United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: May 18, 2024

§ 7302.
Issuing merchant mariners’ documents and continuous discharge books
(a)
The Secretary shall issue a merchant mariner’s document to an individual required to have that document under part F of this subtitle if the individual satisfies the requirements of this part. The document serves as a certificate of identification and as a certificate of service, specifying each rating in which the holder is qualified to serve on board vessels on which that document is required under part F.
(b)
The Secretary also may issue a continuous discharge book to an individual issued a merchant mariner’s document if the individual requests.
(c)
The Secretary may not issue a merchant mariner’s document under this chapter unless the individual applying for the document makes available to the Secretary, under section 30305(b)(5) of title 49, any information contained in the National Driver Register related to an offense described in section 30304(a)(3)(A) or (B) of title 49 committed by the individual.
(d)
The Secretary may review the criminal record of an individual who applies for a merchant mariner’s document under this section.
(e)
The Secretary shall require the testing of an individual applying for issuance or renewal of a merchant mariner’s document under this chapter for the use of a dangerous drug in violation of law or Federal regulation.
(f)
Periods of Validity and Renewal of Merchant Mariners’ Documents.—
(1)
In general.—
Except as provided in subsection (g), a merchant mariner’s document issued under this chapter is valid for a 5-year period and may be renewed for additional 5-year periods.
(2)
Advance renewals.—
A renewed merchant mariner’s document may be issued under this chapter up to 8 months in advance but is not effective until the date that the previously issued merchant mariner’s document expires or until the completion of any active suspension or revocation of that previously issued merchant mariner’s document, whichever is later.
(g)
(1)
The Secretary may, pending receipt and review of information required under subsections (c) and (d), immediately issue an interim merchant mariner’s document valid for a period not to exceed 120 days, to—
(A)
an individual to be employed as gaming personnel, entertainment personnel, wait staff, or other service personnel on board a passenger vessel not engaged in foreign service, with no duties, including emergency duties, related to the navigation of the vessel or the safety of the vessel, its crew, cargo or passengers; or
(B)
an individual seeking renewal of, or qualifying for a supplemental endorsement to, a valid merchant mariner’s document issued under this section.
(2)
No more than one interim document may be issued to an individual under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 542; Pub. L. 101–380, title IV, §§ 4101(b), 4102(c), Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 509; Pub. L. 107–295, title III, § 324(a), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2104; Pub. L. 108–293, title VI, § 609(1), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1058; Pub. L. 109–241, title IX, § 901(h)(1), (2), July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 111–281, title VI, § 614(a), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2970.)
cite as: 46 USC 7302