How to Get a USCG 25, 50, or 100 Ton License

If you want to be the captain of a commercial boat carrying more than six passengers, it is necessary to get a 25-ton, 50-ton, or 100-ton license. This U.S. Coast Guard license, also known as the Master Captain’s License, allows you to perform the duties of an OUPV captain and also operate Inspected Vessels.


The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Master Captain’s License

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Common Questions About USCG Licenses for Inspected Vessels


1 What is an inspected vessel?

Inspected vessels are approved to carry seven or more paying passengers and have been built in accordance with rigid USCG standards. Ferry boats, harbor tour boats, sailing schooners, and whale watching boats are all examples of inspected vessels.


2 What is a USCG Master boat captain license?

A Master license is issued for operation of inspected vessels on the Great Lakes, Inland, and Near Coastal waterways. It comes in three versions: 25, 50, or a 100-ton license. Both the amount of sea service time and the size vessels you have been on will influence the license you are eligible to receive.


3 What are the requirements for an 25/50 or 100 Master Captain's License?

  • You must be at least 19 years old.
  • U.S. citizenship is required.
  • Have a minimum of 360 days boating experience. Ninety of those days must have occurred in the last three years.
  • Pass a physical.
  • Pass a drug test.
  • Hold a valid adult CPR and valid first aid card.
  • Obtain a TWIC card.
  • Complete a Coast Guard-approved 25/50 or 100-ton license course.

The necessary boating experience required for the 25-ton, 50-ton, and 100-ton versions varies.



Next Steps for Getting Your License

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The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Licensed Captain

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Learn how to get your Captain's License, determine which license is right for you, and understand the USCG license requirements.

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