1/26/2018: Guidance regarding ‘Approval to Test’ letters and grandfathering

The National Maritime Center (NMC) posted a notice on its website Jan. 25, 2018, regarding Approval to Test letters.

The NMC has received questions from mariners regarding how to determine, from their Approved to Test letter, whether they will be testing under the previous or current regulations. In January 2014, the Coast Guard issued Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 02-14 to provide guidance regarding the transition from previous to current mariner credentialing regulations, which went into effect on March 24, 2014. Enclosure (1) of the NVIC provides information regarding whether an applicant will examine under the previous or current regulation.

If the examination code on the Approved to Test Letter is preceded by a Q, the examination module is based on the current regulation. If the examination code is not preceded by a Q, the examination module is based on the previous regulation. All Rules of the Road examination modules will be preceded by a Q, regardless of which regulation the applicant was evaluated under. The module codes are found in the Deck and Engineering Guide for the Administration of Merchant Marine Examinations on the NMC website.

graph showing course names and numbers

The NMC is working to update various pages on its website to more clearly reflect this information. Questions should be addressed to the NMC Call center via e-mail at IASKNMC@uscg.mil, by Chat from the NMC Website, or by phone at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).


This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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