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I need to apply for my MMSI. Since someday I might plan to take the boat into a foreign port (e.g., Bahamas) I guess I need to apply for the MMSI through the FCC. But the FCC online website is down or broken - (I can't get to the Online Log In).

I was then wondering if I could apply for the domestic free MMSI through BoatUS. But if I go this way, can I then change the information on the MMSI so that it gets included in the International Search and Rescue database, or update it through the FCC?

Anyone know?

thanks - jballou
 

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jb-
An MMSI is assigned along with the ship's station license TO THE VESSEL and cannot be changed. If you get a domestic-only one and program it into a radio, you will almost certainly need to get the radio reprogrammed by a service center, at a fee, when you need to get a federal MMSI that is good out of the country.
So if you can't reach the FCC web site, try another browser, try again tomorrow [sic] or give their licensing division a call on Tuesday. They're incredibly good about helping out over the phone. Worst case, they'll fax you the papers and you can mail 'em back with a check.
They're also very good at answering questions over the phone.
 

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I just applied for, and received my MMSI from Industry Canada. I've never heard of a "domestic-only" MMSI. Don't recall any such consideration when applying for my Canadian one. Is this an American thing, or did I miss something important :confused:
The Boat US MMSI number is basically that - It's recognized in the states, but the information doesn't go along with anything outside the country. It's also free, versus the fee for the FCC MMSI number. For people never planning on going international, it works fine. I got mine through the FCC just in case I go to Canada or wherever, especially since they aren't transferable from one version to the other. You can't get the BoatUS-issues MMSI and then change it over. You have to go through the process anew anyway, and chances are if you've programmed your VHF already, you'll need to send it in to be reset for the new one.
 

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.....Is this an American thing, or did I miss something important :confused:
Yes, and probably along the same lines as no longer requiring a license to use a VHF radio. Since 99+% of US boats never leave the country, I believe they are just encouraging the use of these safety devices.
 

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I'm in the same situation. I have a Domesic MMSI. I do at some point plan to cruise the Caribbean. I've heard differing stories on devices. Some may allow you to change it ONCE, others need to be sent back to the manufacturer for reset. I guess I'll find out when the time comes.
 

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I don't recall if it was the FCC or BoatUS, but I was checking up online and the consensus is that ITU regulations prohibit anyone from resetting the MMSI on a device. So the odds are about 100% that you'll have to send it back, and the only question is what they'll charge you. Or if they'll charge you. Pick a time when you won't need it for a couple or four weeks, and send it in.
 

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I don't recall if it was the FCC or BoatUS, but I was checking up online and the consensus is that ITU regulations prohibit anyone from resetting the MMSI on a device. So the odds are about 100% that you'll have to send it back, and the only question is what they'll charge you. Or if they'll charge you. Pick a time when you won't need it for a couple or four weeks, and send it in.
From the manual for my iCom 422 (bolding is mine);
The 9-digit MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity: DSC self
ID) code can be programmed at power ON.
This function is not available when the MMSI code has
been programmed by the dealer. This code programming
can be performed only twice.
 

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The exception to the rule. Of course since the ITU has no direct enforcement powers in any country...their rules are still only "recommendations". I don't think the FCC has put any actual legal requirements in place in the US.
 

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The exception to the rule. Of course since the ITU has no direct enforcement powers in any country...their rules are still only "recommendations". I don't think the FCC has put any actual legal requirements in place in the US.
Agreed. If my device allows me to enter the MMSI number a second time and it is a valid number assigned by the FCC to me, how is that really a problem, and who is really going to care. I think the concern is really that someone is intentionally entering an MMSI number with the willful intent of disguising themselves in order to break the law. Pirates? Thieves?
 

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"how is that really a problem, and who is really going to care"
I expect the ITU wants to discourage boneheads from putting in wrong numbers and sending the whole system on snark chases.
Do you have a telephone? OK, how many wrong numbers call you every week? Every day? Now, picture the ITU trying to make sure there is some element of care taken with punching in the MMSI numbers.

That's paternalistic and akin to the "No user serviceable parts inside!" warning stickers I suppose, but there is some logic to it. Better if they made it Real Damn Clear to purchasers, that there would be inconveniences down the line.
 
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