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Old 21-06-2021, 08:13   #1
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Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

I am new to boating outside inland lakes, and I am getting my boat prepared for use on the Great Lakes. I have purchased a Lowrance Link-9 Mounted and an ICOM IC-M93D Handheld VHF radios. Both of these have DSC so I will need/want to get an MMSI number. I would also like to have the radios in Canada. I trailer my boat to Canada, and stay less than 45 days at a time. We also do a lot of river canoeing, and would like to be able to use my handheld while canoeing. Our canoes/kayaks and boats are all state registered. I have a couple of questions;
  • Do I only need an FCC Ship Radio Service License and Restricted Radio Operator Permit to use in Canada? I am trying to find out if I need any other licenses or certificates from Canada.
  • On the fcc ship license application, do I need to answer Yes to Vessel travels to foreign ports if I only use on inland lakes in Canada?
  • Do I need two different licenses one for the handheld and one for the mounted radio?
  • Is there anything I need to do to use the handheld when canoeing i.e. change the vessel that it is being used on?
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:02   #2
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, hazmat.
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:54   #3
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

I think that if you Google "obtaining MMSI number" and "Obtaining MMSI number in Canada" you'll find yourself in the midst of all the information you need. One way to think about it is that you can be licensed (operator) and your ship can be licensed (station); radios are not in themselves licensed. Your ship's number would not change if you replaced your radio.
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Old 21-06-2021, 11:09   #4
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

If you use the radio internationally, even on lakes then FCC license is required. While in the states you are not required to have license and when we lived in PNW many US boats went to Canada without a license and no one cited them. We have always had a station license it just seemed the best thing to do.
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Old 21-06-2021, 12:18   #5
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

I too have a DSC handheld that I use with small craft. It has the MMSI number of my cruising sailboat programmed in.

For purposes of DSC, I assume that the smaller boats are auxiliary to the mother ship. A problem would only arise if you make DSC transmissions and someone looked up the vessel description in the SAR database. But presumably you could then correct that during your voice transmission.

I suppose that technically, the other boats should have their own MMSI, and separate radios. I don't know anyone who does that, but the subject probably hasn't ever come up in conversation.
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Old 21-06-2021, 16:11   #6
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

It is my experience that few of the boats hauled across the Minnesota/Ontario border have a radio station license or an operator with a restricted radiotelephone permit and in fact I doubt if many of them have an MMSI programmed at all.


Advice varies for handhelds, usually people either use an MMSI programmed for the vessel with which it will be used most often, other times they fill out the online form as best they can and clearly indicate in comments etc. that it is a portable radio that is used with a variety of boats.


A fact to consider is that there is no USCG Rescue 21 coverage in Lake of the Woods or Rainy River. I do not believe there is any coverage from the Canadian government either in these or surrounding lakes. So an MMSI setup may not be the most important question as there are no stations equipped to receive DSC. A voice mayday call on 16 that may be heard by nearby boats or resorts, or a cell phone call to 911 would be a better bet in these areas.
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Old 23-06-2021, 11:37   #7
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat480 View Post
  • Do I only need an FCC Ship Radio Service License and Restricted Radio Operator Permit to use in Canada? I am trying to find out if I need any other licenses or certificates from Canada.
As a Recognized Examiner for Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime) a.k.a. ROC(M) for CPS-ECP, I can say Yes, as a US-flagged vessel in Canada you are technically on an "international voyage" so the license exemption which applies to you within the US is no longer in force. So an American vessel in Canada needs an FCC station license, as a Canadian vessel in the USA needs an ISED (formerly IC) station license. But that and the Restricted Radio Operator Certificate - ROC(M) in Canada - are all you need as far as radio is concerned.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat480 View Post
  • On the fcc ship license application, do I need to answer Yes to Vessel travels to foreign ports if I only use on inland lakes in Canada?
If it's in Canada, inland lake or not, it's "foreign" from the US/FCC perspective. So yes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat480 View Post
  • Do I need two different licenses one for the handheld and one for the mounted radio?
No, a "Ship Station License" covers all the radio transmitters on board the vessel; fixed-mount VHF, handheld VHF, MF/HF if you have one, and AIS transponder. Actually, even the Radar is included.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat480 View Post
  • Is there anything I need to do to use the handheld when canoeing i.e. change the vessel that it is being used on?
You do have the option (in Canada at least) for a handheld which is used on several different vessels, to register it for an MI (Maritime Identity), which is essentially the same as an MMSI, but is not tied to a specific vessel. Like an MMSI, an MI has an owner and emergency contact record, but no vessel description. If the canoe in question is only used in association with the vessel, sort of like a dinghy, its handheld can use the ship's MMSI. But if it's functionally a separate vessel, going its own way without the mothership, it should probably have an MI.


The only other thing do to while in Canada is to make sure the radio(s) are set to Canada mode on the US/Intl/Can setting, button or menu. Most common channels are the same in both Canada and USA settings, but there are a few differences.
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Old 23-06-2021, 18:30   #8
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

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Originally Posted by Redline452 View Post
But that and the Restricted Radio Operator Certificate - ROC(M) in Canada - are all you need as far as radio is concerned.
One other question. Do I need a Restricted Radio Operator Certificate for Canada as well, if I get the FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Permit (RR)? Thanks again.
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Old 23-06-2021, 18:52   #9
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat480 View Post
One other question. Do I need a Restricted Radio Operator Certificate for Canada as well, if I get the FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Permit (RR)? Thanks again.
"Currently, all VHF radio operators are required to have a Restricted Operator's Certificate (ROC) with maritime qualifications. Canada recognizes the American Certificate."

https://tc.canada.ca/en/marine-trans...information#s7
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Old 23-06-2021, 19:50   #10
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

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"Currently, all VHF radio operators are required to have a Restricted Operator's Certificate (ROC) with maritime qualifications. Canada recognizes the American Certificate."

https://tc.canada.ca/en/marine-trans...information#s7
Thank you, is the restricted radiotelephone operator permit (RR) sufficient or do I need the Marine Radio Operator Permit (MP)? Sorry for all of the questions this is really confusing to me.
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Old 23-06-2021, 20:53   #11
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Re: Licensing VHF Radios FCC MMSI

Yes, the RR is the one you need.
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