I almost always dive abroad, but for my licences and insurance I have to be a member of a national club. I don't like these clubs and as such considers the annual fees as a total waste of money.

Is there an way to renew cmas licenses without being a member of a club in your country of residence? I know that in theory my diving license is valid indefinitely, but it is for the insurances and medical certificates you need to renew it regularly, which requires a membership of club in your country of residence. I don't mind doing the check ups or paying the insurance fees, I just don't want to be a member of a club, since I only dive when I travel abroad.

Is this possible?

  • 2
    Do you have to be a member of a club affiliated with a suitable governing body, or such a club that's also in your home country? (i.e. could you join a cheap club overseas somewhere to get round it)
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 22 '13 at 8:03
  • Is it the case in PADI as well?
    – Grzenio
    Jul 22 '13 at 15:46
  • The standard rule is after 6 months you need to do a refresher. The refresher course is done with any in date teaching status Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, Instructor. They will sign your log book and state that they did a refresher with you. Your diving licence does not expire this is just to refresh your practical skills and check your knowledge. And the nice thing is you can do a refresher with any organisation irrespective of who qualified you. Normally any dive school / tour group you will dive with can also do this for you on first day as an easy shore entry.
    – AquaAlex
    Sep 1 '14 at 12:17

Short Answer

If you are a non-professional diver, the certification has no expiration date. You can dive all over the world without the need to be affiliated to any club or to have an insurance.

However, if you are a frequent diver, you may want to have a non-professional insurance. This will cover the majority of risks and will also avoid you to pay one-time insurances in those dive centers where it is a requirement by local policy.

My suggestion is to have a look at DAN. The insurance does not require you to be affiliated to any club. You can purchase it directly on the website.

Long Answer

You should separate scuba diving license from insurance coverage.

Generally speaking, non-professional scuba diving licenses don't have an expiration. Once you are certified, you're a diver. The only exceptions are the BLS qualification (for example PADI/EFR, which anyway is a non-scuba diving qualification) and professional levels.

For example, I'm a PADI instructor and I'm required to renew my PADI affiliation every year. But the price I pay is because I'm a PADI member and this is part of the PADI membership agreement. If I don't renew it I'm still a diver, a non-professional diver. My students, once they are certified, are not required to renew the certification.

As far as I know, it works the same for CMAS. I didn't find any information on CMAS website, but this thread seems to confirm that the certificate expiration exists only for professional levels (such as instructors).

The insurance is a different story. The insurance should be renewed periodically, in general every year. It's important to know that, in general, you don't need an insurance to dive. In some countries the insurance is required for professional levels (such Europe, but not Indonesia), in a few countries or dive centers the insurance is required to dive but this is a local policy.

If you are a frequent diver, my suggestion is to have a non-professional insurance. This will cover the majority of risks and will also avoid you to pay one-time insurances in those dive centers where it is a requirement by local policy.

DAN is by far one of the most used (if not the most) insurances. Depending on where you live, they have both trip or annual insurances. This is the case of US, in Europe they only provide annual insurance.

  • he seems to be required to get certain paperwork to get his insurance, which in his country requires him to be a member of an organisation (not unusual, I've seen before where the only way to get certain things is to first pay up for membership in some monopolistic organisation). What he's asking for is alternative ways to get the paperwork needed to get his insurance coverage.
    – jwenting
    Dec 6 '13 at 6:29
  • @jwenting I'm not aware of any similar situations. Some additional details about the country or requirements would be helpful. CMAS is generally only used in Europe, I'm from Italy, and as far as I know no country in Europe has such requirement. Dec 6 '13 at 10:38
  • not familiar with CMAS, but do know that for example to get access to many nudist facilities you need a membership card of an international organisation which you can only get through membership of their national affiliates. Also when years ago I was looking into getting my PPL there was almost a requirement (alternative was paying several times more for the same products, like insurance, instructor fees, and medical exams) to be a member of the national aviation society. To be allowed a gun license here, you are required to be a member of some organisation as well.
    – jwenting
    Dec 9 '13 at 5:59
  • For scuba diving none of the requirements you mentioned above is requested, as I explained. Dec 9 '13 at 8:57
  • +1 DAN is the way to go for Insurance Divers Alert Network is a non profit organisation with membership that includes top-up insurance specifically for diving related injuries and covers both the rescuer and victim.
    – AquaAlex
    Sep 1 '14 at 12:15

Through other channels I learnt of the existance of the divers alert network, which offers independent dive insurance.


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