A Maritime Mobile Service Identity is a nine-digit number that uniquely identifies your boat, you the owner and your contact information. Each Digital Selective Calling radio needs to be registered and assigned an MMSI number. Your DSC radio can be used to send a distress alert to the Coast Guard and nearby vessels (with DSC radios in receiving range) or to selectively contact another vessel when you know its MMSI number.

If you have relatively new VHF radio in your boat, chances are it is equipped with Digital Select Calling or DSC. The most important feature of a VHF DSC radio is that you can send a Distress Alert which will tell the Coast Guard and other boaters in your area that you require immediate assistance.


Another common use for this type of radio is Ship to Ship calls. With DSC you can call other vessels or a group of vessels and bring them to your selected radio working channel without ever picking up the microphone and making a voice call. Our group MMSI number makes communicating with fellow squadron members much easier.

The group MMSI Fraser Power and Sail Squadron is - 031600077

With this MMSI number other squadron members can call you along with other boats to automatically switch to a working channel for voice communication - GREAT for cruises when we are travelling together and there is a need to collectively make announcements.

For a Group MMSI number to work it must be programmed into all VHF DSC radios of members within the Squadron or cruise who wish to participate. Your owner's manual will tell you how to do this and how to make a DSC call using the group number.


To use the DSC feature your radio must have an identity, a 9-digit Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number. 

To learn more about MMSI numbers, go to Industry Canada's MMSI page.

If you don't have an MMSI number, here is the MMSI application form page.

Forgot your MMSI number or wish to find out another vessel’s MMSI number? Go to Ship Station Search.

Need a refresher on how to use your VHF DSC radio? Please check our calendar for upcoming Marine VHF courses.