Return those scanners and Photoshop for Dumbies books everyone, the USCG set to release a printable, frameable and traditional MMC!

After what we’re sure was the result of numerous requests and complaints from U.S. mariners and much consideration from the powers that be, the USCG is working on finalizing the development of a Merchant Mariner Certificate that is downloadable from the USCG website and suitable for framing.

There has been a lot of discussion over this issue since replacing the traditional paper license with a the new passport-style Merchant Marine Credential (MMC), which consolidated the previously issued licenses, Merchant Mariner Documents and STCW certificates.  The new passport-style MMC has been stated as “flimsy and cheap” and even “un-seaworthy” in comparison to a U.S. Passport.  Not only that, but U.S. Mariners deserve the right to proudly display a traditional paper license to showcase their hardwork and dedication to an industry and profession, same as would a doctor, a Ph.D., college or even highschool graduate.

Now, the USCG is taking a step in the right direction and tells us:

Later this summer, the Coast Guard will launch an Internet-based service where mariners will visit a Coast Guard web site, enter their mariner reference number, or other verifiable identification data, and request to download a “Merchant Mariner Certificate” that would include the officer and rating endorsements that are contained in the mariner’s MMC. This service will not have the ability to reproduce legacy license, MMD or STCW credentials. The request, similar to that used to verify credentials in the Coast Guard’s Merchant Mariner Credential Verification (MMCV) function, would populate a “certificate” that the mariner could save and print from a personal computer or other Internet-capable devices. The certificate, which would be used for display purposes only, would not be authorized as a substitute for a valid MMC and will not substitute for the MMC where the requirement to post a credential exists. There will be no fee for downloading the certificate. Additional information will be provided before the system is released.

While this may seem great for some, there is still one catch.  Capt. Fran tells us on the gCaptain forum:

Here’s the kicker though. The certificate, suitable for display, would NOT be authorized as a substitute for the MMC where the required to post a credential exists. Whaaa?

Capt. Fran has already emailed her comments and she, and the USCG, encourage you to do the same: nmc-mmc-certificates@uscg.mil

Join the discussion on this issue int the gCaptain forum HERE.

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