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U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Deck Exams for Great Lakes and Inland Endorsements - Masters, Mates & OUPV License Examination Details

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Any officer endorsement issued for service on Great Lakes and Inland Waters self-propelled vessels, excluding towing vessels, is valid on all of the inland waters of the United States. Any officer endorsement issued for service on inland waters self-propelled vessels, excluding towing vessels, is valid for the inland waters of the United States, excluding the Great Lakes.

Any officer endorsement issued for service on inland waters or an inland route is valid for service on the sheltered waters of the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer, Alaska. To obtain a master or mate endorsement with a tonnage limit of 200 GRT or more, whether an original, raise of grade, or increase in the scope of authority, the applicant must meet the training requirements.

Great Lakes means the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters, including the Calumet River as far as the Thomas J. O'Brien Lock and Controlling Works, the Chicago River as far as the east side of the Ashland Avenue Bridge, and the Saint Lawrence River as far east as the lower exit of Saint Lambert Lock. Inland waters means the navigable waters of the United States shoreward of the Boundary Lines excluding the Great Lakes, and, for towing vessels, excluding the Western Rivers.

ship great lakes

You may also read: USCG License Requirements



A mariner seeking an original national endorsement or raise of grade based on training or service started on or after March 24, 2014, will be examined under the requirements of the final rule published by the Coast Guard on December 24, 2013, (78 FR 77796) . Those who started before March 24, 2014, will be examined under the regulations and policy in effect before that date unless they have specifically requested to examine for their endorsement under the final rule 78 FR 77796.

Master Great Lakes and Inland of Unlimited Tonnage Examinations

master gl inland unlimited exams
Table: Master Great Lakes and Inland of Unlimited Tonnage Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Inland routes do not take Q306 Great Lakes Topics
  • For Great Lakes and Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International
  • For Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International unless the applicant requests the Inland module. Inland Rules of the Road modules will result in a geographic COLREGS limitation on the applicants MMC.
  • From Inland to Great Lakes and Inland the following modules are required - Q306 Great Lakes Topics
  • If the applicant has a COLREGS limitation on their current credential, the following module is also required - Q100 Rules of the Road: Inland and International

Mate Great Lakes and Inland of Unlimited Tonnage Exams

mate gl inland unlimited exams
Table: Mate Great Lakes and Inland of Unlimited Tonnage Exams Details Credits: USCG 

  • Inland routes do not take Q312 Great Lakes Topics
  • For Great Lakes and Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International
  • For Inland routes Rules of the Road, module will be Inland and International unless the applicant requests the Inland module. Inland Rules of the Road modules will result in a geographic COLREGS limitation on the applicants MMC
  • From Inland to Great Lakes and Inland the following modules are required - Q312 Great Lakes Topics
  • If the applicant has a COLREGS limitation on their current credential, the following module is also required - Q100 Rules of the Road Inland and International

Master Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 500-1600 GRT Exams

master gl inland 500 1600 grt exams
Table: Master Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 500-1600 GRT Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Inland routes do not take Q324 Great Lakes Topics
  • For Great Lakes and Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International
  • For Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International unless the applicant requests the Inland module. Inland Rules of the Road modules will result in a geographic COLREGS limitation on the applicants MMC
  • From Master Less than 500 GRT to Master Less than 1600 GRT may do so without further examination
  • From Inland to Great Lakes and Inland the following modules are required - Q324 Great Lakes Topics
  • If the applicant has a COLREGS limitation on their current credential, the following module is also required - Q100 Rules of the Road Inland and International

master gl inland 500 1600 grt additional exams
Table: Master Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 500-1600 GRT Other Exams Credits: USCG 

  • Applicants Raising Grade from Master/Mate Pilot of Towing Vessels, regardless of the tonnage, to Master Less than 500 GRT on the same route take only the following module - Q326 Navigation and Deck General/Safety.


Mate Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 500-1600 GRT Exams

mate gl inland 500 1600 grt exams
Table: Mate Oceans or Near Coastal of Less than 500-1600 GRT Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Inland routes do not take Q331-Great Lakes Topics
  • For Great Lakes and Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International
  • For Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International unless the applicant requests the Inland module. Inland Rules of the Road modules will result in a geographic COLREGS limitation on the applicants MMC
  • From Less than 500 GRT to Less than 1600 GRT may do so without further examination
  • From Inland to Great Lakes and Inland the following module is required - Q331 Great Lakes Topics
  • If the applicant has a COLREGS limitation on their current credential, the following module is also required - Q100 Rules of the Road Inland and International

Master or Mate Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 200 GRT Exams

master mate gl inland 200 grt exams
Table: Master or Mate Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 200 GRT Exams Credits: USCG 

  • For Great Lakes and Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International
  • For Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International unless the applicant requests the Inland module. Inland Rules of the Road modules will result in a geographic COLREGS limitation on the applicants MMC
  • Applicants Raising Grade from Mate to Master on the same route may do so without further examination

master mate gl inland 200 grt additional exams
Table: Master or Mate Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 200 GRT Additional Exams Credits: USCG 

  • From Master Less than 100 GRT to Master or Mate Less than 200 GRT Great Lakes and Inland take only the following - Q345 Navigation and Deck General/Safety
  • Applicants Raising Grade from OUPV to Mate Less than 200GRT Great Lakes and Inland take only the following - Q346 Navigation and Deck General/Safety

Master Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 100 GRT Exams

master gl inland 100 grt exams
Table: Master Great Lakes and Inland of Less than 100 GRT Exams Credits: USCG 

  • For Great Lakes and Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International
  • For Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International unless the applicant requests the Inland module. Inland Rules of the Road modules will result in a geographic COLREGS limitation on the applicants MMC

master gl inland 100 grt additional exams
Table: Master Near Coastal of Less than 100 GRT Additional Exams Credits: USCG 

  • Raise of Grade from OUPV to Master Less than 100 GRT Great Lakes and Inland take only the following - Q352 Navigation and Deck General/Safety

Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel Great Lakes and Inland Exams

oupv gl inland exams
Table: Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel Great Lakes and Inland Exams Credits: USCG 

  • For Great Lakes and Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International
  • For Inland routes Rules of the Road module will be Inland and International unless the applicant requests the Inland module. Inland Rules of the Road modules will result in a geographic COLREGS limitation on the applicants MMC

Limited Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel Exams

oupv lmited exams
Table: Limited Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel Exams Credits: USCG 

  • See Coast Guard Policy Letter 10-04 : Restricted Endorsements for Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC) as Operator Of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) for additional information on this endorsement.

First Class Pilot Exams

first class pilot exams
Table: First Class Pilot Exams Credits: USCG 

  • Rules of the Road module will either be Inland and International or Inland Rules depending on the route requested
  • Applicants requesting officer endorsement as First Class Pilot, except those noted below, MUST take all modules
  • Applicants requesting an extension of route or holding an MMC endorsement as Master or Mate authorized to serve on vessels of over 1600 GRT are ONLY required to take the Local Knowledge and Chart Sketch modules for the requested route
  • Applicants take one chart plot module. Applicants requesting a river route take module Q373, all others take module Q372

Disclaimer: For general information purpose only. Please check with USCG for the accurate and latest information