I'm currently in the process of renewing my 3/M license. I have not sailed on my license within the past 5 years. I'm also currently in the grace period. My license expired OCT '12. So far, I've completed the Radar Renewal, Basic Safety Training and TWIC. I was just on the NMC website last night, carefully reading the CFRs and it does in fact state that I would have to do an open-book exam since I haven't sailed on my license within the last 5 years. Before I read this information, unbeknownst to me, I did not know I had to take a test. I do remember the guy at the REC told me that I'd have to do an exam....of course, it 'went in one ear and out the other'.
I e-mailed the NMC to ask them about how I can go about getting the exam. As we know, this process can be a pain. I live in New Hampshire. Can I just drive down to the Boston REC, write them a check so they can give me the 3/M renewal exam? I feel like such an idiot because I didn't realize I had to take this test and now I am freaking out. Interestingly, enough, when I went through the Basic Safety Training in December, a NY Maritime grad didn't realize he had to do the Radar Renewal. I said to him, "Yeah, you better check the USCG website."