Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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No idea, but asking some of the charter skippers in your area might be useful.
If you're going to pay money to a school, choose one who will help you with the application process itself and not just the exam, since they have more experience in filling this stuff out than you will.
The application itself is simple, but the new Physical Exam form is longer and more detailed, so you'll need a referral to a doc who is willing to do the paperwork, the school may know of someone if your own doc isn't interested. I just did a renewal using the new (CG-719K) form, it took two appointments, one for the exam, the second to fill in the form once all the labs, outside referrals (if you need these) are done.
I (30 years ago), bought the test review booklets for $40, did my own application, and passed. Nowadays the USCG web site is pretty helpful too and the process is more streamlined than before. But doing it yourself takes longer, so it's more of a question of how much your time is worth. Application and renewal by mail are encouraged.
PS: Get your TWIC card now, it takes time and is required with your application.
Last edited by nolatom; 03-31-2010 at 11:37 AM.