Registering your marine radios, EPIRBs & PLBs
Ships Radio Licence
All boats with a transmitting radio on board are required by law to hold a Ships Radio Licence. This includes fixed or handheld VHF radios and SSB radios. This Licence costs €100 and lasts the lifetime of the owner or until the boat changes owner.
Download the application for new ships radio licence here
If you have sold a boat, you should apply to transfer the Radio Licence to the new owner using the form here
Radio Operators Certificate
In order to be eligible to apply for a Ships Radio Licence, it is a mandatory requirement that there must be a qualified Ships Radio Operator on board the boat at all times. There are a number of operators certificates available depending on the type of radios carried. The majority of leisure users will be using VHF radios and should hold the Short Range Certificate.
A list of DTTAS approved providers for this course is available here
There are a number of RYA / MCA accredited SRC radio course providers in Ireland. While the certification achieved with these providers will enable you to legally operate a radio on an Irish boat you will not be able to use it to apply for an Irish Ships Radio Licence.
Technically all non-Irish radio certificate holders must obtain an Authority to Operate for Ireland. Download form here
EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon)
EPIRBS should be registered on your Ships Radio licence through the Maritime Radio affairs Unit in the Department of Transport using the form at the link below.
EPIRB Registration Form here
It is very important that EPIRBS are registered as without this information there may be significant delays in the search and rescue services verifying any distress call as genuine and them being aware of who / what they are looking for.
PLB (Personal Locator Beacon)
PLBs should be registered online at http://www.comreg.ie/licensing_and_services/personal_locator_beacons.715.html
It is very important that PLBs are registered as without this information there may be significant delays in the search and rescue services verifying any distress call as genuine and them being aware of who / what they are looking for.
Most modern VHF Radios have a function called “Digital Select Calling” or DSC. This is essentially a means of “texting” using your VHF radio. You can use this to communicate short messages, call for help and initiate voice radio conversations, Just like your mobile phone, in order to use DSC you / your radio needs to have a unique “phone number”. On a DSC capable VHF radio this is called the “Maritime Mobile Service Identity” number or MMSI.
Your MMSI number will be allocated to you along with your radio call sign when you first apply for a Ships Radio Licence for a boat with a DSC capable radio (see above). You then programme this into your radio; following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you already have a Ships Radio Licence upgrade and now need an MMSI number then contact the Maritime Radio Affairs Unit.
Remember that by joining the ISA’s Safetynet you can ensure that Search and Rescue services have access to safety related information on you and your boat. See here for details.