Regional Exam Centers (REC) pre-screen applications, administer examinations, conduct oversight of Coast Guard approved courses, and support community outreach programs. It is important that you provide the Regional Exam Center with a complete application package to avoid delay.

You MUST have a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before applying for a credential.

REC Portland exam services will be by appointment only.  Appointments for counter services are highly recommended as we cannot guarantee that walk-ins will be accommodated.  Late arrivals for examination appointments may not be permitted, and could require rescheduling to another appointment date; if allowed to test after arriving late, an applicant will only receive the amount of time remaining within the exam session.

In all cases, applicants and visitors who are experiencing or demonstrating symptoms indicating an illness, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea, will not be permitted to enter the REC/MU and will need to reschedule their appointment.

Local COVID-19 conditions may vary from week-to-week, therefore the following COVID-19 restrictions may be applicable:

Visitors and applicants may be subject to health screening questions including vaccination status, social distancing and mandatory face coverings (masks).

Persons not conducting business with the REC or MU may be asked to wait outside when social distancing is required.

Applicants or visitors may wear a mask as an option. However, if the CDC recommends mandatory masks for the REC/MU’s location, then masks will be required. Whenever masks are mandatory: those who refuse to wear a mask, or who remove their mask at any time including during an exam may be dismissed and could be subject to examination module failure.  Persons with documented health issues which prevent them from wearing a mask must notify the REC/MU when scheduling an appointment.

For an examination appointment: applicants shall bring a photo ID. Applicants are encouraged to bring their own #2 pencils, a non-programmable calculator and plotting equipment, if applicable, as we cannot guarantee that these items will be available at the REC. No other personal belongings are allowed in the examination room. Examinations will not be administered unless an applicant has paid all applicable user fees and has an approved-to-test (ATT) letter.

Applicants may submit an application via email, which is the preferred method, to, or by fax or mail.

Applicants are encouraged to pay their user fees prior to arrival at the REC using

Awaiting Information (AI) Documentation – To ensure fastest processing please send AI documentation to

Current letters from the NMC requesting Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) AI documentation instruct mariners to send the information to Please use the address instead. These letters are in the process of being changed to instruct mariners to send AI documentation to the new MMC Awaiting Info e-mail address. 

If submitting AI documentation via e-mail, please ensure all attachments are in Adobe PDF format. Submitting documentation in formats other than Adobe PDF will cause processing delays.

Medical applications and supporting medical documentation should be sent via e-mail to . Please include your full name in the subject line and ensure attachments are in PDF format.

Exam Room Hours are 07:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (Excluding all Federal Holidays).

Counter Service Hours are from 08:30 to 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (Excluding all Federal Holidays).


  1. Call the NMC contact center at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662); or
  2. Email REC Portland at
  3. When scheduling an appointment, applicants MUST include the following information:
  1. Full name;
  2. Mariner Reference Number (MRN);
  3. Date(s) requesting exam or come in person counter service;
  4. Cell phone number (For confirmation purposes).

General Building Access Requirements:  The REAL ID Act of 2005 prohibits Federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, driver's licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act's minimum standards. On May 7, 2025, Federal agencies will be prohibited from accepting driver's licenses and identification cards from the listed states for accessing federal facilities and military installations. In order to gain access to an REC, you will be required to provide a valid driver's license or identification card from a state that meets the Act's minimum standards OR by providing some form of currently valid federal identification (passport, TWIC, MMC, etc.). Failure to provide proof of acceptable identification will prevent you from entering the REC to conduct business which may affect your credential and/or application. 

REC Portland Building Access Requirements: When you arrive at the 911 Federal Building, the doors will be unlocked; you may come in and will be required to go through a building security screening (no steel toes, knives or fire arms of any kind). Once passed through the screening, please wait in the lobby and a REC Staff member will meet you there to escort you upstairs to the REC.  

Parking: Parking on-site is not available. Metered street parking is available in the general area as are several parking garages; plan on at least 1-2 hours.  Also the TriMet MAX Red Line light rail service connects Portland International Airport, E/NE Portland, Portland City Center and Beaverton; the REC is located on the Lloyd Center/NE 11th Ave stop.

Overseas Travel Restrictions: Please note that many states have implemented travel restrictions or quarantines for individuals arriving from certain high COVID areas of the country.  Before you travel to the REC, you are encouraged to check the state specific public health website for current restriction or quarantine information via the following link.

When accessing this website, select the applicable state health department link and review information and updates on COVID-19 and /or travel advisories.

Note: If you arrive at the REC and it is determined that you have violated state travel or quarantine restrictions you will not be permitted to enter the REC and will have to reschedule your examination appointment.