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WorldHF_RadioSSB RadioMMSI

Maritime Mobile Service Identity

Maritime Mobile Service Identity, or MMSI, a unique number assigned to vessels to use with your DSC HF/MF and VHF Radio. Similar to a telephone number, this nine-digit number allows other vessels and shore stations to contact you directly allowing your radio to remain silent unless called. This number also is a critical part of the GMDSS global distress response system. This number allows the Coast Guard to not only know who you are but be able to identify your boat and have contact with family or friends on shore that might be able to give more information about your whereabouts and situation if communication is lost with the vessel.

Obtaining a MMSI number


Information on free MMSI numbers for Canadian vessels can be found on the Industry Canada website.

United States

In the United States a license is not required for VHF Radio use unless you are required by law to carry one. This means that all recreation boaters may utilize their VHF radios without paying for a license from the Federal Communications Commission. If you are not required to obtain a license for your VHF Radio then you may use a free service for obtaining your MMSI. BoatUS provides this service for free for vessels home ported in the United States.

If you do obtain a license because you are carrying a HF/MF radio, or you are required to be licensed, then you should obtain an MMSI through the FCC. This will allow a single MMSI number to be utilized on all your marine radios.

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