Frequently Asked Questions

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For your convenience, we have assembled below a list of the most common questions that we receive from prospective students. If you have any questions about obtaining a U.S.C.G. license through Sea Tech Marine Training, please check this FAQ first for a possible answer.

If you still have any unanswered questions and/or a special situation or circumstance, please feel free to send us an email with your specific questions or concerns.

  1. How to document Sea Service time?
  2. Difference between Master's and OUPV (or "6-Pak") License?
  3. Is ocean time acceptable?
  4. What about a DWI conviction?
  5. What are age requirements for a license?
  6. How difficult is the physical?
  7. What about the drug test?
  8. How long is the license good for?
  9. License use and license renewals.
  10. Is color blindness a problem?
  11. What responsibility for reckless third party operation?
  12. Documenting Sea Service on another's boat.
  13. My license is expiring, how do I renew it?
  14. I understand ocean time is no longer required to obtain a Near Coastal License.

Question 1:   I understand to receive a license, I need to document time. I don't keep a log, so how do I do this? 

Answer:   No log is required. You complete what is called a Sea Service Affidavit. Your time is self-documented. To qualify for a license you simply complete and sign the form. You are required to have 360 on water days and you can go back to your 15th birthday.
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Question 2:   What is the difference between the Master's License and the so called 6-pak? 

Answer:   The 6-pak is actually an Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV). Holders of this license are permitted to take up to six (6) paying passengers on a boat that the Coast Guard does not inspect.

The Master's license allows you to operate vessels with more than six passengers. However these vessels must be inspected by the USCG and are issued what is called a Certificate of Inspection. The Master's license also allows some commercial operation.

The Masters and OUPV (6-pak) licenses have the same qualifications. As it is easy to upgrade to the Masters level, most students do receive the Masters license.
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Question 3:   I have ocean time, can I still take your course? 

Answer:   The courses are generic. What determines your geographic route and tonnage is an evaluation of your sea service affidavit. If you have 90 days ocean time, you will receive a license good for not only inland waters, but 100 miles off shore.
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Question 4:   Can I receive a license with a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge?  

Answer:   It depends on the age of the DWI and the circumstances, but in most cases the answer is yes.
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Question 5:   How old do you have to be to qualify for a license?  

Answer:   Eighteen (18) years old for the OUPV (6-pak) and nineteen (19) for the Master's license.
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Question 6:   How difficult is the physical?  

Answer:   Basic health. No blood work or x-rays are required. If you are in reasonable health, you should qualify. Your family physician can do the physical.
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Question 7:   What about the drug test?  

Answer:   You must submit to the USCG a negative drug screen to receive your license. The drug screen must be administered at a site and lab on the Coast Guard's approved location list.
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Question 8:   How long is the license good for?  

Answer:   The license is issued for five (5) years and then must be renewed. Renewing is a simple process. There are no courses or exams required.
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Question 9:   I was told that if I get my license and don't use it, I cannot renew it.  

Answer:   This is simply not true. Once you receive your license, you can renew it, even if you have no sea time and never operated under its authority.
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Question 10:   I would like a license but I am color blind. Do I qualify?  

Answer:   Yes, but you would receive a license good for daytime operation only.
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Question 11:   If I have a USCG license and I am on a friend's boat and he is operating it recklessly and ends up in an accident, am I responsible as a licensed captain? 

Answer:   No, there is no added responsibility, unless you are operating under the license's authority as a captain.
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Question 12:   All my sea time is on other people's boats, how do I qualify? 

Answer:  Simply have them sign the sea service form documenting that you served on their boat.
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Question 13:  My license is expiring, how do I renew it.

Answer:  OK, it's simple, go to and you will see a section for application forms.  Print out the three page application, form 719B, the physical form, 719K, the drug test form, 719P, and the sea service form, 719S.  If you are a member of a consortium, you will need a special letter from them exempting you from the drug screen.  They do not accept your wallet card and this letter must be no older than 30 days when your package is received at the REC.  You  need to document 360 days in the past five years.  Send the above to USCG-REC, 420 Madison, Suite 700, Toledo, OH  43604. Include a check for $95 made out to the USCG. You do not need First Aid or CPR to renew. You do not need TWIC.  As long as you had TWIC at one time, you are good to go.  You will see a box on the application form that you check exempting you from TWIC. Renewals can take anywhere from 3-4 weeks to up to 8-10 weeks depending on the activity at the Maritime Center in WV.  From November to March, renewals will be much quicker than during there very busy time, April to July.

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Question 14:  I underatand ocean time is no longer required to obtain a Near Coastal License.

Answer: Yes, as of March 2014, Great Lakes time can be substituted for Ocean time. Anyone with a credential for Inland/Great lakes can easily upgrade by taking a short course and two exam modules from us.  This would result in being issued a license valid for Near Coastal Waters up to 200 miles offshore any ocean.
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