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Information on delays in the production of merchant mariner credentials

May 1, 2023 | By Submitted by the Coast Guard Inspections and Compliance Directorate

The U.S. Coast Guard recently published a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB 6-23) and NMC bulletin explaining that it is experiencing delays in the production of merchant mariner credentials (MMCs). These delays are due to increased application volume and technical difficulties with our credential production equipment. The Coast Guard is working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. To reduce burden on merchant mariners we are providing interim solutions for mariners, marine employers, and the Coast Guard to verify that a mariner holds a valid MMC with the proper endorsements.

For mariners serving on U.S. vessels on domestic voyages, including voyages between a port in the U.S. to another port in the U.S. without entering into another Administrations waters, the credential verification tool (MMLD Credential Verification ( may be used to verify that the mariner holds a valid MMC and the associated endorsements required for shipboard employment and service. This tool shows the most recently issued valid MMC and Medical Certificate.

If a mariner has recently applied for an original or to upgrade or renew their MMC, the status of the application can be verified using the Merchant Mariner Application Status tool (MMLD Application Status ( This tool will show the current state of the credential. If the application tool shows “Approved to Print, Printed, or Issued”, then the mariner is authorized to serve on a vessel on domestic voyages under the authority of that endorsement. Please note that the application status tool is only accurate for the most recent application.

For mariners serving on vessels on international voyages, voyages between a U.S. port and a port in another Administration, contact NMC directly for priority printing of your MMC.

The Coast Guard will accept a printed copy of the outcome of the verification tools as adequate proof that the mariner holds a valid MMC, until the mariner received the printed credential. The mariner should provide the following to demonstrate they hold a valid MMC:

Original or Raise of Grade:

  1. MMC Application Status with an Approved to Print, Printed, or Issued status.

  2. MMC Credential Verification displaying MMC Issued and Expiration dates (if applicable) OR email verification from NMC.

  3. MMC Credential Verification displaying Credential Details with appropriate endorsements OR email verification from NMC.

  4. Previous MMC (if not original issuance).

Renewal ONLY:

  1. MMC Application Status with an Approved to Print, Printed, or Issued status.

  2. Previous MMC (if not original issuance)

Questions about this notice should be e-mailed to or you may call (202) 372-1492.  Questions regarding specific applications or credentials should be directed to the NMC at the Customer Service Center via Live Chat ( or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) for assistance.

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This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.