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MMSI Numbers

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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:18 am    Post subject: MMSI Numbers Reply with quote

Hi All -

NO you do not need to change your MMSI # if you are going to boat in US territorial water only if you are going outside of US, this meaning Canada. So if you are planning on the GREAT Loop trip yes you need a new MMSI #.

See Below ---->

Mike - Rolling Eyes Twisted Evil

October 18, 2007

Dear BoatUS MMSI Registrant,

Did you know that you have to change your MMSI number if you want to cruise internationally?

Due to a glitch in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing system, your MMSI issued by BoatUS is seen as "invalid" when you choose later to obtain an FCC radio license. BoatUS is trying to fix this problem. In response to a recent FCC Public Notice, we are writing to ask you to tell the FCC to fix their system so boaters can avoid this unneeded inconvenience and cost. Comments are due by November 13, 2007.

Even though the MMSI VHF radio numbers issued by BoatUS come from the FCC, the FCC's radio licensing system does not accept our MMSI numbers (or those issued by any other private entity) back into their database. This problem occurs when a boater who obtained a number from BoatUS, intended for those boating only on U.S. waters and not needing a license, later decides to cruise to foreign ports and applies for an FCC Ship Station License, as currently required. The BoatUS MMSI numbers are rejected by the FCC, forcing the boater to (1) obtain a new MMSI number from the FCC and (2) go to the trouble and expense of getting their DSC radio reprogrammed with the new number. This often requires sending the radio back to the manufacturer or a service agency with fees.

In May, a petition was filed with the FCC to correct this problem by the National GMDSS Implementation Task Force, of which BoatUS is a member.

Current Situation:
The FCC just released a Public Notice on this petition seeking comments from vessel operators on the inconvenience and cost of embedding new MMSI numbers in DSC VHF marine radios. This notice outlines the request, as well as the comment period which ends 11/13/07.

Click here to read the notice:

BoatUS Stance:
BoatUS supports streamlining this system, so that boat operators can easily continue to use their MMSI number when they decide to travel internationally, and privately issued numbers are as trouble-free as those issued by the FCC.

What You Can Do:
Please let the FCC know:

That you want this problem fixed so that privately issued MMSI numbers are "portable," the same policy granted to cell phone users.

If you have had your own experience trying to use your MMSI number when applying for an FCC license, please include details, especially if there were costs involved in re-programming your radio.

As more people retire and decide to go cruising, this problem is very likely to get worse. The time to correct it is now.

The integrity of the U.S. Coast Guard's search and rescue system depends upon boaters properly registering their radios. Any unnecessary problems in doing so will deter people from registering or obtaining a license from the FCC.

You can send your comments via email, using the FCC's designated form. Send an e-mail to with the words "get form" in the message. A reply e-mail with form and instructions will be sent to you. Remember that comments are due no later than 11/13/07. When you write, refer to the docket number: WT 07-230. All comments will be available for public inspection.

Please share this information with your cruising friends and clubs. We look forward to working together to make boating safer and to streamline compliance with government regulations.

Margaret Podlich - BoatUS Government Affairs
Elaine Dickinson - BoatUS and member of GMDSS Task Force
"Best part of Boating -- is the people you meet"
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