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Old 10-01-2010, 19:04   #1
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MMSI Number for AIS with Future Foreign Travels ?

The instructions that came with our AIS class B transceiver states that we can get an MMSI number from boatus. Later in the instructions it says if our travels take us to foreign ports we must first obtain a ship station license and get the MMSI number from the FCC.

Since the AIS registration is a one-shot deal do I read the instructions correctly; we'll have to go the FCC route even if we don't expect to visit any foreign ports in the near future ?

Thanks,


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Old 10-01-2010, 20:26   #2
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Sven,

There are two types of MMSI numbers. Those issued by BoatUS and other private entities will work in the US, but they are not entered into the international database. If you go abroad, you must obtain BOTH a station license for your boat, and an operator's license for every person who is to operate transmitting equipment (like an SSB).

IMHO, they've really confused things. What could have been very simple has been made quite complicated.

What to do?

If you contemplate EVER going abroad...even to Canada or the Bahamas...or if you contemplate talking to a non-US vessel while still in US waters....then, I'd suggest you go directly for the station license and operators license. They will issue you a MMSI number at the same time. If you do this, be sure to check all the boxes for types of equipment, even if you don't have it aboard. This will ensure that you don't have to make another application later (and pay the healty fee). I believe the cost is around $140.

The FCC-issued MMSI number can then be entered into your VHF. Many VHF radios allow you to enter a MMSI number only twice...so if you were to have one issued by Boat US, then had to change that to enter one issued by the FCC, and you made a mistake, you'd have to send the radio back to a dealer or the factory. A real pain in the butt and stupid, stupid, stupid public policy IMO.

The station license and operators license will then allow you to use any type of transmitting equipment aboard anywhere in the world....VHF, HF/SSB, radar, AIS, EPIRB, satellite, etc., etc.

Bill
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Old 10-01-2010, 21:34   #3
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Thanks Bill, I think that was the info I needed.


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Old 11-01-2010, 07:38   #4
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I am waiting for my ships license and restricted operatorís license from the FCC. It is posted on the ULC so I can use the radio if I choose. The Station license is $160 now and the restricted operatorís license is $60. The station is good for ten years but the restricted operators are good for life. Yea - OUCH!!
http://www.fcc.gov/licensing.html -to get you started the click on Universal Licensing System (ULS) just use the NEW USER button and that will take you to get your FRN. Youíll need to get an FRN number (no cost involved), just a fill in the blanks type thing. They you are off to the races.
Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:08   #5
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Thanks Gary.

I sure agree with Bill that it seems more complicated than it needs to be but I think we'll muddle through with the advice here.


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Old 13-01-2010, 23:38   #6
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Thanks.

I and the admiral got the FRN and then the restricted licenses according to the ULS licensing site. I also filled out the Ship Station form and paid for that but assume that takes a bit longer to process.

If it hadn't been for your help it would have been a complete mystery to us so we're very grateful for your insights.

Once we have the MMSI we ship the AIS transceiver to the programmer folks and we'll be ready for off-shore use.


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Old 14-01-2010, 03:24   #7
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SvenG - (slight thread drift/theft here). I have a Class B transponder now and absolutely love the system. Not only do I see lots of targets on crossings that my radar and eyeballs don't pick up but I also know that they will see me. I have a DSC radio aboard and even got my first DSC call from a "bigun" that saw me on their AIS display! AIS was also fun to use as a "who's who" directory of big yachts in the various anchorages
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:08   #8
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It usually takes 24 to 48 hours to show up in the system. You can look in the ULS using your FRN # and see you license grant and your MMSI number. You don’t have to wait till they mail it. You can operate after it shows up on the list as well. ASI is our next on the wish list. Good luck.
Gary
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