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post #1 of 10 Old 08-10-2013 Thread Starter
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MMSI From the FCC

I looked around for info about the MMSI and while I don't need one now, I plan to add capabilities to my boat that require one. So, I decided to go ahead and apply for one now to it will be on hand.

I made this blog post showing lots of screen shots to give people an idea of what to expect. I also included the links to the FCC ULS website in case someone needs to register and apply online.

Rhapsody: How do you get an MMSI from the FCC?

The process didn't take long.

Also, as a note, the cost is $160.

Daniel
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

Daniel -

Just an aside, people who know they are not going outside US waters, can get a free MMSI through BoatUs.

BoatUS - MMSI - Before You Begin Your Application

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post #3 of 10 Old 08-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

Thanks for the link. I mentioned BoatUS in my blog post but I just didn't look for the link.

Good info for anyone who needs it.

Daniel
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

From the USPS web site NewPage1
it becomes a little clearer about what the difference is. The USPS and BOATUS are *only* offering an MMSI. Vessels that go outside of the US will also require a Ship's Station License, which for many years was $75 for ten years. Then it jumped to about $225 for ten years, now it is $160. (Still a rip-off, the FCC is supposed to charge what it costs to administer.)

So when you get a free MMSI, you don't get a Ship's Station License. And if you go outside the US and buy the required SSL, that comes with an MMSI of it's own, which must be used on all equipment and must replace the free one if you had one. Making the one a waste of money, if you're going outside of the US.

So the "difference" in the MMSI is no difference at all, just that one is just an MMSI, and the other is an MMSI associated with a required SSL. Either should work perfectly well, no matter where you are, even if there's a technical violation about which one should be on the boat.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
From the USPS web site NewPage1
it becomes a little clearer about what the difference is. The USPS and BOATUS are *only* offering an MMSI. Vessels that go outside of the US will also require a Ship's Station License, which for many years was $75 for ten years. Then it jumped to about $225 for ten years, now it is $160. (Still a rip-off, the FCC is supposed to charge what it costs to administer.)

So when you get a free MMSI, you don't get a Ship's Station License. And if you go outside the US and buy the required SSL, that comes with an MMSI of it's own, which must be used on all equipment and must replace the free one if you had one. Making the one a waste of money, if you're going outside of the US.

So the "difference" in the MMSI is no difference at all, just that one is just an MMSI, and the other is an MMSI associated with a required SSL. Either should work perfectly well, no matter where you are, even if there's a technical violation about which one should be on the boat.
Yeah but you can't change the MMSI number once you've entered it into your VHF, can you? So, getting a free MMSI without an SSL would mean you couldn't replace it with an SSL and accompanying MMSI without swapping out your equipment, right? Also, I understood that even if you didn't bother with all of the red tape and didn't pay for an SSL, the "free MMSI" would only be registered in US databases rather than internationally -- thus delaying response time.

I have to say I found this stuff to be unnecessarily complicated (or at least I didn't understand the reason for the complexities).

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

I read that certain radios can be changed a very limited number of times, maybe 3. But if needed, you may be able to return the equipment to the manufacturer to update.

To me, might as well do it once and not have to worry about swapping later on.

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-10-2013
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

"Yeah but you can't change the MMSI number once you've entered it into your VHF, can you"

That would be a very clever way to end the market in used radios and ensure a boat had to have new ones every time it changed owners. I don't think the radio makers were smart enough to get that required by law.

Wouldn't surprise me if some radios had a problem with that, due to cheapass designs.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-11-2013
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

I read a bit where someone did it. I couldnt find it again on the net, but the trick was to get into the manufacturers settings and he did so by holding a button down (or a couple of buttons) whilst turning the power on.

Dont even know the brand of the VHF.

Anyway, there may be tricks to it.


Mark

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post #9 of 10 Old 08-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

As a follow up.

If anyone is wondering how long it takes to get the license. I just logged into the FCC website and saw that I now have a callsign and MMSI issued a couple days ago on the 14th. So, from the date of application to when it was issued, only 4 days. And valid for the next 10 years.

Now I have it ready for when I get AIS or a DSC enabled radio.

Daniel
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-17-2013
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Re: MMSI From the FCC

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Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
I read that certain radios can be changed a very limited number of times, maybe 3. But if needed, you may be able to return the equipment to the manufacturer to update.
That is what the instructions to my radio say.

Donna



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