License Requirements: Masters Upgrade, 25, 50, 100 Tons
The USCG Master License allows the holder to operate inspected vessels as well as uninspected vessels. Any vessel that is certified (authorized) by the USCG to carry more than 6 paying passengers plus crew must have a Captain who holds a 25/50/100 Ton Master license. Ferry boats, harbor tours boats, whale watch boats are examples of inspected vessels.
There are 4 different Master Licenses a mariner may qualify for such as the Master Inland or Master Near Coastal. Both the amount of sea service time and the size vessels you have been on will influence the license you are eligible for. Master licenses are tonnage rated at 25 GT (gross tons), 50 GT, or 100 GT. The tonnage you are awarded is determined by the size vessels you’ve gained experience on in the last 3 years – it’s called “recency experience.” You are not required to advance through the different licenses one at a time. If you meet the USCG requirements for the master 100GT Near Coastal, you’ll get that license as your first license. The 4 types of up to 100GT Master licenses are listed below along with the requirements:
• Master Inland: 360 days underway experience since age 15; 90 of those 360 days in the last 3 years.
• Master Inland/OUPV: 360 days underway experience since age 15; 90 of those 360 days in the last 3 years; 90 of those 360 days outside the boundary lines.
• Master Inland/Mate Near Coastal: 360 days underway experience since age 15; 90 days of those 360 days in the last 3 years; 180 of those 360 days outside the boundary lines.
• Master Near Coastal: 720 days underway experience since age 15; 90 of those 720 days in the last 3 years; 360 of those 720 days outside the boundary lines.
Additional Requirements Include:
• Age 19 or over for Masters Upgrade License.
• Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC). Available online.
• Physical exam if more than three years has elapsed since the last exam. Available through a Captains License Class affiliated doctor.
• Drug test, unless enrolled in a USCG-required random drug program for the last 185 days, with no failure or refusal to participate in a chemical test for dangerous drugs. Available through Captains License Class affiliation with Lab Corp & Quest Labs.
• CPR/First Aid Card – Available through Captains License Class affiliated instructor.
• U.S. Citizenship
• Character reference letters
• Completed USCG application package
• Completion of the Mariners School™ USCG-approved Masters Upgrade course
• Certificate of Completion from an Mariners Learning System™