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Become a DPO (Currently Enrolled in another Certification Scheme)
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The OSVDPA accepts the Training and Certification Activities DPOs or Prospective DPOs have completed under other DPO certification schemes or while they possess a DPO certification from another DPO certification scheme. The instructions that follow should be utilized by those who have:

  • A valid DPO Certificate issued by the Nautical Institute (NI) and want to use DP experience gained in the last five (5) years to earn an OSVDPA DPO Certificate;
  • Completed the requirements to earn their first NI DPO Certificate and want to use this experience to earn an OSVDPA DPO Certificate;
  • Started the NI Scheme and now want to transfer or "grandfather" into the OSVDPA Certification Scheme; or
  • Previously entered the OSVDPA DPO Certification Scheme and have now completed the requirements to earn or upgrade an OSVDPA DPO Certificate.

Documents Required to Apply.

This section describes what documents will be required during the application process. 

1) Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC)/Merchant Mariner Document (MMD): See Section 16.4 of this document for information on what types of MMCs/MMDs are accepted. 

2) Medical Certificate: (Only if a medical certificate is not found on your MMC).

3) OSVDPA or Industry accepted logbook(s): Showing Sea Time, Practical Experience, and courses (if required). Mariners may submit their original logbook(s) to the OSVDPA OR you have the option of submitting notarized copies of logbooks and notarized statements attesting to the accuracy of logbook copies in place of the submission of a physical logbook. See Circular 2018-7 (Procedures for Submitting a Notarized Copy of a Logbook) here for more detailed information on this option.  

4) Sea Service Letter(s): Validating Sea Time and Practical Experience. NOTE. The original letter must be mailed to the OSVDPA and reviewed prior to being issued an OSVDPA DPO Certificate, see Section 13.4.3 of this document for a complete list of the Sea Service Letter requirements. 

5) Passport-Style Photo: (Requirements for this photo are found at the end of Form DPO-4-CV). 

6) OSVDPA Assessment Report: See below, it is recommended that you complete the assessment after the OSVDPA has verified you meet all of the other requirements. 

7) DP Course Certificates: (If applicable).

Application Process.

This section describes the process for applying for an OSVDPA DPO Certificate. 

Step 1. Create an Account:  To apply to become a DPO, you need to create a user account on the OSVDPA website.  To create an account, click the “Register” button on the top right part of the OSVDPA homepage, or the “Click here to Register” button on any form page.  Once you are on the “I Want to Register As . . .” page select “Prospective DPO” as the membership type and fill in the required information.  Once registered, remain logged into the OSVDPA website to complete the application process. 

Step 2. Complete Form DPO-4-CV:  Once you have created an account, you need to complete Form DPO-4-CV, which can be found by hovering over the “I Want To . . .” button on the OSVDPA website, then hovering over the “Become a DPO (Enrolled in another scheme)” from the drop-down menu, and clicking on the “Get Recognition of Previous Experience” option to the side of the drop-down menu. 

Read the form carefully, few DPOs need to complete the entire form and it’s best to determine which sections are applicable to you before entering information.  The form allows you to upload electronic copies of the required documents to the OSVDPA database, as such, be sure you have copies saved to your computer before completing the form (see the “Documents Required to Apply” section).  At the end of the form are instructions and definitions to further assist in this process.  

Alternative Step 2:  A PDF version of Form DPO-4-CV, is found here.  This form can be completed electronically or by hand and emailed to or mailed to:


 201 St. Charles Ave.,

Suite 114-274,

New Orleans, LA 70170

If emailed, the documents that are required for application will need to be attached to the email as separate files; if mailed, these documents will need to be printed or copied and sent in with Form DPO-4-CV. 

Step 3: Mail Required Hard Copies to the OSVDPA:  In addition to the form and the attachments required therein, the OSVDPA must also review your logbook records and Sea Service letters. Mariners are required to submit their ORIGINAL DP Sea Service letter(s), as issued by their employers, to the OSVDPA.

As for their logbooks, mariners may either submit their original logbook(s) to the OSVDPA as part of their application package or they can have photocopies of the logbook's contents notarized by a licensed Notary Public and submit those notarized copies to the OSVDPA instead of the original logbook(s). If you do not want to send your original logbook, please see Circular 2018-7 (Procedures for Submitting a Notarized Copy of a Logbook) by clicking here, which details how to get your logbook notarized.

It is important to note that many Notaries Public require their clients prepare statements of certification or attestation prior to their review of a document and a photocopy of said document. If the Notary Public you reach out to requires such a letter, the OSVDPA has drafted a two for your use. These statements can be downloaded and printed for your use by clicking the links below or they can be accessed via the files at the bottom of this page. 

If the Notary Public requires you bring photocopies of your logbook(s) with you to their offices, then you can print that statement here

If the Notary Public has confirmed they will make the photocopies of your logbook(s) at their office, then you can print that statement here

Step 4: Payment:  Upon receipt of your application, you will be invoiced for Fee DPO-3 ($225 USD).  This fee must be paid before the OSVDPA will review your application.  The fee covers the review of your application, your Certificate or Class C Permit, and the OSVDPA logbook.  The OSVDPA does not charge foreign transaction fees on U.S. purchases and you don’t need to pay return shipping for your materials. 

Step 5: Assessment: Once the OSVDPA has determined you have completed all requirements, it shall inform you that you are eligible to take the required assessment by sending you Form P-4-CV, the Assessment Authorization.  If you work for an “Enrolled Vessel Operator” this assessment can be conducted on a vessel by a “Qualified on Board Assessor.”  Alternatively, the assessment can be conducted at an OSVDPA-Accredited Training Center.  NOTE.  You can complete the assessment as soon as you complete the other certification requirements.  However, the OSVDPA recommends that you wait until this step in the process and receive OSVDPA approval to conduct this assessment because the assessment will not be counted if the OSVDPA determines the other requirements were not fully met.     

Step 6: Issuance of DPO Certificate or Permit: After the OSVDPA has verified you have met all the requirements, it will mail your DPO certificate and logbook and update its online record to reflect your new certification.  In this effort, the OSVDPA does not require payment for return postage or shipping materials.


If after reading through this page and the referenced documents you still have questions regarding the grandfathering process, please feel free to contact the OSVDPA's Operations Manager at +1 (504) 528-9414.

Logbook Notarization Statements

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Notarization Statement (Notary made photocopies) PDF (67.42 KB)  more ] Administration 5/23/2018
Notarization Statement (Mariner made photocopies) PDF (67.18 KB)  more ] Administration 5/23/2018