The MMC is in the format of a traditional Passport book. Like a passport, the cover is imprinted with the Great Seal of the United States and the text United States of America. Unlike a passport, the cover is red-maroon in color (rather than the four colors used for US passports or travel documents: dark blue, black, brown, and blue-green) and the text Merchant Mariner Credential appears in place of Passport. Also, the cover does not hold a contactless smart card chip as do newer Biometric passports (ePassport).
The MMC has twenty pages, exclusive of the front and back covers, sequentially numbered like the visa pages of a passport. Basic identity document data is page 3. The MMC is not a passport, but it is a Seafarer's Identity Document and the format of the data page complies with the ICAO Machine Readable Travel Documents specifications for Machine-readable passports. Rather than the document type of P used with US government issued passports, a document type of PG is used for MMCs.
License information in the form of domestic and international endorsements begin on page 4 of the MMC and continue as many pages required to list competencies held by the mariner. Domestic (46 CFR 10) and International (STCW Convention) license information are printed on separate pages. When the mariner gain a new competency while holding an already valid MMC, the new competency is printed on a sticker which is placed on the next available blank page in the MMC, much like a visa in a passport. Thus new MMCs are only produced for original and renewals; raises in grade, removal or limitations, or addition of endorsements do not require a new credential.
The mariner's reference number and the MMC's serial number are printed on the bottom of every page containing endorsement information and on all stickers issued to be added. The endorsement pages are overprinted with a transparent plastic 'watermark' with the words 'Merchant Mariner Credential' and the seal of the United States.
MMC serial numbers are nine digits long, as required for a passport book, and padded with leading zeros. As of December 2011, about 134,000 serial numbers had been used (presuming sequential assignment).
The MMC has a clear plastic holder for the mariner's TWIC card on the inside of the back cover.
Read more about this topic: Merchant Mariner Credential
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