The Master Great Lakes & Inland waters allows the holder to serve as Master or Mate on vessels of any tonnage on the Great Lakes & Inland waters. The Master Inland AGT permits the holder to serve as Master on vessels of any tonnage on Inland waters (not including the Great Lakes). After 30 days of training and observation on towing vessels and the completion of a TOAR (Towing Officer’s Assessment Record), the mariner may serve as a Master Towing Inland (or Great Lakes, if appropriate).


NMC Checklist for Master Great Lakes & Inland
CFR Reference: 46 CFR 11.433 (Great Lakes)
CFR Reference: 46 CFR 11.435 (Inland)

RECENCY: 90 days in the past 3 years on vessels of appropriate tonnage


DECK EXAMINATION GUIDE:  There are currently two Examination Guides.  If your qualifying service for the license began before March 24, 2014, you may opt to be examined under the procedures of the old Deck Examination Guide (page 82).  The old examinations are significantly less difficult in most cases than the New Examinations (page 23).

The term “qualifying service” needs some clarification.  The qualifying service required for a raise-in-grade of a credential includes time served under the authority of a previous credential.  For example, if a mariner received his or her Mate Inland AGT credential after March 24, 2014, all of the qualifying service, the time served while holding a credential, would have been acquired after March 24, 2014 and he or she would have no choice but to take the new examinations.  On the other hand, a mariner wishing to get a Mate Inland AGT based on service that began before March 24, 2014, has the option of testing under the old or the new examination scheme.

To Apply for the Credential


Credential Assistance

If you need help determining your eligibility or completing your application, please email us at Credential Assistance.


Mariners preparing for these credential examinations can begin on almost any Monday.  The course of study lasts from 4 to 6 weeks and is a combination of lectures and tutorials.  The tuition is good for one year.