Commercial Licences USA – USCG
Within the US territories, on a US flag vessel, you only need to comply with the domestic regulations, see Six Pack and Master 100gt below.
However if you are operating commercially with a Foreign flag or internationally you must comply with STCW.
The Six-pack captain’s license, also known as the OUPV license, is a designation awarded by the United States Coast Guard that allows the holder to take up to six paying passengers and crew out on the water. The OUPV/Six-pack license is issued in three forms: Inland, Great Lakes & Inland, and Near Coastal.
- The Inland Captain’s License allows the holder to operate “commercially” on bays, sounds, rivers, and lakes.
- The Great Lakes & Inland License allows you to operate on both the Great Lakes and inland waterways.
- The Near Coastal Captain’s License permits you to operate on both Inland waterways as well as Near Coastal waters (out to 100 miles offshore).
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a minimum of 360 days boating experience. Ninety of these days must have occurred in the last three years. The Coast Guard calls this recency.
- Be a U.S. citizen or be able to show lawful admittance to the United States for permanent residence if not a citizen.
- Pass a physical exam and a drug test.
- Hold a valid adult CPR and Basic First Aid card.
- Obtain a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC card), which includes a background check done by Homeland Security.
- Pass a USCG-approved OUPV/Six-pack captain’s license course like the one offered by Mariners Learning System.
Although these are the basic minimum requirements, the boating experience for each version of the private boat captain’s license varies slightly.
The six pack, can be upgraded to a Masters licence.
Master Mariners’ licenses are categorized in several ways. Among these are tonnage and area of operation. With a Master’s License you are able to operate both uninspected and inspected vessels up to the tonnage printed on your license. First time Master’s licenses may be limited to inland or near coastal waters up to 200 miles offshore.