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Old 03-11-2018, 16:56   #1
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DSC MMSI ??

I have a VHF with DSC and an MMSI number. Was thinking about getting one with AIS as I am planning a Bahamas trip and thought it would be nice to have. But in looking at it it says that if you plan international travel you have to get a MMSI number straight from the FCC Has anyone done this? How? the FCC website looks like a mess of forms and unrelated info.

ALso if I just scrap that idea and keep the one I have and the number I have will it still work? Is there legal issues? Am I supposed to apply for another one?

any help appreciated
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Old 03-11-2018, 17:36   #2
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

The MMSI number goes with the boat.

If the one you already have did not come from the FCC (like it came from Boat US or some other source), then yes, you need to navigate the FCC website and get one from them. If it did come from the FCC, then just have the dealer put the MMSI number into the new VHF unit. If it did come from the FCC - you should have, or have gotten a ships station license also. You will need that as well to operate a VHF legally in many/most foreign ports
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Old 03-11-2018, 18:02   #3
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

For the Bahamas you need a license.

From FCC website:

Ships are considered as operating domestically when they do not travel to foreign ports or do not transmit radio communications to foreign stations. Sailing in international waters is permitted, so long as the previous conditions are met. If you travel to a foreign port (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands), a license is required. Additionally, if you travel to a foreign port, you are required to have an operator permit.


https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-...radio-stations


The website is a bit awkward, but its not that bad. Don't worry about the operators license. No test just paying.
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Old 03-11-2018, 19:42   #4
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

Yes, work your way through the FCC site and get all the necessary licenses. It is "only" money.

One issue: Most VHF radios (including those with AIS, which I strongly recommend) only allow you to enter ONE MMSI number. It usually requires that you send it back to the manufacturer to CHANGE the MMSI. Thus, if you use your current US-only MMSI then decide to get an international one, you will have to return the unit with all the attendant hassles.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:56   #5
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
For the Bahamas you need a license.

From FCC website:

Ships are considered as operating domestically when they do not travel to foreign ports or do not transmit radio communications to foreign stations. Sailing in international waters is permitted, so long as the previous conditions are met. If you travel to a foreign port (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands), a license is required. Additionally, if you travel to a foreign port, you are required to have an operator permit.


https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-...radio-stations


The website is a bit awkward, but its not that bad. Don't worry about the operators license. No test just paying.
Poie91 koi correct on the no testing, just paying. The Restricted Operators license for VHF is free. The Ships Station license which applies to our digital marine devices such as AIS, EPERB and MMSI for operation outsiders of US waters require the FCC license and MMSI number programmed. When odering the AIS the vender is required to have the number; and it must be programmed by a third party other than yourself or on site installer.

I just recently went thru the process my self.

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Old 04-11-2018, 10:12   #6
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by george8299 View Post
The Restricted Operators license for VHF is free.

I don't remember that being free...

I do remember no test, though...

-Chris
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:19   #7
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

George8299: "The Restricted Operators license for VHF is free."


Um, no - $70 last time I checked. Good forever, though.


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Old 04-11-2018, 11:48   #8
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

If you do decide to go through the FCC website (which is necessary only if you're going internationally) make sure you write down the FRN number they assign you. If you ever want to change or add anything that's the number the FCC will want from you (NOT the MMSI number as I thought). Without that FRN number you will have to go through the entire clumsy process again.

(Luckily I write everything down, so I had the FRN, they don't really make it clear that that's the primary reference number).

Good luck
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:18   #9
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

When getting the Ship Station License don't just check off the equipment you own now: check off everything you think you might buy. Otherwise you will have to pay to amend the license to add new equipment.


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Old 04-11-2018, 13:19   #10
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

You could login to the FCC license system and get all your license records there - no need for the FRN. You can also amend the license there easily for free (for new equipment). Better to keep it accurate so in an emergency the rescuers will know what you have, IMHO.
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Old 04-11-2018, 13:44   #11
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

We need a couple FCC licenses for international waters and to operate (legally) in foreign waters:

An individual "Restricteded Radoitelephone Operator Permit" for every person that uses the VHF. This is a lifetime permit from the FCC in the USA. (I don't know about other countries.)

And a "Radio Station Authorization" that we call a Ship's Radio Station. This gives you an FCC call sign, Station Identity (MMSI), and lets you use VHF radiotelephone, SSB marine frequencies, HF radiotelephone, Radar, NB-DP SITOR, Satellite, Facsimile, and On-Board. It is a renewable 10-year grant.

The FCC considers any voice communication to be "telephone" so VHF radio is called telephone or radiotelephone. Same for Single Side-Band and High Frequency voice communication.
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Old 04-11-2018, 15:43   #12
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unity View Post
You could login to the FCC license system and get all your license records there - no need for the FRN. You can also amend the license there easily for free (for new equipment). Better to keep it accurate so in an emergency the rescuers will know what you have, IMHO.
Very surprised to hear this. When I filed in 2016 I went through no end of trouble because they insisted on the FRN number before I could continue. Had to go back to my original notes. Glad to hear it's been simplified.
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Old 04-11-2018, 16:08   #13
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

Check out Jesse K on s/v Smitty on the link below. He wrote very good instructions for obtaining MMSI number for international travel. I followed he instructions and it was very easy.
https://svsmitty.wordpress.com/2015/...aving-the-usa/
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Old 04-11-2018, 16:12   #14
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

The FCC claims you need a station license for operation in foreign countries but many foreign countries don't care. Canada does not care. Before getting an expensive station license check with the Bahamas.
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Old 04-11-2018, 16:56   #15
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Re: DSC MMSI ??

Something else that you need to know is the numbers from Boat US are NOT international numbers ,they are for US only. Going through it now .New equipment ASI and Eperb
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