As required by law, all credentialed U.S. merchant mariners must obtain a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC), prior to September 25, 2008 – this includes all persons holding a Coast Guard-issued License, Certificate of Registry, Merchant Mariner Document or Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers endorsement. The Coast Guard is currently engaged with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) working out the specific information, provided by applicants to TSA during TWIC enrollment, which would be needed to process an application for a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). We are also attempting to determine the method by which the information we require will be shared with (or transferred to) us by TSA.

We expect to have coordinated these details prior to September 25, 2008, if not sooner.

Until the information-sharing arrangement is worked out, mariners will still have to be fingerprinted, and have their identity verified at one of the 17 Coast Guard Regional Examination Centers in accordance with 46 CFR Parts 10 and 12 when applying for a Coast Guard mariner credential whether they have or have not applied for a TWIC. It is expected that a future rulemaking will amend this requirement to permit the process of applying for a merchant mariner credential to be conducted entirely through the mail (or by electronic means, but at any rate without a requirement for an appearance in person at an REC).

For more information on improvements we’re making to Mariner Licensing and Documentation go to our web site at or to and select Merchant Mariners under the list of Missions.

We thank you for your patience as we continue to centralize operations.
David C. Stalfort
Captain, U. S. Coast Guard

Here is the link to the CG newsletter that has some good information, National Maritime Center Newsletter