46 USC 7101 - Issuing and classifying licenses and certificates of registry

(a) Licenses and certificates of registry are established for individuals who are required to hold licenses or certificates under this subtitle.
(b) Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, the Secretary
(1) issues the licenses and certificates of registry; and
(2) may classify the licenses and certificates of registry as provided in subsections (c) and (f) of this section, based on

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(A) the tonnage, means of propulsion, and horsepower of machine-propelled vessels;
(B) the waters on which vessels are to be operated; or
(C) other reasonable standards.
(c) The Secretary may issue licenses in the following classes to applicants found qualified as to age, character, habits of life, experience, professional qualifications, and physical fitness:
(1) masters, mates, and engineers.
(2) pilots.
(3) operators.
(4) radio officers.
(d) In classifying individuals under subsection (c)(1) of this section, the Secretary shall establish, when possible, suitable career patterns and service and other qualifying requirements appropriate to the particular service or industry in which the individuals are engaged.
(e) An individual may be issued a license under subsection (c)(2) of this section only if the applicant

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(1) is at least 21 years of age;
(2) is of sound health and has no physical limitations that would hinder or prevent the performance of a pilots duties;
(3) has a thorough physical examination each year while holding the license, except that this requirement does not apply to an individual who will serve as a pilot only on a vessel of less than 1,600 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title;
(4) demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, that the applicant has the requisite general knowledge and skill to hold the license;
(5) demonstrates proficiency in the use of electronic aids to navigation;
(6) maintains adequate knowledge of the waters to be navigated and knowledge of regulations for the prevention of collisions in those waters;
(7) has sufficient experience, as decided by the Secretary, to evidence ability to handle any vessel of the type and size which the applicant may be authorized to pilot; and
(8) meets any other requirement the Secretary considers reasonable and necessary.
(f) The Secretary may issue certificates of registry in the following classes to applicants found qualified as to character, knowledge, skill, and experience:
(1) pursers.
(2) medical doctors.
(3) professional nurses.
(g) The Secretary may not issue a license or certificate of registry under this section unless an individual applying for the license or certificate makes available to the Secretary, under section 206(b)(7) of the National Driver Register Act of 1982 (23 U.S.C. 401 note ), any information contained in the National Driver Register related to an offense described in section 205(a)(3)(A) or (B) of that Act committed by the individual.
(h) The Secretary may review the criminal record of an individual who applies for a license or certificate of registry under this section.
(i) The Secretary shall require the testing of an individual who applies for issuance or renewal of a license or certificate of registry under this chapter for use of a dangerous drug in violation of law or Federal regulation.