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How to get an mmsi number

Updated February 21, 2017

A Maritime Mobile Service Identity number identifies your boat or ship's very high frequency radio as part of the United States Coast Guard's search and rescue radio system. The unique, nine-digit number is sent electronically over Channel 70 using your VHF radio's Digital Select Calling feature. The channel also allows you to hear alerts issued by the Coast Guard as well as transmit information on your location in the event of an emergency. You must apply to receive an MMSI number, which you will receive at no charge.

Open your computer's Internet browser. Go to the MMSI Online Application website (see Resources).

Click on the “Free MMSI Number” link in the upper left-hand corner of the website. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Continue.”

Enter your personal information into the “Obtain A New MMSI Number” screen. Click “Continue Account Setup.” Your MMSI number will be on the confirmation page. You also will receive an e-mail containing your MMSI number and user name. An additional e-mail containing your unique password for accessing the MMSI website also will be sent to you.

Open your computer's Internet browser. Go to the MMSI Online Application website (see Resources).

Click on the “Click Here to Download a Form to Obtain a MMSI Number by Mail or Fax” link in the upper left-hand corner of the website to download the MMSI application.

Click “File,” “Print,” “OK” to print the form.

Complete the form and fax it to 703-461-2840. Your MMSI number will be sent to you via fax or by mail.

If you don't have a fax machine, mail the completed form to:

MMSI Program

880 S. Pickett St.

Alexandria, VA 22304

Your MMSI number will be sent to you by mail.

Tip

If you have any questions or problems filling out the MMSI number application, call 800-563-1536.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Printer (optional)
  • Fax machine (optional)
  • Pen (optional)
  • Envelope (optional)
  • Stamp (optional)
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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.