Licensing Steps

There is a lot to applying for a Captains License. Let us help.

We know applying for a captains license can be intimidating so we tried to simplify it below. We outlined the largest items required to getting a license and provided as many links as possible. Although they are numbered, many of these steps can be completed at the same time and do not have to be done in order. 

Complete OUPV/ Master's Upgrade

Regardless of how you plan on using your license, everyone must start with the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV). Once you pass the OUPV you should consider adding the 100GT Master’s Upgrade. The 100GT Master’s upgrade licenses you to operate an inspected vessel, often with more than 6 passengers.

Consider Endorsements for the Future

In addition to your license, it’s also a good idea to add any relevant endorsements like auxiliary sail or assistance towing. Both are conveniently offered in an online format, so you can complete them when its best for you.

First Aid, CPR & AED

When applying for your license the first time, or if you plan on using your license, you must have a valid first aid and CPR certificate. For most of our locations we provide our USCG approved online course with practical demonstration in the classroom. This requires just a little more time in addition to the OUPV class.


If you plan on using your license commercially, it is often required to have a FCC Marine Radio Operators Permit (MROP). The MROP is not a USCG license but instead is managed and enforced by the FCC.


To help ensure you are who you say you are, individuals seeking a captain’s license are required to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC). Obtaining a TWIC card is very similar to TSA precheck and involves fingerprinting and getting a photo ID card.


Working on the water can come with significant responsibility. To help ensure higher levels of safety, license applicants must complete a 5 panel DOT drug test. Anyone working as a captain or mate must also be enrolled in a drug testing consortium. My Sea Test is the consortium True North is associated with.


Part of obtaining a license is knowing how to safely operate and handle a vessel in a variety of situations. The Coast Guard requires a minimum of at least 360 documented days on the water before obtaining your license. Your sea service should be documented on form 719S for any relevant vessels.

Medical Certificate Form 719K

Mariners must not only be experienced on the water and with the rules, but they also must be in good health. When applying for your credentials, a Physician must complete and sign form 719K.

Completed Application Form 719B

Once you have completed all classes for the licensing and endorsements the next step is to complete the Coast Guard form 719B and, if applicable 719C (conviction statement). Make sure to read through the application carefully and ensure all information is correct.

Submit Application Packet

When it comes time to submit your application packet you are required to submit your application and licensing fee online. The total should be $145.00 ($100 for maritime officer license and $45 for issuance). When all your paper work is in order find a USCG Rec center and submit your completed application packet.

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