(a) The Coast Guard may conduct a criminal record review to determine the safety and suitability of an applicant for an MMC and any endorsements. An applicant conducting simultaneous MMC transactions will undergo a single criminal record review. At the time of application, each applicant must provide written disclosure of all convictions not previously disclosed to the Coast Guard on an application.
(b) A criminal record review is not required for applicants seeking a duplicate MMC under § 10.229.
(c)Fingerprints. Beginning April 15, 2009, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will provide to the Coast Guard the applicant's fingerprints submitted by the applicant with his or her TWIC application and, if applicable, the applicant's FBI number and criminal record generated in the TWIC review process. This information, or the fingerprints taken by the Coast Guard at an REC, will be used by the Coast Guard to determine whether the applicant has a record of any criminal convictions.
(d) When a criminal record review leads the Coast Guard to determine that an applicant is not a safe and suitable person or cannot be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of the MMC or endorsement applied for, the application may be disapproved.
(e) If an application is disapproved, the applicant will be notified in writing of that fact, the reason or reasons for disapproval, and advised that the appeal procedures in subpart 1.03 ofpart 1 of this chapter apply. No examination will be given pending decision on appeal.
(f) No person who has been convicted of a violation of the dangerous drug laws of the United States, the District of Columbia, any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or a foreign country, by any military or civilian court, is eligible for an MMC, except as provided elsewhere in this section. No person who has ever been the user of, or addicted to the use of a dangerous drug, or has ever been convicted of an offense described in section 205 of the National Driver Register Act of 1982, as amended (49 U.S.C. 30304) because of addiction to or abuse of alcohol is eligible for an MMC, unless he or she furnishes satisfactory evidence of suitability for service in the merchant marine as provided in paragraph (l) of this section. A conviction for a drug offense more than 10 years before the date of application will not alone be grounds for denial.
(g) The Coast Guard will use table 10.211(g) to evaluate applicants who have criminal convictions. The table lists major categories of criminal activity and is not to be construed as an all-inclusive list. If an applicant is convicted of an offense that does not appear on the list, the Coast Guard will establish an appropriate assessment period using the list as a guide. The assessment period commences when an applicant is no longer incarcerated. The applicant must establish proof of the time incarcerated and periods of probation and parole to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard. The assessment period may include supervised or unsupervised probation or parole.
Table 10.211(g)—Guidelines for Evaluating Applicants for MMCs Who Have Criminal Convictions
1 Conviction of attempts, solicitations, aiding and abetting, accessory after the fact, and conspiracies to commit the criminal conduct listed in this table carry the same minimum and maximum assessment periods provided in the table.
2 Other crimes will be reviewed by the Coast Guard to determine the minimum and maximum assessment periods depending on the nature of the crime.
3 Applicable to original applications only. Any applicant who has ever been the user of, or addicted to the use of, a dangerous drug shall meet the requirements of paragraph (f) of this section. Note: Applicants for reissue of an MMC with a new expiration date including a renewal or additional endorsement(s), who have been convicted of a dangerous drug offense while holding a license, MMC, MMD, STCW endorsement or COR, may have their application withheld until appropriate action has been completed by the Coast Guard under the regulations which appear in 46 CFR part 5 governing the administrative actions against merchant mariner credentials.
4 The Coast Guard may consider dangerous drug convictions more than 10 years old only if there has been another dangerous drug conviction within the past 10 years.
5 Applicants must demonstrate rehabilitation under paragraph (l) of this section, including applicants with dangerous drug use convictions more than 10 years old.
6 Other dangerous drug convictions will be reviewed by the Coast Guard on a case by case basis to determine the appropriate assessment period depending on the nature of the offense.
Assessment Periods for Officer and Rating Endorsements
Crimes Against Persons:
Sexual Assault (rape, child molestation)
Other crimes against persons 2
Conviction involving fatality
Racing on the Highways
Other vehicular crimes 2
Crimes Against Public Safety
Destruction of Property
Other crimes against public safety 2
Dangerous Drug Offenses 345
Trafficking (sale, distribution, transfer)
Dangerous drugs (Use or possession)
Other dangerous drug convictions 6
Assessment Periods for Officer Endorsements Only
Criminal Violations of Environmental Laws
Criminal violations of environmental laws involving improper handling of pollutants or hazardous materials
Crimes Against Property
Other crimes against property 2
(h) When an applicant has convictions for more than one offense, the minimum assessment period will be the longest minimum in table 10.211(g) and table 10.213(c) in § 10.213 based upon the applicant's convictions; the maximum assessment period will be the longest shown in table 10.211(g) and table 10.213(c) of § 10.213 based upon the applicant's convictions.
(i) If a person with a criminal conviction applies before the minimum assessment period shown in table 10.211(g) or established by the Coast Guard under paragraph (g) of this section has elapsed, then the applicant must provide, as part of the application package, evidence of suitability for service in the merchant marine. Factors that are evidence of suitability for service in the merchant marine are listed in paragraph (l) of this section. The Coast Guard will consider the applicant's evidence submitted with the application and may issue the MMC and/or endorsement in less than the listed minimum assessment period if the Coast Guard is satisfied that the applicant is suitable to hold the MMC and/or endorsement for which he or she has applied. If an application filed before the minimum assessment period has elapsed does not include evidence of suitability for service in the merchant marine, then the application will be considered incomplete and will not be processed by the Coast Guard.
(j) If a person with a criminal conviction submits their MMC application during the time between the minimum and maximum assessment periods shown in table 10.211(g) or established by the Coast Guard under paragraph (g) of this section, then the Coast Guard will consider the conviction and, unless there are offsetting factors, will grant the applicant the MMC and/or endorsement for which he or she has applied. Offsetting factors include such factors as multiple convictions, failure to comply with court orders (e.g., child support orders), previous failures at rehabilitation or reform, inability to maintain steady employment, or any connection between the crime and the safe operation of a vessel. If the Coast Guard considers the applicant unsuitable for service in the merchant marine at the time of application, the Coast Guard may disapprove the application.
(k) If a person with a criminal conviction submits their MMC application after the maximum assessment period shown in table 10.211(g) or established by the Coast Guard under paragraph (g) of this section has elapsed, then the Coast Guard will grant the applicant the MMC or endorsement for which he or she has applied unless the Coast Guard considers the applicant still unsuitable for service in the merchant marine. If the Coast Guard disapproves an applicant with a conviction older than the maximum assessment period listed in table 10.211(g), the Coast Guard will notify the applicant in writing of the reason(s) for the disapproval. The Coast Guard will also inform the applicant, in writing, that the reconsideration and appeal procedures contained in subpart 1.03 of this chapter apply.
(l) If an applicant has one or more alcohol or dangerous drug related criminal or NDR-listed convictions, if the applicant has ever been the user of, or addicted to the use of, a dangerous drug, or if the applicant applies before the minimum assessment period has elapsed for his or her conviction, the Coast Guard may consider the following factors, as applicable, in assessing the applicant's suitability to hold an MMC. This list is intended as a guide for the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard may consider other factors appropriate to a particular applicant, such as:
(1) Proof of completion of an accredited alcohol or drug abuse rehabilitation program;
(2) Active membership in a rehabilitation or counseling group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous;
(3) Character references from persons who can attest to the applicant's sobriety, reliability, and suitability for employment in the merchant marine including parole or probation officers;
(4) Steady employment; and
(5) Successful completion of all conditions of parole or probation.