Friday, September 30, 2016

Getting our MMSI ready for our 1st trip offshore

Getting our Radio ready for 1st Offshore trip

Our VHF Radio has the DSC, built in GPS and so it can pass information about our position and who we are if we ever have to send out a Distress Call. In order to pass that info, we need an MMSI number plumbed into the VHF Radio, so we started the process yesterday in anticipation that it would take a while, but we wanted to be ready long before our 1st Offshore trip which is probably going to be in the first part of 2017.

MMSI's can be obtained from many organizations such as Boat US, but not if there is intent upon International Travel - then the MMSI has to be obtained from the FCC. And that requires an extra step.

So! Step 1: Get an FCC Registration.
If you look through all of the documentation, it looks daunting, but when it comes down to it, we were able to register with the FCC online in just a few minutes.

After completing the online Form and submitting it, we had the first part of the equation: A login, Password and FCC Registration code. Sweet!

Step 2: Get a Radio Station Authorization (includes the MMSI) Again, visit http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm and this time Online Filing Login. Now we could proceed with the information required. 
We needed:
  • Owner Information.
  • Emergency Contact Information (two)
  • Boat Information (including Vessel Documentation Info)
That was about it! It took all of 20 minutes to complete the process and be ready to pay for the application, $220. Once all was confirmed, we paid by credit card.

Then it was wait! We expected we would have to wait several weeks, so it was a huge surprise when we received an email with our License and MMSI first thing this morning.

Now we just have to make sure that our Local Boater Option (LBO) is still valid from when we last used it back in 2008.

See you on the water!

Paul