More Regional Exam Centers Transition to National Maritime Center

WASHINGTON – Coast Guard Regional Examination Centers (REC’s) in Memphis, Tenn. and Long Beach, Calif. will join six other RECs that have transitioned to become field units of the National Maritime Center (NMC), located in Martinsburg, W.Va.

On March 3, REC Memphis and REC Los Angeles-Long Beach will become “storefront” operations, with staff focused on helping mariners ensure their applications are ready for evaluation. Mariners will still need to verify their identity, get fingerprinted and take their tests at the REC. Completed application packages will be sent to the NMC for evaluation. The NMC will conduct security, professional qualification, and medical evaluations and will print and issue credentials.

RECs in Anchorage, Alaska; Baltimore; Juneau, Alaska; New Orleans; St. Louis; and Toledo, Ohio have already transitioned to NMC field units. By the end of this calendar year, all 17 RECs nationwide will have transitioned.

“The future role of the transitioned RECs will be primarily that of a mariner advocate,” said Captain David Stalfort, commanding officer of the NMC. “As the “face” of the Coast Guard to the mariner, they will help the mariner complete the application and ensure it is ready to be evaluated before forwarding the application to the NMC for evaluation. In the future, it is envisioned that credentials will be issued faster and the level of customer service will exceed the mariner’s expectations.”

The REC Transition Guide is available on the Coast Guard website at More information on improvements to mariner licensing and documentation is available at or and select Merchant Mariners under the list of missions.

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