Medical Certificate : Overview

Medical Certificate : Overview


As of January 24, 2014, the Coast Guard began issuing medical certificates to all mariners holding valid international endorsements, per the Final Rule titled, Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW), as Amended, and Changes to National Endorsements.


The medical certificate is a document that serves as proof that a mariner meets the required medical and physical standards.  In order to receive a Merchant Mariner Credential or Medical Certificate you will need to complete the correct applications. 


For additional details on medical certificates, including Duplicate Medical Certificate Requests:


The Medical Division is responsible for determining the medical fitness for mariners to serve in the capacities specified by the domestic and international endorsements for which they apply.

To qualify for a medical certificate, a mariner must provide evidence of meeting the medical and physical standards found on Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate (CG-719K), as appropriate.


This examination and form must be completed within 12 months of application date (36 months if applying for Raise of Grade).  The medical provider completing the required examination must be a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner who is licensed in the U.S. or a U.S. territory.  Use the following steps to apply.


USCG practices, with respect to the physical and medical evaluation process, continually evolve to align with current medical standards of care and current safety standards. Although the current NVIC 04-08 details specific medical conditions and the recommended data for evaluation of these conditions, it is not all inclusive or definitive and may be subject to further review.


For the most current medical information available, please contact the National Maritime Center Medical Helpdesk,, 1-888-IASKNMC (1-888-427-5662).