USCG Launching New Merchant Mariner Credential Format

Image: U.S. Coast Guard.

Starting March 1, the U.S. Coast Guard plans to issue merchant mariner credentials in a new format that replaces the red passport-style book with related endorsement labels, according to the National Maritime Center.

“The complexity and degraded reliability of the custom printers used to print the (credential) books necessitated a change to the credential printing process,” according to USCG, adding that the new credentials are going to be “printed on readily available commercial desktop laser jet printers and will vastly improve print services and availability.”

The new format is expected to be on 8.5-inch by 11-inch “waterproof and tear-resistant synthetic paper” and feature micro-printing, foiling, intricate patterns and other security measures.

Mariners won’t receive separate endorsement labels (stickers). Instead, they are to receive a new MMC document with the endorsements already included. Meanwhile, legacy credentials are expected to be valid until they expire.

For more information, visit

By Karen Robes Meeks