Coast Guard Centralizes Mariner Licensing Program

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) reached a milestone in a major restructuring and centralizing project. In December 2007, the NMC will move into a new specially designed credential-production facility in Martinsburg, WV. Since 2005, the NMC has been managing a project to consolidate the functions of 17 independently operating Regional Exam Centers (REC) into one credential-processing facility. The goal of this effort is to improve customer service, decrease credential processing time, and improve the consistency of Coast Guard products and services.

Mariners will continue to use the existing RECs in various ports across the nation for face-to-face customer service and to ensure their applications are ready for evaluation by the NMC. Once an application is accepted at an REC, it will be sent to the NMC for processing. The NMC will send issued credentials directly to Mariners.

Captain Stalfort, the Commanding Officer of the NMC said, “We have huge opportunities to reengineer the credentialing process by embracing technology to improve customer service and reduce the time it takes for mariners to receive their credentials. One day mariners will be able to upgrade or renew their credentials on demand from any location in the world, much like you can access your bank account from an ATM or pay your taxes on line.”

Centralizing has already made it possible for mariners to check the status of their credential application online via a Coast Guard website. (From the home page, select Missions > Merchant Mariners > Merchant Mariner Application Status) A new toll free call center is also available (1-888-IASKNMC / 1-888-427-5662) to answer questions and provide information.

The Coast Guard is committed to improving all aspects of the credentialing processing the most efficient, customer centric manner possible.

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