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FCC Restricted GMDSS Radio Operator’s License (RG) Test

The FCC Restricted GMDSS Radio Operator’s License (RG) qualifies the holder to operate and make basic equipment adjustments to Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) radio installations, but only on voyages that remain within twenty (20) nautical miles of shore. It also confers the operating authority of the Marine Radio Operator Permit (MP).

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Mariners Learning System offers FCC approved online tests to make it easy for boaters to obtain the radio operator licenses they need. Through MLS, you can take your restricted FCC test online from any location and at any time. You’ll also have 24/7 access to online support. We specialize in getting boaters FCC licensed and on the water quickly! Register for the restricted GMDSS test today.

What You Get

Your fee for the FCC GMDSS license includes one FCC Element 1 and one Element 7R exam, which can be taken online or in the classroom at one of our approved test centers. The maximum test time permitted is two hours.

License Requirements

To qualify for an FCC GMDSS RG license, you must:

  • Be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States.

  • Be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English.

  • Pass a written exam as described under the Test Info tab.

Test Info

To obtain an FCC Restricted GMDSS Radio Operator’s License (RG), applicants must pass written Elements as illustrated in the following table:

test info table

Written Examination Elements for the RG License

Element 1

Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 18 out of 24 questions.

Element 7R

GMDSS Radio Operating Practices. GMDSS Restricted radio operating procedures and practices sufficient to show detailed practical knowledge of the operation of the VHF GMDSS sub-systems and equipment. The exam consists of questions from the following categories: general information, VHF digital selective calling, and carriage requirement. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 38 out of 50 questions.

Online Testing System Requirements

  • You must take the exam on a desktop computer or laptop (not a tablet ex: Chromebook)

  • You must have a working built-in or external webcam and microphone

  • Your Internet speed must be at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Determine your Internet speed by running a test at:

Room/Space preparations:

  • The lighting in the room must be bright enough so that your face and eyes can be seen throughout the duration of the exam.

  • Your desk/workspace must be completely cleared of all papers, books, and reference materials. In addition, please clear the entire room (including walls and bookshelves) of any materials that could be considered reference materials. Any suspect items seen during the initial room scan by your proctor will be flagged.

Ensure you adhere to the rules during your exam.

  • You MUST provide your valid government issued photo ID when requested.

  • You MUST remain directly in front of your webcam for the duration of the exam.

  • You MUST NOT have anyone else in the room with you for the duration of your exam.

  • You MUST NOT interact or communicate with anyone by any means while testing.

  • You MUST NOT use any other electronic devices (phone, ipod, headphones, MP3 player, another computer, etc.) while taking the exam.

  • Reference materials (papers, pens, books, study guides, e-mails, website, etc.) MUST NOT be used while testing.

  • You MUST NOT use any mobile device or have any mobile device within your eyesight during the exam.

  • You MUST NOT access other websites or applications on the computer while testing.

  • You MUST NOT intentionally disable internet connection while testing.

*Violation of any these rules will be flagged during your exam by the web proctor, and your exam WILL be marked as a FAIL, you will not be eligible for a refund and WILL be banned from re-taking the exam with Mariners Learning System.