New format coming for merchant mariner credentials

(MARTINSBURG, W.Va.) — On March 1, the U.S. Coast Guard will begin issuing merchant mariner credentials (MMCs) in a new format. This new mariner credential will replace the legacy passport-style red book and associated endorsement labels.

The complexity and degraded reliability of the custom printers used to print the MMC books necessitated a change to the credential printing process. The new mariner credential is formatted on 8.5-by-11-inch waterproof and tear-resistant synthetic paper. It contains numerous security features including microprinting, foiling and intricate patterns.

The new merchant mariner credential (above) will replace the passport-style red book (top).

The new credential is printed on readily available commercial desktop laser jet printers and will vastly improve print services and availability. To learn more about the new MMC, visit the National Maritime Center (NMC) website.

The new MMC document will be issued for all approved applications, to include credential endorsements, beginning March 1. You will no longer receive separate endorsement labels (i.e., stickers), but rather a new MMC document with the endorsements incorporated. The new credential will be issued on a day-forward basis, and all legacy credentials will remain valid until the indicated expiration date.

To validate a new MMC, use the Coast Guard’s credential verification tool. For a document search, select “MMC” as the document type and enter the document number. On the new MMC, the document number can be found on the red cover section beneath the corresponding barcode and will have the prefix “Z”.

If you have any questions, contact the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mailing or calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

– National Maritime Center

By Professional Mariner Staff