What is a MMSI and where do I get one?

Decided you want an AIS but don’t know what an MMSI is or where to get it?  Read on…

All boats equipped with an AIS transceiver must have a registered MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) to ensure they are identified as a unique vessel (Boat names don’t work as they are not unique).   VHF radios with DSC (Digital Selective Calling) also utilise a MMSI number.

The MMSI consists of a 9 digital number which is assigned by AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) after submitting an application form.

Before applying for an Australian MMSI number you must have:

  • An ACMA Maritime Ship Station Licence and Callsign for an MF/HF transceiver
  • Vessel registered in Australia (except Northern Territory)
  • Marine radio operator qualifications. The following types are accepted:
    • Australian Waters Qualification (AWQ) – (See Notes 2 and 3)
    • Short Range Certificate of Proficiency (Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency – MROVCP) (See Note 3)
    • Long Range Certificate (Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency – MROCP)
    • GMDSS First Class Radio Electronic Certificate – 1st Class REC
    • GMDSS Second Class Radio Electronic Certificate – 2nd Class REC
    • GMDSS General Operator’s Certificate – GOC
    • Restricted Radio Operator’s Certificate or Proficiency – RROCP

You will also need to provide the following information:

  • Name, address and phone numbers of registered vessel owner
  • Name and phone numbers of at least one person who can act as a 24-hour emergency contact
  • Vessel, vehicle or aircraft details as applicable
  • VHF DSC, HF DSC or AIS Make/Model or Handheld VHF DSC Make/Model and Serial Number

Note 1:       Marine radio operator qualifications are not required for AIS on SAR aircraft, AIS base stations or AIS Aids to Navigation.
Note 2:       AWQ is accepted for VHF and AIS operating in Australian waters only. 
Note 3:       Diver Handheld VHF DSC transceivers – marine radio operator qualifications are not required if the radio operator in the diving boat (mother vessel) is qualified. In the case of lone divers not operating from boats, the requirement for a marine radio operator certificate remains.

Complete the application process online.