Medical Waivers

General Overview

Medical waivers are granted for conditions documented on the physical examination form or supporting documentation submitted by the applicant when the condition has been identified as not posing a significant risk to maritime safety.

When granting a waiver, the NMC may apply a requirement or limitation to the waiver. It is the mariner’s responsibility to read the waiver letter and any applicable requirements/limitations in order to maintain the waiver. 46 CFR does not specifically address the innumerable diagnoses with possible associated requirements. NVIC 04-08, however, does state that one of the outcomes of the NMC medical review may result in a determinate that “the application does not possess the vision, hearing or general physical condition necessary, but a credential may be issued with appropriate limitation, waivers and/or other conditions for issuance of the credential specified by the NMC.”

The waiver is an acknowledgement by the NMC that the condition was identified and places a responsibility on the mariner to report any change in the identified condition. Conditions that have progressively worsened may potentially affect a mariner’s fitness for certification.

The mariner should carry this waiver letter at all times while acting under the authority of the credential.

Waivers may be rendered invalid due to changes in a mariner’s medical condition and/or if a mariner fails to comply with waiver requirements.