Regional Exam Centers To Reopen With Restrictions

The Coast Guard’s Regional Examination Centers and Monitoring Units were closed to the public due to the COVID-19 crisis on March 19. On July 8, the Coast Guard announced in a letter signed by Capt. Kirsten Martin, commander of the National Maritime Center, they will reopen with restrictions.

During this initial phase of reopening, services will be limited to mariner examinations only. Those exams will be conducted only by appointment. Mariners will have to provide documentation of health status; any mariner showing signs of fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or other COVID symptoms will not be allowed to enter and will need to reschedule any appointments. Mariners must undergo a temperature check, answer a series of health screening questions upon arrival and wear face coverings.

The NMC will issue a reopening scheduled for the various exam centers “once ongoing work to ensure a safe testing environment is complete,” the letter said.

The hand delivery of applications remains suspended, and mariners should continue to email  all applications. Submission guidance and REC/MU email addresses are on the NMC website,

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“COVID-19 conditions vary greatly across our 20 REC/MU locations. We appreciate your patience as we respond to this dynamic situation,” the letter said. Once a reopening date for an REC/MU is announced, appointments should be scheduled directly with that office, or by contacting the NMC Customer Call Center. Scheduling priority will be given to mariners who had appointments canceled due to temporary closures.

Updates will be provided on the NMC website. The NMC Customer Service Center remains open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT, Monday through Friday.

The call center may be reached at 888-IASKNMC (427-5662) and