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 Boat 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:
Additional Requirements Include:
No testing at the USCG Regional Exam Centers is necessary. All testing is done at our facilities.
Upon successful completion of the Mariners Learning System™ online OUPV course, the student studies the materials and takes a proctored exam at one of our Coast Guard approved testing sites. Once the student passes our multiple choice exam, he or she will receive a Mariners Learning System™ certificate recognized by the United States Coast Guard. Simply submit, within one year, the original certificate along with your application package and applicable fees to the USCG Regional Exam Center. Upon their approval of your package, they will send you your original License.