(a) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, an applicant for renewal of a credential must establish possession of all of the necessary qualifications before the renewal MMC will be issued.
(b) A credential may be renewed at any time during its validity and for one year after expiration.
(c) No credential will be renewed if it has been suspended without probation or revoked as a result of action under part 5 of this chapter or if facts that would render a renewal improper have come to the attention of the Coast Guard.
(d) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a complete application for renewal must contain the following:
(1) A completed, signed application;
(2) Beginning April 15, 2009, proof that the mariner holds a valid TWIC;
(3) The appropriate fee as set forth in § 10.219 of this part;
(4) Any uncanceled MMD, MMC, license, STCW endorsement, or COR held by the applicant. If one or more of these credentials are still valid at the time of application, a photocopy—front, back, and all attachments—will satisfy this requirement. If the applicant submits a photocopy, upon the issuance of the new MMC, the applicant must surrender the old original credential to the Coast Guard. If requested in writing at the time of submission, the old MMD, MMC, license, COR, or STCW endorsement may be returned to the applicant after cancellation;
(5) Evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs or of qualifying for an exemption from testing in § 16.220 of this subchapter;
(6) Proof, documented on a form provided by the Coast Guard, that the applicant passed all applicable vision, hearing, medical, and/or physical exams as required by § 10.215 of this part;
(7) Consent to a Coast Guard check of the NDR for offenses described in section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of the National Driver Register Act of 1982, as amended;
(8) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(8)(viii) of this section, the applicant must meet the following professional requirements for renewal:
(i) The applicant must either—
(A) Present evidence of at least one year of sea service during the past five years;
(B) Pass a comprehensive, open-book exercise covering the general subject matter contained in appropriate sections of subpart (I) of this part;
(C) Complete an approved refresher training course; or
(D) Present evidence of employment in a position closely related to the operation, construction, or repair of vessels (either deck or engineer as appropriate) for at least three years during the past five years. An applicant for a deck license or officer endorsement with this type of employment must also demonstrate knowledge on an applicable Rules of the Road open-book exercise.
(ii) The qualification requirements for renewal of radar observer endorsement are in § 11.480 of this chapter.
(iii) Additional qualification requirements for renewal of an officer endorsement as first-class pilot are contained in § 11.713 of this chapter.
(iv) An applicant for renewal of a radio officer's endorsement must, in addition to meeting the requirements of this section, present evidence of a currently valid license as first or second-class radiotelegraph operator issued by the Federal Communications Commission. If submitted, the original license will be returned to the applicant.
(v) An applicant for renewal of an endorsement as medical doctor or professional nurse must, in addition to meeting the requirements of this section, present evidence that he or she holds a currently valid, appropriate license as physician, surgeon, or registered nurse issued under the authority of a state or territory of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia. Any such renewal will retain the limitations placed upon the medical license by the issuing body. There are no professional requirements for renewal of an endorsement as marine physician assistant or hospital corpsman.
(vi) An applicant for renewal of an endorsement as master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels must submit satisfactory evidence of:
(A) Having completed a practical demonstration of maneuvering and handling a towing vessel to the satisfaction of a designated examiner; or
(B) Ongoing participation in training and drills during the validity of the license or MMC being renewed.
(vii) An applicant seeking to renew a tankerman endorsement must meet the additional requirements listed in § 13.120 of this chapter.
(viii) There are no professional requirements for renewal for the following endorsements:
(A) Radio officer;
(B) Staff officers (all types);
(C) Ordinary seaman;
(E) Steward's department (F.H.);
(G) Student observer;
(H) Apprentice engineer;
(I) Apprentice mate (issued under part 12 of this subchapter);
(J) Person in charge of medical care;
(K) Medical first-aid provider;
(L) GMDSS at-sea maintainer; and
(M) GMDSS operator.
(9) Except as otherwise provided, each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement must meet the applicable requirements of § 11.202 of this chapter and must meet the requirements of section A-VI/2, paragraphs 1 to 4 of the STCW Code (incorporated by reference in § 10.103).
(e)Document of continuity.
(1) Applicants for renewal who are unwilling or otherwise unable to meet the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, including but not limited to the medical and physical standards of § 10.215, drug tests, and TWIC, may apply for a document of continuity issued by the Coast Guard. Documents of continuity do not expire and are issued solely to maintain an individual's eligibility for renewal. A document of continuity does not entitle an individual to serve as a merchant mariner. A holder of a document of continuity may obtain a properly endorsed, valid MMC at any time by satisfying the requirements for renewal as provided in paragraph (d).
(2) Applications for a document of continuity must include:
(i) The credential to be renewed. Upon written request, the Coast Guard will return the credential to the applicant after it has been cancelled; and
(ii) An application including a signed statement from the applicant attesting to an awareness of the limited purpose of the Document of Continuity, their inability to serve, and the requirements to obtain an MMC.
(f)Administrative grace period. Except as provided herein, a credential may not be renewed more than 12 months after it has expired. To obtain a re-issuance of the credential, an applicant must comply with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this section. When an applicant's credential expires during a time of service with the Armed Forces and there is no reasonable opportunity for renewal, including by mail, this period may be extended. The period of military service following the date of expiration which precluded renewal may be added to the 12-month grace period. The 12-month grace period and any extensions do not affect the expiration date of the credential. A license, MMD, COR, STCW endorsement, MMC, and any endorsements thereon, are not valid for use after the expiration date.
(g)Re-issuance of expired credentials.
(1) Whenever an applicant applies for re-issuance of an endorsement as deck officer, engineer officer, or qualified rating more than 12 months after expiration, instead of the requirements of paragraph (d)(8) of this section, the applicant must demonstrate continued professional knowledge by completing a course approved for this purpose, or by passing the complete examination. The examination may be oral-assisted if the expired credential was awarded on an oral exam. The fees set forth in § 10.219 apply to these examinations. In the case of an expired radio officer's endorsement, the endorsement may be issued upon presentation of a valid first or second-class radiotelegraph operator license issued by the Federal Communications Commission.
(2) An endorsement for chief purser, purser, senior assistant purser, junior assistant purser, hospital corpsman, marine physician assistant, medical doctor, or professional nurse that has been expired for more than 12 months shall be renewed in the same way as a current endorsement of that type. There are no additional requirements for re-issuing endorsements for chief purser, purser, senior assistant purser, junior assistant purser, hospital corpsman, marine physician assistant, medical doctor, or professional nurse that have been expired for more than 12 months.