The Regional Examination Center (REC) located in , , transitioned to become a field unit of the National Maritime Center (NMC), located in , REC was previously a division of the Prevention Department within Coast Guard Sector Baltimore. REC will now become a storefront operation, with staff focused on helping mariners ensure their applications are ready for evaluation. Mariners will still need to verify their identity, get fingerprinted and take their tests at the REC. Completed application packages will be sent to the NMC for evaluation. The NMC will conduct security, professional qualification, medical evaluations and will print and issue credentials.
REC will be joining many other RECs who have already transitioned. By the end of this calendar year, all 17 RECs nationwide will have transitioned. The future role of the transitioned RECs will be primarily that of a mariner advocate. As the "face" of the Coast Guard to the mariner, it is essential that they help the mariner complete the application and ensure it is ready to be evaluated before forwarding the application to the NMC for evaluation. The REC Transition Guide is available on the Coast Guard Web site at http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/wnnmc.htm.