Assistance Towing Endorsement - Online Course and Exam

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The USCG Towing Endorsement is required if you will be engaged in towing a disabled vessel for payment, such as the activities of a US Sea Tow or Tow Boat operator. Any USCG license of 200 gross tons or less, including an OUPV/Six-Pack captain's license, may be endorsed for assistance towing.

Our Assistance Towing Endorsement - Online Course and Exam includes 12-month access to the MLS online learning system. No additional fee for online testing within your 1 year's access. 

Course Options

The Assistance Towing Endorsement - Online Course and Exam includes one year's access to our award-winning Internet-based narrated lecture and interactive learning system. The final licensing exam is taken online and on demand. You can view the Testing tab to learn more. Upon completion of all necessary requirements, you will then receive your license to tow.

Even though Mariners Learning System™ course is web-based, our students are not alone. Built into each course is 24/7 access to our online instructors through the MLS Help Center. In the rare event that an online instructor cannot answer your question, telephone support with one of our Staff Instructors will be provided.

On-the-Go Learning Tools

Check out the on-the-go learning tools below; they are part of your purchase:

MLS Study Guides

MLS eBook Training Series

MLS Audiobooks


MLS Audio

  • In-Depth Audio Lectures
  • Learn at your pace without a classroom atmosphere
  • Improve reading comprehension and engage in multi-modal learning
  • Improve time management by learning while engaging in other activities
Mobile-Friendly Courses

MLS Mobile

  • Courses available on any device through MLS app and mobile web browser
  • Unlimited access to course content wherever you are; use when connected to the Internet or download content to take offline
  • Full-Color Digital Study Guides
  • Assistance from Licensed USCG Instructors
  • MLS Quiz Me feature

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License Requirements

The Assistance Towing Endorsement is for those who hold an OUPV or Master captain's license and would like to engage in assisting vessels for a fee. To "commercially assist" other vessels that may be aground, disabled, or out of fuel, or experiencing some other malfunction requires an endorsement for Commercial Assistance Towing.

Following the United States Coast Guard-approved (USCG) Towing Endorsement course completion, you will be given a written examination to demonstrate your knowledge of assistance towing, safety, equipment, and procedures. Upon successfully passing your exam, a certificate will be issued that is recognized by the USCG as satisfying the testing requirements.

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No testing at the USCG Regional Exam Centers is necessary. All testing is done ONLINE through the MLS account.

Upon successful completion of the Mariners Learning System online Assistance Towing Endorsement course, the student studies the materials and takes our proctored exam online. Once the student passes our multiple-choice exam, they will receive a Mariners Learning System certificate recognized by the United States Coast Guard. Simply submit, within one year, the original certificate along with the application package and applicable fees to the USCG Regional Exam Center. Upon their approval of your package, they will mail the license.


Mariners Learning System offers Coast Guard-approved remote testing for those looking to become a licensed Captain. Our eLearning system makes it easy to take your Captain's Licensing course and final proctored exam online when it's convenient for you. Any Day. Any Time. Any Place.


Once the student completes the course quizzes and online module exam(s), they can test on-demand online for their final proctored exam with Mariners Learning System™. No testing at the Coast Guard Regional Exam Centers. The grading standards are:

Exam Modules Number of Questions Minimum Score Required Number of Questions a Student Can Get Wrong
and Still Pass
Towing Endorsement 20 70% 6 wrong

The student must pass all modules to receive a certification of completion. If a student fails one or more modules, they will be able to retest after the previous exams are reviewed, and reattempts unlocked. This re-examination must occur within 3 months of the original testing attempt or prior to the course expiration date, whichever date comes first. Those who do not pass an exam module after three attempts must retake the entire online course and retest all modules online prior to the year course expiration date and wait a period of 45 days to retest.


Students must have a high-speed Internet connection and an up-to-date desktop or laptop with a webcam and microphone. Also, students must have the ability to download software through the MLS account. This is required to access the exam.

When testing online for the proctored exam, students will be required to display a legible photocopy of their Coast Guard-recognized photo identification to the computer screen. The student will be required to complete the course evaluation form prior to testing. These copies will be retained for our records per USCG requirements.

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The list of acceptable forms of photo identification includes:

  • U.S. driver's license
  • U.S. Passport
  • Foreign Passport
  • Law enforcement credential, with photograph of the applicant, issued by Federal, State, or local government
  • U.S. Military identification card
  • Official identification card issued by a State, or local government
  • Official identification card issued by the Federal Government
  • Merchant Marine Document issued after February 3, 2003

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is the student's responsibility to provide a clear and legible copy of identification. If an ID is not provided and/or MLS is unable to read the copy, it will result in a failure. No exceptions per Coast Guard policy. No other forms of identification will be accepted.

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