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Old 10-18-2018, 05:36 PM   #1
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MMSI from the FCC - US

Forgive me if this has been covered, but I did a search and couldn't find anything directly related to my question.

The captain (or boat) has the MMSI number from the FCC currently registered to our sailboat. We are transitioning to our trawler. Can we take that number with us and change the data with the FCC or do we need to cancel that number and apply for a new one? We are not taking the radio out of the sailboat. We bought a new one (with AIS) for the trawler.

On a separate note, we are taking the EPIRB with us and it appears we can just change the data on that relative website. If I'm wrong, please let me know.

Help is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:09 PM   #2
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I think you would cancel the old MMSI and get a new one for the new boat. If you have a transciever AIS, not just a reciever, it needs to be programmed by a licensed technician. I had to file for the new MMSI and send the information to the retailer for my electronics so they could program the AIS.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:09 PM   #3
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https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtMmsi

More info here...
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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Let it go with the radio itís programmed into. Get a new one, I would ignore FCC on this one and go with BoatUS even if going abroad.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:52 PM   #5
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I would ignore FCC on this one and go with BoatUS even if going abroad.

Why would you recommend that?
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:03 PM   #6
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Let it go with the radio itís programmed into. Get a new one, I would ignore FCC on this one and go with BoatUS even if going abroad.

It was my understanding that if going abroad we needed a MSI issued by the FCC?
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:11 AM   #7
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Yes, if you get a MMSI from Boat/US it is only in the US data base and will not be found in the foreign data base if you activate it there. Go with the FCC if there is any chance you will be boating abroad. Also if you get an AIS transciever you will have to register it with the FCC anyway.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:34 AM   #8
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It was my understanding that if going abroad we needed a MSI issued by the FCC?
Dave, regardless of the issuing authority, the number would come up on VHF radios in Canada, for example, but the authorities there would not have easy access to the US database that contains your vessel and owner information. It's legal and would not interfere with others receiving your GPS position information.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:35 AM   #9
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Yes, if you get a MMSI from Boat/US it is only in the US data base and will not be found in the foreign data base if you activate it there. Go with the FCC if there is any chance you will be boating abroad. Also if you get an AIS transciever you will have to register it with the FCC anyway.
I'm not sure what you're speaking of. The AIS isn't registered with the FCC.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:17 AM   #10
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Thanks, everyone. That was helpful. We'll apply for a new MMSI number with the FCC as we do travel abroad. Our AIS is receiver only so we don't have to worry about that part. Thanks, again.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:21 AM   #11
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Your MMSI is on your ships station license from the FCC (I just entered mine yesterday on a new radio).

It is in a worldwide data base managed in Switzerland.

A MMSI from Boat US or McDonalds or anyplace else is only in a USCG data base.

Roll the dice if you travel with a USA only MMSI.

Straight from BoatUS website....

"Registration Criteria

BoatUS has been authorized by both the*Federal Communications Commission (FCC)*and the U.S. Coast Guard to assign MMSI numbers only to vessels that meet the following criteria:

Used for recreation onlyNot required by law to carry a radioDo not communicate with or visit foreign ports (i.e. Canada, Bahamas, Mexico & the Caribbean)

If you do not meet these criteria, you are legally required to obtain a Ship Station License from the*FCC. They will issue an MMSI number with a Ship Station License."
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:26 AM   #12
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Thanks, everyone. That was helpful. We'll apply for a new MMSI number with the FCC as we do travel abroad. Our AIS is receiver only so we don't have to worry about that part. Thanks, again.

So save you some hassle, when you go to the FCC web site, what you want to get is an "SA", Ships Station License. As part of that, you check a box saying you also want an MMSI. This will get you both a VHF call sign and an MMSI, and set you up to be compliant in other countries.


I don't think it's possible to just get an MMSI - it has to accompany an SA license, either new or existing.


What's funky about MMSIs is that they are supposed to stay with the boat when it changes hands, much like a Documentation number. But in practice, the MMSI is companion to an SA, and an SA has to be cancelled when you sell a boat, so the MMSI gets cancelled along with it.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:02 AM   #13
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What's funky about MMSIs is that they are supposed to stay with the boat when it changes hands, much like a Documentation number. But in practice, the MMSI is companion to an SA, and an SA has to be cancelled when you sell a boat, so the MMSI gets cancelled along with it.

I have read there's a process to transfer the MMSI for a given sold boat to it's new owner...

But that's second-hand... If true, I'd guess it's probably done through the issuing org...

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Old 10-19-2018, 08:08 AM   #14
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I have read there's a process to transfer the MMSI for a given sold boat to it's new owner...



But that's second-hand... If true, I'd guess it's probably done through the issuing org...



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This is entirely possible, I just havenít tried or seen how to do it. Actually, I think I have seen how to do it on BOAT US. On the FCC site, when you apply for the SA license I think you can tell it you have an MMSI already. That would probably work as long as the previous owner has cancelled their SA.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:09 AM   #15
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Sounds like you can apply for the previous owner's (boat's) MMSI so you dont have to change the equipment programming....

From USCG NAVCEN FAQs..

"How to Update or Change an MMSI Registration

If your MMSI registration information or contact information changes for any reason, you must update your registration.* If you sell your DSC-equipped radio or AIS or the boat these devices are mounted on, you must cancel your MMSI registration and should inform the new owner of the need to reregister the MMSI.* This is necessary to ensure that the Coast Guard is able to contact the right persons if a distress situation were ever to occur.* These registration changes can be accomplished by contacting the organization or agency which originally registered your MMSI.* If you do not know which organization registered your MMSI, you can identify that organization by comparing your existing MMSI against those listed in the document*MMSI ship station blocks allocated in the US*(updated 20 June 2018)."
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:22 PM   #16
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Thanks, everyone. That was helpful. We'll apply for a new MMSI number with the FCC as we do travel abroad. Our AIS is receiver only so we don't have to worry about that part. Thanks, again.


If you don't have a transponder I don't think you even need an mmsi just to receive.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:53 PM   #17
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So save you some hassle, when you go to the FCC web site, what you want to get is an "SA", Ships Station License. As part of that, you check a box saying you also want an MMSI. This will get you both a VHF call sign and an MMSI, and set you up to be compliant in other countries.


I don't think it's possible to just get an MMSI - it has to accompany an SA license, either new or existing.


What's funky about MMSIs is that they are supposed to stay with the boat when it changes hands, much like a Documentation number. But in practice, the MMSI is companion to an SA, and an SA has to be cancelled when you sell a boat, so the MMSI gets cancelled along with it.
The captain has an RROP and our CURRENT sailboat has the MMSI (yes, SA) as we travel in foreign waters. So according to others (and what I've read), I need to cancel the current MMSI on the sailboat and apply for a new MMSI on the trawler. We already have the RROP so no need to reapply for that. Right?
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:53 PM   #18
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If you don't have a transponder I don't think you even need an mmsi just to receive.
To travel in foreign waters, yes, we do.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:57 PM   #19
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The captain has an RROP and our CURRENT sailboat has the MMSI (yes, SA) as we travel in foreign waters. So according to others (and what I've read), I need to cancel the current MMSI on the sailboat and apply for a new MMSI on the trawler. We already have the RROP so no need to reapply for that. Right?


That sounds right. The RR license is for you as an operator. The SA license is for the radio station which is your boat.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:59 PM   #20
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If you don't have a transponder I don't think you even need an mmsi just to receive.


Thatís right, but if you have a DSC capable radio you will still need the MMSI for that. And if you donít have DSC, itís well worth considering.
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