Norleen Schumer at MaritimeLicensing.com
March 26, 2009
Mailing Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) Applications to Regional Exam Centers
Under the provisions of the new Merchant Mariner Credential regulations, which will become effective April 15, 2009, mariners will be able to submit credential applications by mail to one of the 17 Regional Examination Centers (REC) located throughout the nation and will no longer need to appear at an REC. This will save mariners time and money. This bulletin provides information on how to mail MMC applications to an REC.
One of the many benefits of the new regulation is the ability for mariners to mail an application to an REC. After April 15, 2009, mariners will no longer be required to appear in-person at a Regional Examination Center (REC) to be fingerprinted, provide proof of identity and submit an application for a credential, so long as they have either applied for a Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC) at one of 149 TWIC Enrollment Centers or have already been issued a TWIC. As part of the (TWIC) enrollment process, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will have already verified a mariner’s identity and taken fingerprints and photograph, which will be sent to the Coast Guard electronically for use in processing the MMC application.
Mailing applications to an REC. To assist you in better preparing an application package for submission to an REC, please follow the instructions below.
Step 1 – Meet the professional requirements. Prior to submitting an application, you should ensure you meet the professional requirements for the credential you are seeking. These requirements include service experience and training, among others.
Step 2 - Obtain a TWIC. Ensure you have either applied for a TWIC at an enrollment center or that you already hold a TWIC issued by TSA. Please see our information bulletin on the requirements for a TWIC, which we published on February 12, 2009.
Step 3 – Assemble your application package. Use the Application Acceptance Checklist to assemble your application package. Using this checklist will help ensure that your application package is ‘Ready to be Evaluated’ in accordance with the new MMC regulations and will speed up processing time.
Step 4 – Pay user fees. To further streamline the application process, mariners are encouraged to pay user fees on-line using https://www.pay.gov. The Coast Guard is currently working with the U. S. Department of the Treasury to update this system to reflect the new MMC fee schedule. A copy of your payment receipt should be included with your application. The MMC Final Rule changed the user fees, providing savings for some mariners.
Step 5 – Mail your application package to an REC. After April 15, 2009, you can mail your application to one of the 17 RECs. The mailing address for the RECs, can be found on our website at http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/rec_information.asp, along with other information. Please do not mail your application to the National Maritime Center (NMC) directly as this will cause significant delays in the processing of your application.
Appointments can be made at an REC should you wish to submit your application to an REC in person. Original applicants, please see additional important information on the next page.
Additional important information for original applicants:
o Oaths for original applicants: The MMC rule allows for two options for the Oath to be administered depending on how you choose to submit your application.
1) If you submit your original application to an REC in person, Coast Guard personnel at the REC will administer the oath.
2) If you mail your original application to an REC, any person legally permitted to administer oaths in the jurisdiction where you reside may administer the oath. In this case, simply have a notary administer the oath and sign section VI of the application (CG Form 719B) in lieu of a designated Coast Guard official before you mail it to an REC. The Oath is only required for issuance of an Original MMC.
Original MMCs are only those issued to mariners who have not previously held a mariner credential. We will also post a sample form on the website that may be used in lieu of section VI of the 719B.
The provisions in the new Merchant Mariner Credential regulations will provide many benefits to the mariner. Mariners will no longer have to appear at an REC to submit provide fingerprints and proof of identity. Mariners can also be able to pay user fees on line. Original applicants will now have an alternative means for administering the oath.
David C. Stalfort
Captain, U. S. Coast Guard