GMDSS Radio Operator/Maintainer License (DB)
The DB confers the operating authority of the DO and the DM (and, by extension, it also confers the operating authority of
the PG and MP).
To qualify, you must:
- be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States; and
- be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English; and
- pass a written and/or telegraphy examination(s) as described below under Examinations.
Term of License
A DB is issued for the holder's lifetime. (Prior to March 25, 2008, the license term for a DM was five years. Any holder of
a DM that expired prior to March 25, 2008, must still file an application to renew the license within the five-year grace
period after expiration.)
How to Obtain a License
Submit FCC Form 605 along with the appropriate Proof of Passing Certificates. (Indicate on Schedule E of FCC Form 605 if you are requesting
consolidation of DO and DM operator licenses.) Use the FCC Form 605 and the FCC Form 159 (fee processing form) to renew your license or to replace a lost, stolen, or mutilated license. Many Commercial Operator
License Examination Managers (COLEMs) file these documents for applicants who test with them. Ask your COLEM if it provides
this service to its customers.
To obtain an FCC Commercial Operator License, applicants must submit, to the Commission, proof of passing written Elements
as illustrated in the following table.
Written Examination Elements
- Element 1 - Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. To pass, an
examinee must correctly answer at least 18 out of 24 questions.
- Element 3 - General Radiotelephone. Electronic fundamentals and techniques required to adjust, repair, and maintain radio
transmitters and receivers. The exam consists of questions from the following categories: operating procedures, radio wave
propagation, radio practice, electrical principles, circuit components, practical circuits, signals and emissions, and antennas
and feed lines. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 57 out of 76 questions.
- Element 7 - GMDSS Radio Operating Practices. GMDSS radio operating procedures and practices sufficient to show detailed practical
knowledge of the operation of all GMDSS sub-systems and equipment. The exam consists of questions from the following categories:
general information, narrow band direct printing, INMARSAT, NAVTEX, digital selective calling, and survival craft. To pass,
an examinee must correctly answer at least 75 out of 100 questions.
- Element 9 - GMDSS Radio Maintenance Practices and Procedures. Requirements set forth in IMO Assembly on Training for Radio
Personnel (GMDSS), Annex 5 and IMO Assembly on Radio Maintenance Guidelines for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System
related to Sea Areas A3 and A4. The exam consists of questions from the following categories: radio system theory, amplifiers,
power sources, troubleshooting, digital theory, and GMDSS equipment and regulations. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer
at least 38 out of 50 questions.