February 3, 2023
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Commercial Licenses : Marine Radio Operator Permit (MP)

MPs are required to operate radiotelephone stations aboard certain vessels that sail the Great Lakes. They are also required to operate radiotelephone stations aboard vessels of more than 300 gross tons and vessels which carry more than six passengers for hire in the open sea or any tidewater area of the United States. They are also required to operate certain aviation radiotelephone stations and certain coast radiotelephone stations.


To qualify, you must:

  • be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States; and

  • be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English; and

  • pass a written and/or telegraphy examination(s) as described below under Examinations.

Term of License

The Marine Radio Operator's Permit license term is for a period of five (5) years. These licenses may be renewed from anytime within the last 90 days of their term up to five years following expiration without having to re-take an examination. After the five year grace period expires, applicants must retake the requisite written and/or telegraphy examination(s). An expired certificate is not valid for any radio operations.

Exam Elements

View Complete Exam Elements Table FCC
Examination Elements Term
Written Telegraphy
1 3 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4
Marine Radio Operator's Permit MP                     5 years


About Written Elements
There are seven written elements in the COLE System numbered 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. All questions are multiple choice with four possible answers - only one of which is correct.  Here is a list of the written examination elements, the number of questions within each question pool, the number of exam questions and the passing mark.  You need to get 75% of the questions correct in order to pass.
Element Overview Questions
in Pool
in Exam
1 Basic radio law and operating practice 144 24 18


Study Materials
GROL+RADAR Software Package with BOOK
GROL+RADAR Study Manual
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