The Coast Guard is opening temporary offices in Morgan City, La., and Memphis, Tenn., to provide services to mariners affected by the closure of the Regional Examination Center in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The Morgan City office, now open, accepts completed applications and offers fingerprinting services, identity verification, and administration of oaths for mariners.
On Oct. 3, the Coast Guard will open a temporary full-service REC in Memphis, staffed by employees from the REC in New Orleans that flooded after Katrina. This office will be dedicated to restoring services to mariners from the Gulf Coast who were affected by Katrina.
These new offices are being opened to quickly restore services to mariners from the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. When recovery efforts in New Orleans permit unlimited entry into the city, a new office will
open in the New Orleans area.
In a further effort to assist mariners affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Commandant of the Coast Guard has waived user fees for duplicate credentials to replace those lost as a result of the hurricane. The waiver only applies to mariners whose homes of record are in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama and who apply for a duplicate credential before Feb. 28, 2006. The duplicate document will show the same qualifications and bear the same expiration date as the original credential. All other regulatory requirements for issuance of a duplicate credential remain in effect.
Mariners meeting the criteria who have already paid the user fee for a duplicate credential may apply to the issuing REC for a refund. A notice of the above waiver will be published in the Federal Register.
The Morgan City office is located at 800 David Dr., Morgan City, La., 70380. It is open weekdays from 9:30 to 4:00. Applicants may reach the office by phone at (985) 380-5150 or by fax at (985) 380-5379.
The Memphis office is located at 200 Jefferson Ave., Suite 1301, Memphis, Tenn., 38103 and may be contacted by phone at (901) 544-3941 (select "1" for New Orleans REC) or by fax at (901) 544-3172. The office will be open weekdays from 8:00 to 4:00 and closed from noon to 1:00 (2:00 on Wednesday). The office will also be closed on the last Wednesday of each month. Both offices will be closed on all federal holidays.