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Posted: July 9, 2008

REC Miami assumes storefront role


On June 30, the Coast Guard regional exam center (REC) in Miami, Fla., began its transition to becoming a field unit of the National Maritime Center (NMC) in Martinsburg, W. Va.

The staff at the REC will assist mariners in ensuring their applications for licenses and other documentation are complete and ready for evaluation at the NMC. Verification of identity and fingerprinting will still be conducted at the RECs, as will the administration of exams.

Completed application packages will be sent from the RECs to the NMC for evaluation, including security, qualification and medical. If an individual application is approved, the NMC will print and issue the license or document.

REC Miami joins 14 other RECs that have made the transition to NMC storefronts—Toledo, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo.; Anchorage, Alaska; Baltimore, Md.; Juneau, Alaska; New Orleans, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; San Francisco, Calif.; New York, N.Y.; Portland, Ore.; Charleston, S.C. and Honolulu, Hi.

By the end of this year, all 17 RECs will have become NMC field units, the Coast Guard has reported.

"The goal of the restructuring and centralization effort is to improve customer service, decrease credential processing time and improve the consistency of our products," the Coast Guard has reported. "In the future, it is envisioned that credentials will be issued faster and the level of customer service will exceed the mariner's expectations."

Mariners with specific questions regarding the transition process can contact their local REC or refer to the REC Transition Guide on the Coast Guard Web site: http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/wnnmc.htm.