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Old 12-09-2015, 14:37   #1
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MMSI help

Thanks to our governments total ability to screw up anything I'm going nuts trying to get an MMSI number for my DSC VHF radio. While 99% of my sailing will be in U.S. waters, there will be times I will wish to go to the Bahamas.

My understanding is that I need an FCC license with MMSI number as opposed to getting a number from Boat U.S. The problem is the FCC website makes no sense whatsoever.

Can anyone give me some guidance?

Rich


by the way I have a seven page article somewhere detailing the operation of a "postal system input buffer device" otherwise known as a mailbox
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Old 12-09-2015, 14:45   #2
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Re: MMSI help

I apologize in advance that I don't have useful information for you, but I can say that I empathize with you on anything related to US government administration. Best of luck to you during your battle with red tape.
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Old 12-09-2015, 14:51   #3
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Re: MMSI help

Just went through the process and the FCC website I agree is about as clear as mud. The good news, I can give you the benefit of my vast (IE one and only) experience. Also, they have a phone number for help where you immediately reach a real person that actually understands the process and will help.

First, you will want two licenses, one the ships license and one is the operator's permit.

As I recall the steps.

1. Go to the website and sign up for your FRN (FCC Registration Number). That part was fairly simple. https://apps.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do

2. Log in with your FRN, go to the online forms and fill in a form 605, I think you have to do it twice, once for each license but not certain about this.

3. When filling in the 605 you select license type SA - Ship Recreational or Voluntary for the ships station license and license type RR - for restricted operator's license. When filling in the SA form just ask for the license to cover everything they list. Doesn't cost extra and doesn't add any additional risks, liabilities or responsibilities.

4. Fill in form 159 to send payment.

5. In a day or so you will get an email from the FCC with a link to your official license. Download, save somewhere for future reference and print a copy for the boat.

Done.
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Old 12-09-2015, 14:57   #4
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Re: MMSI help

That helps a great deal. I completed step one and printed out my FRN number. I knew I needed a form 605 but I didn't know about logging in to get to the silly form. Mucho gracias!!

Rich


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Old 12-09-2015, 15:09   #5
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Re: MMSI help

If you already have a ship radio license for a previous radio (or even in general), then you already have an MMSI regardless of not having a DSC radio before. Your number is located on that license, and you do not need to get another.

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Old 12-09-2015, 15:26   #6
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Re: MMSI help

Thanks Mark,

I don't have a previous license. I just replaced all the 26 yo electronics and it seems like all of them want a MMSI number. The last license I had from them was, I believe, a radio telephone operator permit as part of my pilots license.

I do kind of wonder about all the Americans cruising around the Bahamas and elsewhere. I'll bet a lot are using the domestic license. I had to read the fine print to find out the difference between a Boat US number and an FCC number. I don't even know if any one even checks for these things or what happens if you don't have the FCC version. You would think the people who make the stuff that takes an MMSI would be more up front about it their documentation.

Rich
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Old 12-09-2015, 16:07   #7
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Re: MMSI help

The FCC license is in the international database. A BoatUS MMSI is only in the U.S. Database and will not show up if you you use DSC in another country.


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Old 12-09-2015, 16:21   #8
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Re: MMSI help

Well, by law you need a FCC ships radio license (this is different from a ham operator license). It covers all the radios on the boat - VHF, SSB, AIS, etc, and it contains your MMSI.

If you plan to operate internationally, you will want a FCC MMSI and not a BoatUS one.

You don't have the luxury of doing the BUS one now and a real one later, unless you want to send your VHF, AIS, SSB, etc back to the manufacturers for a reset.

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Old 12-09-2015, 18:57   #9
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Re: MMSI help

I recently went thru this as well.

Once you get the FRN number and login, you want to "Apply for new license" and choose "SA or SB - Ship" from the options. Should be golden from there.

Your license will then be filed under the call sign assigned and is called "SA - Ship Recreational or Voluntarily Equipped". You only need one.

Godspeed!
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Old 12-09-2015, 21:44   #10
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MMSI help

Thank you all,

While there are few folks on this forum, that are that are a few circuits short, almost everyone else is a wealth of knowledge a few key strokes away.

Thank you all once again.

Rich

ps: along the way your advice has saved me a ton of money


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Old 13-09-2015, 12:41   #11
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Re: MMSI help

Well I was able to successfully file the license application, or at least the site said so.

I was unable to pay the license fees, kept getting error codes. I'll wait until Monday to call the help desk.

Pricey little devils and whoever designed their web pages must have designed them to be totally unusable.


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Old 13-09-2015, 14:26   #12
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Re: MMSI help

The FCC just completely revamped their server system. It just came back up on Wednesday the 9th FYI. Amazingly my new General license was there on the 10th. Not sure if this had anything to do with your issues but maybe.


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Old 14-09-2015, 10:01   #13
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Re: MMSI help

So I have a BUS MMSI number and will be doing all my cruising in BC Canada and the inside passage. In order to get an FCC MMSI, I would have to have all three radios and AIS reset.

Some of my Canadian friends tell me the BUS number is just fine.

Issues?
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Old 14-09-2015, 13:47   #14
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Re: MMSI help

Called the FCC help center and then it only took a few minutes. Still $215 usd for fees seemed a bit much.

I am told I should have a station license and international MMSI number in a day or two.

Rich


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Old 25-10-2015, 22:09   #15
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Re: MMSI help

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Called the FCC help center and then it only took a few minutes. Still $215 usd for fees seemed a bit much.

I am told I should have a station license and international MMSI number in a day or two.

Rich


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Hey Cabo,

I was wondering if you had the number to the FCC help center still or could point me. I tried their website but it is a mess to search on. Also, were you able to pay the fees via phone? Or the whole process?



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