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Old 12-10-2014, 12:21 AM   #41
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Good discussion. As a gov't bureaucrat myself I'm the first one to jump on difficult, slow and inefficient government agencies, but I have to say I just got my operator's license and ship's station license from the FCC. Okay, the website is not the easiest process on earth, but no worse than doing your taxes on the IRS site. The FCC response was incredibly fast - got both certificates or licenses in the mail within a few days of the applications. Couldn't believe how quick it was - so now I have the MMSI number, call sign, and everything else I need for the new AIS transponder and the new VHF radio. Now the Coast Guard's federal documentation processing - that's a completely different story. They post their processing delays on the net lately. The processing times for some transactions are measured in *years* no joke. We filed the exchange (transfer) forms for the new boat two months ago, nothing so far. I take delivery and we sail New England next spring. Wonder if I'll have any of it by then. Compliments to the FCC, while the CG's doc processing should be an embarrassment to the Coast Guard.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:40 AM   #42
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Now the Coast Guard's federal documentation processing - that's a completely different story. They post their processing delays on the net lately. The processing times for some transactions are measured in *years* no joke. We filed the exchange (transfer) forms for the new boat two months ago, nothing so far. I take delivery and we sail New England next spring. Wonder if I'll have any of it by then. Compliments to the FCC, while the CG's doc processing should be an embarrassment to the Coast Guard.

I would guess they're between a rock and a hard place. Takes decent systems and people to do the work, which in turn requires appropriate budget... and therein probably lies the congressional rub.

IOW, CG can only do what they have funds to do. And that's controlled by the gov't. budgetary process. Which is in turn influenced by voters.

-Chris
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:54 AM   #43
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It could be background research causing the delay for some vessels and holding up the USCG process or it could be a funding issue.

I think I'like take the USCG if the money is hitting the water activities that directly affect me, where if the FCC has a streamlined process to issue licenses that is really no big deal but not putting much effort into false mayday tracking....well... I'm not sure which agency should be embarrassed.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:39 AM   #44
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It was easy obtaining the MMSI on line, surprisingly so.

But I never programmed my VHF with it as I saw more potential problems than advantages.
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:23 PM   #45
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It was easy obtaining the MMSI on line, surprisingly so.

But I never programmed my VHF with it as I saw more potential problems than advantages.
How so?
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:46 AM   #46
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How does one handle having two DSC VHF radios and setting up the MMSI. Can both radios be programed with the same MMSI?
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:25 AM   #47
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Mine are. ..no problems.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:45 AM   #48
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How does one handle having two DSC VHF radios and setting up the MMSI. Can both radios be programed with the same MMSI?
Yes.
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:59 PM   #49
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How does one handle having two DSC VHF radios and setting up the MMSI. Can both radios be programed with the same MMSI?
They have to be programmed the same. You can only have one MMSI number per vessel.

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Old 12-14-2014, 09:43 PM   #50
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Great, thanks for the response. A pair of new radios are in order. Is there any reason I would not want to use the same model of radio for both helms?
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:07 PM   #51
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I would go cheap for the fly and get a decent one with all the features like remote mike etc for the helm.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:22 PM   #52
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They have to be programmed the same. You can only have one MMSI number per vessel.
Well, you're supposed to have only one MMSI per vessel, although at the moment my new boat has two assigned to it. We bought the new boat in early October. The previous owner had an FCC restricted operator's permit and a ship's station license, with the MMSI programmed into a VHF radio that doesn't have AIS input capability. I have my own RO permit and got a ship's station license for the new boat and applied for my own MMSI under my ship station's license for the new boat. I intend to enter the new MMSI into the new VHF radio that does have AIS input capability and when it goes back in the water in the spring the VHF radio and the satellite mic in the cabin will only broadcast one (newest) MMSI. One the other hand, the Coast Guard documentation processing center is months or years behind on bill of sale (exchange) processing, so for now my boat has two MMSI numbers, two call signs, obsolete owner information in the Coast Guard's database, and even still shows a lien (loan) against it that the previous owner paid off and filed a satisfaction for in April 2014 but they haven't processed that either. In other words, all this FCC/MMSI/CG stuff has the potential to be very messy. Just need to stay on top of it.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:50 PM   #53
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And to think that I retired to relax
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:17 AM   #54
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Great, thanks for the response. A pair of new radios are in order. Is there any reason I would not want to use the same model of radio for both helms?

When we did our refit, we replaced one older radio and a reasonably good modern radio... with two new radios... exactly so we could have two radio that work exactly the same way. No having to remember which radio uses which command (or button, or knob) to do what... and so forth. That has turned out to be a good decision, for us.

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Old 12-15-2014, 07:21 AM   #55
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The CG documentation being out of date should only have a minimal impact on your Call sign and MMSI numbers. The call sign and ships station license are attached to the ship and are non-transferable, so should be cancelled when the boat is sold. Your new ships station license and call sign become active as soon as they are issued, and the ITC database will get updated to reflect that. Yes, the CG documentation will be off for a while, but I think it has minimal impact on anything.

What's funky is that even though the ships station license is not transferable, the MMSI is supposed to stay with the ship forever and is transferable. As best I can tell, the way you do it when you are applying for your new ships station license. I haven't actually gone all the way through the process, but it appears that you can tell them what your MMSI number is when you fill out the online form, and I'm presuming that it will be used rather than a new one assigned.

Regardless, you are where you are, and will need to get the old MMSI changed to the new one. That's typically not too hard with AIS using a serial cable, computer, and ProAIS. The VHFs are harder and I believe require return to a servicing dealer.

Quite frankly, it might be easier to go back to the ships station license and change back to the original MMSI number than to get the VHFs changed. It's worth considering.
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:26 AM   #56
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:38 AM   #57
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After all this great discussion on MMSI, FCC numbers and application process I have successfully made the jump.

I had already applied for my FRN because of our travel to Canada and already had a MMSI number from Boat US. I will filling out the on-line application for my call sign and new MMSI number SO I waited for what I perceived to take a month to get the documentation. To my suprise in 10 days I received the requested documents. Boat US MMSI canceled today.

Thanks to the contributors to this thread to help guide me though the process.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:21 PM   #58
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I know this is an old thread. I am getting an AIS and they need my MMSI number. I got mine through BoatUs. So I am looking through my iCom M504A owner manual and it states I can only enter an MMSI number once, then after that it has to be sent back to iCom. WTF?

The reason I was going through the FCC is becuase next year I will be going to BC canada. So TF experts what now?
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:33 PM   #59
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We got a letter of temporary documentation from the CG in about two weeks. The documentation actually took 4 months. The tax bill for California took 7 months. It's all done and I'm still working on retrofits.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:35 PM   #60
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You only need one MMSI. Send the one you already have with your AIS order.

Keep the MMSI register up to date with relevant details, some can even take a boat pic, addresses, who to contact in an emergency etc. All of this is in your best interest to do.
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