There are no prerequisites to taking our course/exam besides knowing how to read or interpret English. A common misconception is that you need the boating experience or completed the applications forms before taking a USCG-approved course/exam.  

You will have 12 months to complete the course and successfully pass the exam. Plus, you will have an additional year from passing our online final exam to submit your completed application packet to the USCG.  

Here is a helpful article that will lay out the timeline for you: How Long Does It Take to Get a Captain's License? 

Our program works best when using Google Chrome as your browser. You can read more about our system requirements here.  

Students can now test online upon completion of the course! You will be required to take the exam on a laptop or desktop with a working webcam, microphone, and strong Wi-Fi connection. 

Here is a video to explain the process for testing online as well as a breakdown of the tools available through MLS. 

It is important to note that the exam is closed books/notes. 

As part of the application process, you will need to have the appropriate amount of boating experience days when you submit your application to the USCG.  

If you do not already have boating experience, some ways you can obtain more boating experience are: 

  • Work as a deckhand 
  • Use a friend's boat 
  • Join a local Marina/Boating club 
  • Use your own boat 

Remember that the written requirement (course/exam) is the most essential element of the application process. The Coast Guard will not issue you a license without fulfilling ALL requirements. 

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