Due to an increase in application volume and technical difficulties with our credential production equipment, mariner applicants will experience issuance delays. For the most up to date status information, use our online tool to check your status. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to get your credential to you as soon as possible.


The checklists are based upon the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and US Coast Guard policies. The CFR, Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular' (NVIC) and published policies will help you to understand the requirements for our Merchant Mariner Credentialing Program. When a conflict is noted between the checklist and the CFR, the CFR is the overriding factor.

The checklists may be used to help determine professional qualifications needed for various Ratings and Officer Endorsements. Checklists cover the following general and professional requirements:

  • Age
  • Drug Testing
  • Examination
  • Fees
  • Sea Service
  • TWIC

46 CFR 11.201 requires that an applicant for STCW must hold the appropriate National Endorsement, unless otherwise specified. Check applicable NVIC for list of appropriate National Endorsement but not all NVIC's may have been updated yet to reflect this information.


National Officer Endorsements (licensed) for Deck

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STCW Officer Endorsements (licensed) for Deck

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Captains, mates, operators and pilots supervise ship operations on domestic waterways and the high seas. The following are officer endorsements in the deck department:

  • Master means the officer having command of a vessel.
  • Mate means a qualified officer in the deck department other than the master.
  • Operator means an individual qualified to operate uninspected passenger vessels.
  • First Class Pilot accompanies vessels while they enter or leave port to ensure safe navigation of entrance and departure.