Frequently Asked Questions: Credentialing FAQ

1. What is TWIC?
Transportation Workers Identification Credential.  This is the first step to obtaining a cadet credential.  A security initiative sponsored by the Transportation Security Administration to prevent hostile acts from disrupting environments of transportation facilities and US ports.

2. Do all students at Massachusetts Maritime Academy need a TWIC?
Students who need a TWIC are:
     - Students who are declared MENG/MTRA majors,
     - Students who need unescorted access to the TS Kennedy, or
     - Students who need access to a port/transportation facility for their co-op or an employment opportunity.

3. When do I apply for a TWIC?  
Students in license-yielding majors must apply for the TWIC by October 1st – the process from application to delivery of the TWIC card take 4-5 weeks. The actual TWIC card itself must be physically in hand before Sea Term I.

4.  Who qualifies for a TWIC?
Any citizen of the United States may apply for a TWIC.  Foreign national students attending MMA on an F-1 VISA do not qualify for a TWIC through normal channels.  MARAD (Maritime Administration) can facilitate a TWIC for a foreign national attending a maritime academy.   See CDR Huhnke, Director of Mariner Credentialing, for further assistance.  This applies to currently enrolled students at MMA. 

5.  How do I Apply for TWIC? 
TWIC Instructions 

6.  How much does a TWIC cost?
The cost is $125.25 and payable by money order, credit card or certified check.  Starting September 1, 2018, all money orders, company checks, certified/cashier's checks must be made payable to IDEMIA and for the exact amount.  Payments must be made during in-person enrollment and credit cards are the preferred method of payment.  

7.  Where can I find a TWIC enrollment center?
Transportation Security Administration enter your zipcode for locations and hours near you.

8.  What is an MMC?  
A Merchant Mariner Credential is a USCG credential containing identification information and indicates the positions onboard a vessel that an individual is qualified to sail in.

9.  How long is my USCG Physical Examination valid?
12 months. It will be invalid if you submit it after 12 months from the date of the exam. Physicals must be taken within a year of:
     - applying for the Cadet MMC,
     - participating in commercial shipping experience, and
     - applying for the license.

10.  When do I apply for an MMC?  
According to Massachusetts Maritime Academy policy, cadets in the Marine Engineering and Marine Transportation academic majors must apply in the fall of their freshman/first year.

11.  What are the eligibility requirements of a cadet MMC?
     - Must be a US citizen or alien lawfully admitted to the US for permanent residence.
     - Must have a TWIC.
     - Must be free of all legal issues (the CG deals with prior convictions on a case-by-case basis).
     - Must be able to meet medical criteria for licensure.

12. What ratings does an MMC have?  
A cadet Merchant Mariner Credential includes ELR, BST, VPDSD, ordinary seaman (os), wiper, stewards department, and cadet Deck/Engine ratings.

13.  What forms of personal documentation are required to apply for an MMC?
     - Valid drivers license
     - Social Security Card
     - Photocopy of valid Passport
     -Photocopy of Permanent Resident Alien Card, if applicable
    - TWIC
    - Valid CG 719-K form (Physical Examination)
14. What is the cost for a Cadet Merchant Mariner Credential (applied for in freshman year and needed to commercial ship)?  
$ 140.00.

15. Where do I pay for an MMC?  
On the USCG website at Instructions

16.  Can I apply for an MMC on my own outside of the Academy process?  
Not recommended. The Academy does not recommend obtaining an MMC outside of its standard process because the student will not be eligible for the cadet deck/engine rating, a requirement for commercial ship, or have completed required training.

17.  What documents are required to submit with an MMC Application Packet?

  • A completed MMC application form (CG-719B)
  • A single copy of any previously held MMC document, if applicable
  • A single copy of your TWIC
  • A single copy of your Passport
  • A single copy of your receipt for $140.00
  • The completed Medical Certificate Application form (CG-719K)

18.  When do I apply for the USCG License Exam?
In the fall of your senior year to take the exams in the spring.

19.  How do I apply to take the exam?
All 1C Engine and Deck students applying to test must complete their Third Assistant Engineer License Application or Third Mate License Application and be “Approved to Test”.

20.  What forms of personal identification are required to apply to license?
     - Valid drivers license
     - Valid USCG 719K Physical Examination form
     - Photocopy of TWIC
    -  Photocopy of valid Passport
    -  Photocopy of Permanent Resident Alien Card, if applicable

21.  What is the fee to apply to license?
$ 255.00

22.  How do I pay for the USCG License application Exam?  
Go to the Official USCG Website or see the MMA instructions Instructions

23.  What documents are required to submit with a Third Assistant Engineer or Third Mate License Application Packet?

  • A completed MMC application form (CG-719B)
  • A single copy of any previously held MMC document (cadet MMC), if applicable
  • A single copy of your TWIC
  • A single copy of your Passport
  • A single copy of your receipt for $255.00
  • The completed Medical Certificate Application form (CG-719K) OR copy of previous Medical Certificate (must have valid expiration date for evaluation)

24.  What is the time frame to receive my license once I have completed my academic requirements, successfully passed the USCG exams and completed licensing requirements?
     The license accompanies your diploma at graduation if, and only if:
     - you graduate in June,
     - your sea time obligations are completed by May preceding graduation, and
     - you pass all the Coast Guard license exam modules on exam day in May.
     Graduating with outstanding academic or sea time requirements or completing the program at a time other than June will result in a delay of 6-8 weeks in issuance and delivery of your license.

25.  What is STCW Gap Closing? Will this impede my license process?
Students completing license programs at Massachusetts Maritime Academy will be employable beyond the 31 December 2016 “gap closing” deadline set by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Academy has taken steps to “close the gap” between the former requirements and the new amendments to the STCW convention (known as the “2010 Manila amendments”). Compliance requires minimal effort for students as many gap closing elements have already been integrated into the prescribed programs of study.  Leadership and Teamwork skills training is satisfied by a mandatory leadership seminar held during the Fall semester. Standalone courses are offered at no cost to current students in Fatigue Management, Engine Room Resource Management, and Vessel Security.