The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WASHINGTON) — The National Maritime Center (NMC) is experiencing a higher than average volume of Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) applications for this time of the year. With Hurricane Matthew passing through Florida and South Carolina in October, both REC Miami and REC Charleston are still recovering from excessive inventories. Additionally, the NMC Evaluations Branch is experiencing a shortage of qualified evaluators at the upper credential levels which is contributing to increased processing time. Medical certificate applications are not impacted.
Until further notice, mariners are highly encouraged to submit their applications to RECs other than Miami and Charleston and may do so via email, standard mail, fax, or drop off in person, preferably using the appointment scheduler on the NMC website. Additionally, mariners whose credentials are going to expire within the next six months should not wait until several weeks prior to their expiration date to submit their renewal applications and are reminded that the post-dating of credentials up to eight months is still afforded by the Coast Guard. The NMC is taking actions to address the excess inventory levels.
For additional information, visit the NMC website at www.uscg.mil/nmc/, call (888) 427-5662, or email at IASKNMC@uscg.mil.