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U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Deck Officer Exams for Oceans or Near Coastal Endorsements - Masters, Mates & OUPV License Examination Details

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Any USCG license or MMC endorsement for service as master or mate on ocean waters qualifies the mariner to serve in the same grade on any waters and, any license or MMC endorsement issued for service as master or mate on near-coastal waters qualifies the mariner to serve in the same grade on Great Lakes and inland waters, except towing vessels upon western rivers subject to the limitations of the endorsement.

Ocean refers to a route more than 20 nautical miles offshore on any ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, or similar waters as may be designated by the District Commander. Near Coastal refers to ocean waters not more than 200 miles (approx 108 nautical miles) offshore.

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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/Chief Mate Oceans or Near Coastal Unlimited Examinations

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Table: Master/Chief Mate Oceans or Near Coastal of Unlimited Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Navigation General module will be either Near Coastal or Oceans depending on route requested
  • Near Coastal routes do not take Q109 Navigation Problems Oceans
  • Applicants Raising Grade from Chief Mate to Master may do so without further examination
  • From Near Coastal to Oceans the following modules are required - Q106 Navigation General Oceans & Q109 Navigation Problems Oceans

Second Mate or Third Mate Oceans or Near Coastal Unlimited Examinations

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Table: Second Mate/Third Mate Oceans or Near Coastal Unlimited Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Navigation General module will be either Near Coastal or Oceans depending on route requested
  • Near Coastal routes do not take Q117-Navigation Problems: Oceans
  • U.S.C.G approved courses may not be used in lieu of any of these modulesRaise of Grade: Applicants Raising Grade from Third Mate to Second Mate may do so without further examination
  • Applicants Increasing Scope from Mate Less than 500-1600 GRT to Third Mate on the same route may do so without further examination
  • From Near Coastal to Oceans the following modules are required - Q114 Navigation General Oceans & Q117 Navigation Problems Oceans

Master Oceans or Near Coastal of Less than 500-1600 GRT Examinations

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Table: Master Oceans or Near Coastal of Less than 500-1600 GRT Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Navigation General module will be either Near Coastal or Oceans depending on route requested
  • Near Coastal routes do not take Q127 Navigation Problems: Oceans
  • U.S.C.G approved courses may not be used in lieu of any of these modules where a full examination is required
  • From Master Less than 500 GRT to Master Less than 1600 GRT on the same route may do so without further examination
  • From Near Coastal to Oceans the following modules are required - Q124 Navigation General Oceans & Q127 Navigation Problems Oceans
  • Applicants who have met the examination requirements for Chief Mate of Unlimited Tonnage can add an endorsement as Master Less than 1600 GRT on the same route without further examination

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Table: Master Oceans or Near Coastal of Less than 500-1600 GRT Additional Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Applicants who meet the requirements for Second Mate of Unlimited Tonnage can add an endorsement as Master Less than 1600 GRT on the same route by taking the following modules - Q130 Navigation and Deck General/Safety & Q131 Deck Safety Stability Problems
  • Applicants Raising Grade from Master/Mate Pilot of Towing Vessels, regardless of the tonnage, to Master Less than 500 GRT on the same route by taking only the following modules - Q132 Deck General/Safety, Q133 Deck Safety Stability Problems, Q134 Navigation Problems Near Coastal, and Q135 Navigation Problems Oceans


Mate Oceans or Near Coastal of Less than 500-1600 GRT Examinations

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Table: Mate Oceans or Near Coastal of Less than 500-1600 GRT Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Near Coastal routes do not take Q142 Navigation Problems Oceans
  • U.S.C.G approved courses may not be used in lieu of any of these modules where a full examination is required
  • From Mate Less than 500 GRT to Mate Less than 1600 GRT may do so without further examination
  • From Near Coastal to Oceans the following modules are required - Q139 Navigation General Oceans & Q142 Navigation Problems Oceans

Master / Mate Oceans or Near Coastal Less than 200 GRT Exams

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Table: Master / Mate Oceans or Near Coastal Exams Credits: USCG 

  • Near Coastal routes do not take Q154-Navigation Problems: Oceans
  • Applicants Raising Grade from Mate Less than 200 GRT to Master Less than 200 GRT on the same route may do so without further examination
  • From Near Coastal to Oceans, the following module is required - Q154 Navigation Problems Oceans
  • From Master/Mate Less than 200 GRT Great Lakes and Inland to Master/Mate Less than 200 GRT Near Coastal take the following modules - Q150 Deck General & Q152 Navigation General Oceans or Near Coastal
  • If the applicant has a COLREGS limitation on their current credential the following module is also require - Q100 Rules of the Road Inland and International

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Table: Master / Mate Oceans or Near Coastal Additional Exams Credits: USCG 

    • From Master Near Coastal Less than 100 GRT to Master/Mate Near Coastal Less than 200 GRT take the following module - Q156 Navigation and Deck General/Safety
    • From Master Near Coastal Less than 100 GRT to Master Oceans Less than 200 GRT take the following modules - Q156 Navigation and Deck General/Safety & Q157 Navigation Problems Oceans
    • Applicants Raising Grade from OUPV Near Coastal to Mate Oceans Less than 200 GRT, take the following modules - Q158 Navigation and Deck General/Safety & Q159 Navigation Problems Oceans
    • Applicants Raising Grade from OUPV Near Coastal to Mate Near Coastal Less than 200 GRT take the following module - Q158 Navigation and Deck General/Safety

Master Near Coastal of Less than 100 GRT Exams

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Table: Master Near Coastal of Less than 100 GRT Exams Credits: USCG 

  • From Master Less than 100 GRT Great Lakes and Inland to Master Less than 100 GRT Near Coastal take the following modules - Q160 Deck General & Q162 Navigation General Near Coastal
  • 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

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Table: Master Near Coastal of Less than 100 GRT Additional Exams Credits: USCG 

  • From OUPV Near Coastal to Master Near Coastal Less than 100 GRT take the following module - Q165 Navigation and Deck General/Safety

Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) Near Coastal Exams

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Table: Master/Chief Mate Oceans or Near Coastal - Offshore Supply Vessels Exams Credits: USCG 

  • From Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel Great Lakes and Inland to Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel Near Coastal take the following modules - Q170 Deck General/Safety & Q171 Navigation General Near Coastal
  • 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/Chief Mate Oceans or Near Coastal - Offshore Supply Vessels Exams

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Table: Master/Chief Mate Oceans or Near Coastal - Offshore Supply Vessels Exams Credits: USCG 

  • Navigation General module will be either Near Coastal or Oceans depending on route requested
  • Near Coastal routes do not take Q207 Navigation Problems Oceans
  • Applicants Raising Grade from Chief Mate OSV to Master OSV may do so without further examination
  • From Near Coastal to Oceans the following modules are required - Q204 Navigation General Oceans & Q207 Navigation Problems Oceans

Mate Oceans or Near Coastal - Offshore Supply Vessels Exams

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Table: Master/Chief Mate Oceans or Near Coastal - Offshore Supply Vessels Exams Credits: USCG 

  • Navigation General module will be either Near Coastal or Oceans depending on route requested
  • Near Coastal routes do not take Q215 Navigation Problems Oceans
  • From Near Coastal to Oceans the following modules are required - Q212 Navigation General Oceans & Q215 Navigation Problems Oceans

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