Rockefeller Encouraged by National Maritime Announcement of Improved Mariner Applicant Processing

December 3, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C.—John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement today regarding the U.S. Coast Guard’s recent revamping of its licensing process to certify mariners through its overseeing agency, the National Maritime Center, by launching an automated status notification program for mariner applicants. Prior to this application processing improvement, mariners were required to complete their credential applications by hand-mailing their applications to one of the 17 Regional Examination centers with insufficient feedback on the status of their licensing approval.

“In the past, mariners have sent off their applications for licensing approval and have been left in-the-dark about their status,” said Chairman Rockefeller. “I am pleased that the Coast Guard has revised its processing operations to keep mariners informed of their standing. The process for licensing and documenting mariners is a critical task, and it must be as swift and efficient as possible – we must promote an industry so fundamental to our economy. I look forward to continuing this work with the Coast Guard and ultimately achieve a fully automated online process.”

The revision made in the process allows for mariners who provide an email address with their credential application to receive an email when their application passes through the following stages of processing:

• Sent from a REC to the NMC

• Awaiting Safety and Suitability clearance

• Awaiting Medical Evaluation

• Being Evaluated by Medical

• Awaiting Professional Evaluation

• Being Evaluated for Professional Qualifications

• Awaiting Information

• Approved to Test

• Approved to Print

• Issued

• Confirmation of delivery and request for feedback