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    Default Canadian "Seaman's Book" FAQ's

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    This post is obviously for the dozen or so other Canadians that frequent this forum and who may consider getting into MARSEC and working for a company who requires they have a "Seaman's Book" as a condition of employment.

    If you are the least bit interested in getting your Seaman's Book or "Discharge Book" as it is called by the Canadian Government, read on:

    [h2] Discharge Book [/h2]
    Question:
    Where do I apply for a Discharge Book?
    Answer:
    Applications for a discharge book can be made at any Transport Canada Marine Safety office located at the following site:
    Regions - About Marine Safety - Safety and Security Group - Organizational Chart - Organization - Transport Canada


    Question:
    Who may apply for a Discharge Book?
    Answer:
    Discharge Books are issued to Canadian seafarers who will be working on a vessel in any capacity and who have reasonable proof that they are about to be employed on a vessel.
    As proof of authenticated employment, the applicant should present a letter signed by the authorized representative of the vessel, seafarer recruitment and placement service or a seafarerís union, stating that an offer of employment has been made.


    Question:
    What documents do I require to apply for a Discharge Book?
    Answer:
    Seafarers must present a valid photo identification document and proof of Canadian citizenship or residence, and a passport photo.
    Photo Identification Document must be a valid:

    • Seafarer's Identity Document;
    • Canadian maritime document;
    • Canadian Passport;
    • Permanent Resident Card;
    • Certificate of Indian Status;
    • Firearms Licence;
    • Old Age Security card;
    • Federal, provincial or municipal employee identification card;
    • Driver's licence;
    • Provincial Health Care Card.
    Proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residency must be a valid:

    • Seafarer's Identity Document
    • Canadian birth certificate;
    • Canadian Baptismal Certificate;
    • Certificate of citizenship
    • Canadian passport;
    • Permanent Resident Card;
    • Certificate of Indian Status;
    Question:
    What is the purpose of a Discharge Book?
    Answer:
    The Discharge Book is used to record details of sea time. It is not a passport, nor a travel document.



    Question:
    I am currently working outside of Canada. Where do I apply for a Discharge Book?
    Answer:
    When applying for a Discharge Book outside of Canada you must contact the nearest Consular Office. Consular Offices can be located at the following website: Foreign Representatives in Canada.



    Question:
    How much does a Discharge Book cost?

    Answer:
    Contact the nearest Transport Canada Marine Safety office at the following site for current costs. Regions - About Marine Safety - Safety and Security Group - Organizational Chart - Organization - Transport Canada

    (they quoted me $35 CDN when I called)

    Question:
    My Discharge Book has been lost or damaged. How do I obtain a replacement?
    Answer:
    A seafarer may re-apply for a new Discharge Book by going to any Transport Canada Marine Safety office and completing TC form #82-0313, EXN-9, Application for a Certified Copy of a Certificate, Replacement of Discharge Book and Seafarer Identity Document, to attest to the circumstances of the lost document. The form is available at Forms Search or by calling 1-888-830-4911.
    Re-issuance of a Discharge Book will follow the same procedure as for the first time issuance.



    I have also include information on the SID:

    Seafarerís Identity Document (SID)

    Question:
    Where do I apply for a Seafarers Identity Document (SID)?
    Answer:
    Applications for a SID can be made at any Transport Canada Marine Safety office located at the following site:
    Regions - About Marine Safety - Safety and Security Group - Organizational Chart - Organization - Transport Canada


    Question:
    Who may apply for a Seafarers Identify Document (SID)?
    A SID may be issued to a person employed or to be employed in any capacity on a commercial or Canadian Coast Guard vessel and to a seafarer who holds or is in the process of being issued a Certificate of competency.
    As proof of authenticated employment, the applicant should present a letter signed by the authorized representative of the vessel, seafarer recruitment and placement service or a seafarerís union, stating that an offer of employment has been made.



    Question:
    What documents do I require to apply for a Seafarers Identify Document (SID)?
    Answer:
    Seafarers must present a valid photo identification document and proof of Canadian citizenship or residence, and two passport photos.
    Photo Identification Document must be a valid:

    • Seafarer's Identity Document;
    • Canadian maritime document;
    • Canadian passport;
    • Permanent Resident Card;
    • Certificate of Indian Status;
    • Firearms Licence;
    • Old Age Security card;
    • Federal, provincial or municipal employee identification card;
    • Driver's licence;
    • Provincial Health Care Card.
    Proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residency must be a valid:

    • Seafarer's Identity Document
    • Canadian birth certificate;
    • Canadian Baptismal Certificate;
    • Certificate of citizenship
    • Canadian passport;
    • Permanent Resident Card;
    • Certificate of Indian Status;
    Question:
    How much does a Seafarerís Identity Document (SID) cost?
    Answer:
    A $20 fee will be collected at the time of application.



    Question:
    Can a Seafarers Identity Document (SID) be used as a passport?
    Answer:
    The SID does not constitute a passport and will not be accepted as such in any country.



    Question:
    My Seafarerís Identity Document (SID) has been lost or damaged. How can I obtain a replacement?
    Answer:
    Seafarers who have lost their SID may re-apply for a new one by going to any Transport Canada office and completing Transport Canada form #82-0313, EXN-9, Application for a Certified Copy of a Certificate, Replacement of Discharge Book and Seafarer Identity Document, to attest to the circumstances of the lost document. The form is available at Forms Search or by calling 1-888-830-4911.
    Re-issuance of a SID will follow the same procedure as for the first time issuance.


    So just so everyone understands, you can not simply go take an ISPS course, anti-piracy course or STCW-95 course and then get a seaman's discharge book to go do work in the GOA, Malacca Straights, etc...

    I made calls all the way up to Ottawa, and they require a letter from a representative of the shipping company whose vessel you plan to work on before they will issue you a book. Getting a letter from the pmc you are contracted through will not suffice -as I have tried this already and got an unequivocal "no". Since getting a letter from the actual client addressed to you at your home address may be next to impossible, the only other avenue is to make an arrangement with a local shipping company or even a small boat owner who is willing to list you as an "employee" and draft a letter of temporary employment for you to take to Transport Canada in exchange for a few weekends of working on board their vessel while docked for free. If you live on the east/west coast or around the great lakes, this shouldn't be a problem as they are always looking for summer help from college students. And if you are sincere and polite and honest about why you are doing it, I have found they are pretty receptive to helping out or steering you towards a ship owner who can.

    If you live in the prairies, you are screwed unless you feel like relocating long enough to get the book.

    And if you get the chance to work on a tall ship, do it. The experience is an eyeopener and really makes you re-appreciate all the Jack London novels...

    Hope this saves someone from doing all the same legwork I had to.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Grynch; 10-04-2010 at 02:55.

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