US Coast Guard OUPV/Six-Pack License

The US Coast Guard Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV/Charter Boat Captain) is the most popular of the Captain’s Licenses and is required for those who wish to operate fishing and sailing charters, run a dive boat, or offer sightseeing tours, etc.

We offer an online intuitive learning approach that’s direct, clear, and effective. By providing a methodical, well-organized program of professionally produced, on-demand lectures, videos, and companion materials, our students are able to absorb and retain what they have learned.

Course Subjects Include:

Vitamin Sea
  • Navigational Rules of the Road
  • Aids to Navigation & Chart Plotting
  • Electronic Navigation
  • Characteristics of Weather Systems
  • Lifesaving Equipment & Safety
  • Authorization

This USCG license entitles the holder to carry up to six passengers “for hire.” Including the Captain and Mate, that adds up to eight people authorized onboard power or sailing vessels up to 100-tons.

Sea Service

For this license, a day of sea service is defined as at least 4 hours underway on any given calander day and can be counted back to your 15th birthday. You do not have to know the exact dates – just the number of days each year.
License Operating Area

This USCG license can be issued for the Great Lakes, U.S. Inland Waters or U.S. Near Coastal waters (depending on where you gained your experience).



Included with the USCG 6 pack course is 24/7 access to our online instructors. Each instructor is a USCG Licensed Master that has gone through a rigorous approval process meeting the standards of the United States Coast Guard to become a certified instructor. They bring a level of knowledge, experience, and professionalism that adds to the total learning process. In the rare event than an online instructor cannot answer your question, toll free telephone support with one of our Staff Instructors will be provided.


Once the student completes the course quizzes and online Module Exam they make an appointment to take their final proctored exam with Mariners Learning System™. No testing at the Coast Guard Regional Exam Centers is necessary. All testing can be completed at Abyss Dive Center. The grading standards are:

Exam Modules Number of Questions Minimum Score Required Number of Questions a student can get wrong and still pass
Rules of the Road 30 90% 3 wrong
Plotting 10 70% 3 wrong
Navigation General 20 70% 6 wrong
Deck General 60 70% 18 wrong

The student must pass all modules to receive a certification of completion. If a student fails one or more modules, he or she may retest twice more without delay on the failed modules. Those who do not pass an exam module after three attempts must wait a period of 45 days to retest. The student will be required to complete the entire course prior to being allowed another three attempts at each module. In this case the student must retest and pass all four Exam Modules.

Requirements for OUPV/Six-Pack License

The USCG Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV/Six-Pack Captain’s License) allows the holder to carry up to six paying passengers on uninspected vessels up to 100 gross tons (about 75-90 feet long). These are usually smaller vessels that normally engage in charter fishing, SCUBA diving, or tour cruises. As such, these vessels are limited to six paying passengers plus crew-hence the term “Six-Pack.” The USCG OUPV License is issued in three forms:

  • OUPV Inland License: The OUPV Inland license is restricted to operation shoreward of the boundary line, excluding the Great Lakes. As a general rule, the U.S. Boundary Line follows coastal shorelines and across the entrances to small bays, inlets, and rivers. This license is valid on uninspected vessels to 100 gross tons.This license requires at least 360 days of documented experience in the operation of vessels, with 90 of the 360 days occurring in the last three years. Experience gained prior to 15 years of age may not be counted. The USCG Six-pack Inland Captain’s License can be upgraded to a Near Coastal License once 90 days experience seaward of the U.S. Boundary has been achieved.
  • OUPV Great Lakes & Inland: As with the Inland License, 360 total days of documented experience in the operation of vessels is required, with at least 90 days service on the Great Lakes. Ninety of the 360 days must be in the last three years. Experience gained prior to the age of 15 will not be counted.
  • OUPV Near Coastal: This license is valid on vessels up to 100 gross tons and out to 100 nautical miles.The USCG OUPV Near Coastal Captain’s License also requires at least 360 days of documented experience in the operation of vessels, 90 of which must be gained seaward of the boundary line. Ninety of the 360 days must be in the last three years. Experience gained prior to the age of 15 will not be counted.

Note: Sea Service experience can be counted on your own vessel. A Small Vessel Sea Service Form and proof of ownership are required. Experience on other people’s vessels can also be counted. In this instance, to verify experience claimed and vessel details, a completed Sea Service Form with the owner’s signature must accompany the application.

Additional Requirements

Additional requirements necessary to obtain your US Coast Guard OUPV License include:

  • Obtain a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC Card)
  • Minimum age: 18 years old
  • Pass a Physical Examination
  • Take a Drug Test unless enrolled in a USCG – approved random drug testing program for at least 60 of the last 180 days, and with no failure or refusal to participate in a chemical test for dangerous drugs.
  • CPR/First Aid training
  • Provide Three Character References
  • Completed USCG Original License Application Package

Upon successful completion of the Mariners Learning System™ online OUPV course, the student studies the materials and takes a proctored exam at our Coast Guard approved testing site. Once the student passes the multiple choice exam, he or she will receive a Mariners Learning System™ certificate recognized by the United States Coast Guard. Simply submit, within one year, the original certificate along with your application package and applicable fees to the USCG Regional Exam Center. Upon their approval of your package, they will send you your original License.

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