GMDSS Information

GMDSS INFORMATION

 

Renewing Your GMDSS License

The Federal Communications Commission allows people to renew their licenses online, at the Universal Licensing System home page. If this is your first visit to their web site, they will require that you register and create a password.
  

Regulations

On February 1, 1999 the Federal Communications Commission requirement for GMDSS equipment became mandatory for cargo ships of 300 gross tons and over when traveling on international voyages or in the open sea and all passenger ships carrying twelve passengers when traveling on international voyages or in the open sea. At least two crewmembers must hold an FCC issued GMDSS Radio License. One of the operators must be assigned to communicate during a distress situation. The GMDSS regulations do not apply to vessels operating exclusively on the Great Lakes.

The IMO Convention requires all masters and mates to hold the GMDSS Radio Operator's License and attend a two week training course and demonstrate competency with operation of the GMDSS equipment. These requirements would also apply to the Radio Operator if the ship carries that position.

Since August 1, 1998 when the official Coast Guard approved program came into effect, some questions have arisen as to programs taken prior to that approval process. Additionally, consideration was given to Radio Officers and Instructors of GMDSS recognizing their knowledge and skills. The following is a tabulation of the final Coast Guard Requirements.

To qualify for an STCW-95 endorsement as GMDSS Radio Operator:

Licensed Radio Officers who received an FCC GMDSS Radio Operators License prior to August 1, 1998:

  • Show one year service as a Radio Officer while holding a CG Radio Officer license and;
  • Pass a GMDSS written exam administered by a designated examiner with a 75% grade or better, or;
  • Have completed at least a 35-hour GMDSS training course prior to August 1, 1998 and;
  • Pass a GMDSS written exam administered by a designated examiner with a 75% grade or better and;
  • Present evidence of assessment by a designated examiner for competencies contained in Table B-IV/1 of the STCW Code, or;
  • Be employed as a GMDSS Instructor with at least 140 contact hours within the five years prior to making application, and;
  • Pass a GMDSS written exam administered by a designated examiner with a 75% grade or better.

If you received an FCC GMDSS Radio Operator's License on or after August 1, 1998:

  • Successfully complete a 70-hour Coast Guard approved training course.


Licensed / Unlicensed Deck or Engine Department Mariner who received an FCC GMDSS Radio Operators License prior to August 1, 1998:

  • Have completed at least a 35-hour GMDSS training course prior to August 1, 1998 and;
  • Have completed at least a 35-hour GMDSS training course prior to August 1, 1998 and;
  • Pass a GMDSS written exam administered by a designated examiner with a 75% grade or better and;
  • Present evidence of assessment by a designated examiner for competencies contained in Table B-IV/2 of the STCW Code.

If you received an FCC GMDSS Radio Operator's License on or after August 1, 1998:

  • Successfully complete a 70-hour Coast Guard approved training course.
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