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Old 10-08-2013, 14:15   #1
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MMSI from the FCC

I looked around for info about the MMSI and while I don't need one now, I plan to add capabilities to my boat that require one. So, I decided to go ahead and apply for one now to it will be on hand.

I made this blog post showing lots of screen shots to give people an idea of what to expect. I also included the links to the FCC ULS website in case someone needs to register and apply online.

Rhapsody: How do you get an MMSI from the FCC?

The process didn't take long.

Also, as a note, the cost is $160.
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Old 10-08-2013, 16:53   #2
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

That $160 is for the entire ship's radio license and not just for an mmsi number. The mmsi is just a by-product of the licensing.

The license is good for all radio devices on board and will need to be renewed every 10 years for another $160.

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Old 10-08-2013, 17:20   #3
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

$160 for a license, there having a laugh ! ouch.

dave
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Old 10-08-2013, 18:55   #4
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

Good step by step for those who have not done it. Did it last year and was a little bit frustrating at first trying to find the right FCC link to get started but, a pretty painless one once I did start,

Also Note this license will also cover your AIS transponder should you get one down the road.
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Old 10-08-2013, 19:06   #5
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

if you are not sailing outside US waters you can apply for a free MMSI number through Boat-US.
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Old 10-08-2013, 20:12   #6
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
Also Note this license will also cover your AIS transponder should you get one down the road.
That's the plan

Took me awhile to find the right link too.
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Old 10-08-2013, 21:05   #7
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

Yes, the fee is for the station license and if you have a marine SSB transceiver on board you must also have an operators permit which is another $60 last time I checked. This is also required for VHF if you travel to a foreign port or make international communications with it.

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Old 16-08-2013, 19:02   #8
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

As a follow up.

If anyone is wondering how long it takes to get the license. I just logged into the FCC website and saw that I now have a callsign and MMSI issued a couple days ago on the 14th. So, from the date of application to when it was issued, only 4 days. And valid for the next 10 years.

Now I have it ready for when I get AIS or a DSC enabled radio.
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Old 16-08-2013, 19:30   #9
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

Information from the source:
Maritime Mobile Service Identity Reminder Public Notice | FCC.gov
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Old 18-08-2013, 07:53   #10
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I got my number from Boats US. Does anyone know if I can use the same number to register with FCC so I don't have to re-program my AIS?
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Old 18-08-2013, 16:38   #11
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

The link in the post above had a bunch of good info, including the answer to your questions, which is no, you need to get a new MMSI.
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Old 18-08-2013, 16:45   #12
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

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I got my number from Boats US. Does anyone know if I can use the same number to register with FCC so I don't have to re-program my AIS?
Everything I've seen says the one you get from BoatUS is for staying within the US. If you intend any international travel, then you have to get a new one from the FCC.
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Old 18-08-2013, 17:48   #13
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

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Everything I've seen says the one you get from BoatUS is for staying within the US. If you intend any international travel, then you have to get a new one from the FCC.
Yes. The more complete explanation is that the BOAT/US issued numbers do not get put in the international database found at Particulars of Ship stations. Only FCC issued numbers do. The result is that an international agency trying to look up your number to figure out who you are, etc. wil not find your MMSI number. Your DSC, AIS, etc will all still work, and rescue authorities should still respond to any distress call. They just won't have the benefit of being able to look up your VHF call sign, boat size and type, etc. all of which can aid in a rescue.

There also is the indirectly related issue of licensing. Recreational operation in the US doesn't require a ships or operators license, but most other countries do require a license and will recognize a US FCC license as compliance. When you go to the FCC to get your ship's and operator's licenses, you can request an MMSI at the same time and get it all as a package.

And that brings us right back to the original post.......
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Old 18-08-2013, 17:56   #14
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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post

Yes. The more complete explanation is that the BOAT/US issued numbers do not get put in the international database found at Particulars of Ship stations. Only FCC issued numbers do. The result is that an international agency trying to look up your number to figure out who you are, etc. wil not find your MMSI number. Your DSC, AIS, etc will all still work, and rescue authorities should still respond to any distress call. They just won't have the benefit of being able to look up your VHF call sign, boat size and type, etc. all of which can aid in a rescue.

There also is the indirectly related issue of licensing. Recreational operation in the US doesn't require a ships or operators license, but most other countries do require a license and will recognize a US FCC license as compliance. When you go to the FCC to get your ship's and operator's licenses, you can request an MMSI at the same time and get it all as a package.

And that brings us right back to the original post.......
What should have been done , would have been to make the issue of mmsi easy and never had the dual system. Everyone else manages it

The licensing issue or lack of it has nothing to do with it. Here you apply for your ships license online , its free . Lifetime issuance , re validate every 10 years. Simple.


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Old 18-08-2013, 18:34   #15
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Re: MMSI from the FCC

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
What should have been done , would have been to make the issue of mmsi easy and never had the dual system. Everyone else manages it

The licensing issue or lack of it has nothing to do with it. Here you apply for your ships license online , its free . Lifetime issuance , re validate every 10 years. Simple.


Dave
One could argue that for domestic use which is probably 95-99% of boat ownership here, the US system is even simpler; No license required, and immediate issuance of an MMSI via one of several online sources. It's a system that favors and encourages easy and wide deployment of MMSIs at the expense of a little confusion for the small minority who travel outside the country. And arguably that same minority are the more sophisticated boaters who should be able to handle the complication without getting too much of a head ache.

Personally I think the bigger problem in the US is the complete lack of training and qualification for radio operators, let along the complete lack of training and qualification for boating in general.
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