Frequently Asked Questions

It is extremely important for a new student to understand and meet all prerequisites prior to attending class. With 16 years of experience, New England Maritime will help you in your quest for a USCG License by assisting you with your USCG application. We are happy to confidentially discuss any matters of concern or may direct you to the proper USCG personnel to alleviate any confusion.


Do I test with the U. S. Coast Guard?

No. New England Maritime offers a USCG Approved Course, and as long as you maintain your 90% attendance and successfully complete the required exams during class, you will receive a Certificate of Training in lieu of the USCG exam!

How old do I have to be to obtain a USCG License?

OUPV (Six Pack Charter Boat Captain) -- 18 years old
Master 25/50/100 Ton -- 19 years old

What is Sea Experience?

You need time at sea as an operator or deckhand in order to be eligible for a USCG Captains License. The minimum amount of experience is 360 days at sea (away from the dock) with 90 of those days in the last 3 years.

A day is 4-8 hours at sea.

How do I prove to the USCG the Sea Experience I have gained?

You may document sea experience on your own boat, friend's or family's boats as long as you are operator or deckhand (assisting with lines, operation, passenger safety, etc.).

If the sea time is on other people's boats, you need the owner to complete a USCG Sea Service Form 719S for each boat.

If the sea time on your own boat(s), you will complete a USCG Sea Service Form 719S for each boat AND prove ownership (bill of sale or registration or documentation or insurance papers, etc) of each boat.

You may use sea experience back to age 16, as long as you can prove the sea time.

What may disqualify me from obtaining a USCG License?

The USCG Application Form 719B contains a Narcotics, DWI/DUI, and Conviction Record Section. If you have had any court convictions, DWI/DUI, refusal of alcohol/drug test, loss of driver's license, CG Letter of Warning, or other situation you see as a concern, please contact New England Maritime and we will confidentially discuss your individual situation or direct you to the proper USCG personnel to alleviate any confusion prior to signing up for class.

What is a USCG Physical exam?

The USCG Physical Form 719K and USCG Drug Test Form 719P are prerequisites in obtaining your USCG License and may disqualify or restrict your license. The Coast Guard requires a physician to ensure you are of sound health, have no physical limitations that would hinder or prevent performance of duties, are physically and mentally able to stay alert for 4-6 hour shifts, and are free from any medical conditions that pose a risk of sudden incapacitation which would affect operating, or working on vessels.

Your Physical Exam will indicate any vision, color vision, blood pressure, hearing, medications, physical impairment, or medical conditions. Any of these conditions does not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a USCG License, but may require additional information and/or tests from your attending physician. Please contact New England Maritime to confidentially discuss your situation.

The USCG Drug Test must be performed by a SAMHSA Accredited Laboratory for a DOT 5 Panel of Marijuana metabolites, Cocaine metabolites, Opiate metabolites, Phencyclidine, and Amphetamines.

New England Maritime has provided two options for Physical and Drug Test Sites, or you may try the USCG website.

How do I receive my actual USCG License?

Upon completion of your New England Maritime USCG Approved Course, you will receive a Certificate of Training (expires one year from date of issue). New England Maritime will assist you in getting all your paperwork properly completed for you to bring up to the USCG REC in Boston. If your USCG application paperwork is satisfactory, the USCG will issue your license at that time.

Who Needs a Launch Certificate?

Anyone wishing to operate a launch on the water that carries passengers for a nominal fee (directly or indirectly) is required by the Coast Guard to hold a Launchtender certificate. The certificate allows its holder to operate a launch within a designated area. This includes sailing or swimming programs that shuttle students to and from boats, floats and docks.

What is the difference between O. U. P. V. and Master Limited?

An OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels) certificate is required on a launch that does NOT hold a Certificate of Inspection from the Coast Guard. (All vessels carrying more than six passengers are required to be inspected by the Coast Guard.) Candidates must be over age 17 and have 90 days of sea time in the past three years.

A Master Limited certificate is required on a launch that does hold a Certificate of Inspection from the Coast Guard. Candidates must be 18 years of age and show 120 days of sea time, 90 of which must have been in the past 3 years.

In addition, CPR & First Aid training within one year of application is recommended for unrestricted licensure. Students graduating from the New England Maritime launch program will also receive a boating safety certificate (also required for licensure).

Who needs a Boating Safety Certificate?

Any youth between the ages of 12 and 15 that wishes to operate a boat without adult supervision in Massachusetts waters is required to hold a current boating safety certificate. This course is also recommended for all new boaters and as a refresher for experienced boat operators.


As you can see, pre-qualifying is extremely important prior to a commitment of attending a USCG Approved Course. This professional approach to USCG Licensing allows the student to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere for learning while attending class, rather than worrying about eligibility for a license. New England Maritime is here to assist you in your maritime goals.

 
 
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