Sunday, November 30, 2008

How to find Mariner Licensing and Documentation Information Online

The primary website, has the majority of the information mariners need.
Here you will find the information mariners use when submitting applications for merchant mariner docu­ments. On the left side of this webpage, you will see the website menu bar, which provides a list of infor­mation topics that can be found on the site. In the middle of this webpage, you will see the pages most often accessed.­

At the bottom of each page on this website, you will see items to assist users, such as the NMC contact e-mail addresses, including for mariner application questions and the website e­mail address D05-DG­ for content issues, updates, and questions. You will also see the NMC help desk phone number: 888-427-­5662.

Homeport,, is the U.S. Coast Guard portal to information covering Coast Guard mis­sions. To access merchant mariner information, click on the "merchant mariners" button on the left-hand menu bar, approximately 10 buttons down from the top.

The difference between Homeport and the NMC website is that Homeport provides greater in­formation security. For this reason, mariners can use Homeport to check their application status online. It also provides access to the new sea service calculator, which will as­sist mariners in determining if they meet renewal sea service require­ments.

Coast Guard Listserve
The final Internet tool the NMC uses is the Coast Guard listserve, at grp_list.php. With this tool, they can notify the maritime community when there is new or updated con­tent posted on the NMC website. These notifications are sent via e-mail to subscribers.

How to Use the NMC Website
The NMC website contains information guides and checklists that provide guidance to mariners applying for a license or docu­ment renewals or up­grades.
PowerPoint presen­tations that walk mariners through the application submis­sion process,
all the forms needed to complete an appli­cation request.
It also provides information about MLD program poli­cies, links to other maritime sites, and a feedback page.
To navigate the site, just move your cursor over the left menu. As you move down the menu options, you will see sub-menu items or topics. As long as your cur­sor remains on the menu bar, the sub-menus will be viewable on the screen. To open these sub-menu items, move your cursor over and click on the topic you wish to review and that page will open.
The left-hand menu is organized by type of application, such as new mariner, renewal, or license, and required information, such as checklists for specific types of cre­dentials or user fees and drug test information.

Within the FAQ page you will find general information about what is required for the type of application being submitted. On the "new mariner" page, there is a help guide that will walk you through what is needed to ob­tain an MMD. Within the "merchant mariner info cen­ter" page, you will find policy and guidance, REC information, and course and examination information. The "application & forms" page has all the application forms you may need to apply for any of the various types of mariner licenses or documents.
There is even a pdf application form (CG-719B-F5) you can fill out online. The final pages you will find are "links/feedback" and "site map." Under "links/feed­back," you will find various links, such as the Trans­portation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) site that provides you such information and the REC web pages that provide hours of operation, addresses, and phone numbers. The "feedback" section provides an avenue for comments, suggestions, and recommenda­tions. Under the "site map" page you will find a list of all the pages in the website. Each item is a link that will take you to that page when clicked.
Some upcoming website enhancements include pro­viding a keyword search function to quickly locate website information, and the ability to post large quan­tities of content in a format that eliminates the need to open multiple pdf and Word documents.

How to Use Homeport
Homeport provides mariners with a secure environ­ment to check on the status of an active application. Once on the Homeport homepage, find the "merchant mariners" button in the left-hand menu bar and click on that button. A new screen will open up and at the top of this new screen you will see" merchant mariner application status." When you click on it, another screen appears, and you will need to fill out all the re­quired fields.

Enter your mariner identification number (also known as reference number).
Enter your application number.
Or, if you do not know your identification number and application number:
Enter your last name.
Enter the last four numbers of your Social Se­curity number.
Enter your birth date.

Next, hit "go" and information on the status of your submitted application will be displayed. Remember Homeport is a security site, and part of its security measures is a time-out function. If the Homeport win­dow is open for more than 60 minutes, the system will "time out" on you, and you will have to log back in.
Note: You must access the merchant mariner ap­plication status tool though Internet Explorer. If you at­tempt to access Homeport from your AOL, Yahoo, or other Internet service provider accounts, the merchant mariner application function might not work.
The content of Homeport is organized slightly differ­ently than the NMC website, but most of the menu but­tons are the same. The first item on the menu is the merchant mariner application status. Next is the sea service renewal calculator, then "What's New at NMC." The content under this menu is the same as that of the NMC website.

How to Subscribe to the Listserve
Anyone can subscribe using the link grp_list.php. Once on the home­page, scroll down to "Mariner Licensing and Docu­mentation" and click. The NMC subject or topic-specific lists will appear. Select one you want to subscribe to and click the" subscribe" link. This will take you to the subscription page. Complete all the re­quired fields and click on the "subscribe" button. Re­peat this process for each list you want.

You will begin to receive all notices of new or updated information for that list. The notices provide you the name of the new or updated document, a brief de­scription, and a link that will take you to that content on the NMC website. The notice also provides a link back to the NMC CGLS lists and a method to unsubscribe to any of the lists.

If you want to be removed from a list, click on the link at the bottom of the notice, this will take you to the CGLS list page. Select the subject or topic you wish to "unsubscribe" and click the "unsubscribe" link. This will take you to the subscription page. At the bottom of this page, click the "unsubscribe or edit options" but­ton. This opens another page, and in the middle of the screen you will see an "unsubscribe" button.

This process generates an e-mail to you with a link you must click to complete the removal process. If you do not complete this step you will not be removed from the subscription list.

Lists include:

NMC updates: information about NMC's op­erations, ongoing process improvements, and important information about merchant mariner credentials.

NMC performance reports: information on credential production performance statistics,
including processing time, application inven­tory, and customer satisfaction.
MLD program policy updates: information concerning changes to regulations, Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars, and other pol­icy guidance.
REC news/announcements: concerning REC locations, hours of operation, contact informa­tion, and other operations information. Mariner information/news: information for mariners seeking licenses and/ or MMDs, in­cluding changes to credential application, physical and other forms, revisions to the checklist, information packets, instruction guides, information for healthcare profession­als, selected frequently asked questions, NMC points of contact, and other pertinent informa­tion.
Coast Guard-approved courses: information on Coast Guard-approved training, courses, examinations, course audits, and other infor­mation. Hope this will help you in finding information on licensing and documentation.