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USCG Limited Masters License (also known as USCG Launch Operators License)

The USCG requires all launch operators to be licensed, but they do not require such rigorous learning and testing as for a Captain’s license. The Launch Operator's License comes in two versions - uninspected or inspected vessels. To drive inspected launches, typical of most yacht clubs, the holder must have the "Inspected Operator's License." The renewable license allows you to work at any yacht club or marina and is good for five years. The holder may operate up to 1/2 mile from shore.

The primary requirements are:

  • Successful completion of the US Coast Guard test or approved one day course and test from an independent provider
  • Age 17 for uninspected launches
  • Age 18 for inspected launches
  • 120 days underway experience on like vessels (time acquired since age 13)
  • 90 of those days in the last 3 years
  • Physical, drug test, eye exam
  • CPR/First Aid class completion
  • Certificate from an approved Safe Boating Course


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