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August 2008 News Release 

Hello Fellow Captains,

We try to update this news letter on a regular basis or as we accumulate important news and/or changes. The information will be in brief point format as we try to keep you abreast of what you need to know.

Transportation Worker Identity Card

Although there was a great deal concern over securing Transportation Worker Identity Cards (TWIC) by the September 25th deadline, as many mariners have learned, this action has been delayed until April, 2009.

A Transportation Worker Identity Card or TWIC will be required for all mariners by April, 2009. This card is issued by the Transportation Safety Administration. Although not needed unless you are actually using your license, it will be required at renewal time.

Regional Exam Centers

The transfer of application processing by the local Regional Exam Centers has slowly moved to the Coast Guard's new Headquarters in Martinsburg, WV.

For those in the Great Lakes, this means that your credentials will now be issued through the Martinsburg office. However, your application or renewal package must still be sent to the Regional Exam Center in Toledo, Ohio. They will in turn send it on to Martinsburg.

Changes in Fingerprinting Requirements

Fingerprinting for all new applicants and renewals must be administered by the Coast Guard. This can be done at Toledo, Buffalo, Cleveland, and other designated sites, such as Alexandra Bay. You cannot be printed until your application has been submitted to Toledo. You can always check the status of your application by going to the Coast Guard's web site and clicking on the link for application status.

Changes in Sea Service Hours

One change that has occurred with the transfer of power to Martinsburg, is the number of hours that constitutes a day on your Sea Service Affidavit. In the past, four hours (4) was acceptable.

We were told at a recent meeting with Coast Guard officials from Martinsburg, that they now want a minimum of eight (8) hours. This is a tough situation here on the Great Lakes since not many run for eight hours, especially with the cost of fuel. However, that is apparently what they want to see.

Application Processing Times

Processing times for applications in Martinsburg can vary greatly. Some people are receiving their credentials in a few weeks, others are taking months. It is their goal to have all credentials processed in a few weeks, but patience is important today. They are doing the best that they can, but the transition to Martinsburg with new staff has been difficult.

Drug Testing Updates

Using a Drug Consortium card for license renewal can be difficult. If the consortium has not tested you in the past six months, you may be required to get a fresh drug test.

By the way, if you are picked for a random drug screen and fail to comply, the Coast Guard views this the same as a failed test and may revoke your license. Always notify the consortium that you do not want to participate, so your name can be removed.

Odds and Ends

Another note, 50% of the crew on a "T" boat must have First Aid and CPR training. This is often overlooked. 

Anything Else?

Always feel free to call us (Toll Free 1-877-883-9366) with any questions that you may have regarding licenses, or send us an e-mail at:  

Regards,
Captain Dennis Daniels