Just the FAQs, ma’am…

If you don’t see your question in the FAQs, then complete the form.  A curator will respond with an answer sharpish.

Q:  What is the Dive Card Archive? 

A: The Dive Card Archive is a publicly accessible, voluntary, community database where divers can store a digital image of their diving credentials. In a nutshell, the Dive Card Archive is a place where you can keep a picture of your personal diving credentials on file as a digital image .  The image is given a static link and indexed into a  secure, searchable database.  There after, wherever you go in the world, you will have access to a digital copy of your diving credentials 24/7 365 days a year*…and it is free**. Cool, huh?

*  Searching the database requires an internet connection OR you can store the permalink of your DCA entry on your smartphone, eReader or tablet for offline viewing.  

**   Seriously, we mean it…FREE. No strings-no evil.  We cover expenses with sponsors, advertisers and voluntary donations.

Q:  Why do we need the Dive Card Archive?

A: The Dive Card Archive is a community-supported database of copies of diving credential/c-cards that divers and dive operators can use when the actual diving credentials are not available. For example:

  1. You are on holiday abroad and left your c-card at home
  2. You are waiting for a replacement from your certifying agency and want to go diving, rent gear or get air fills.
  3. You have an old card from an agency no longer in existence and you want to capture an image before the card is shot*
  4. You want access to all of your specialty cards/diving credentials but do not want to carry them around
  5. You are applying for a job and need to provide a copy of your diving credentials on-line or to a party overseas

When you don’t have your actual c-card a copy of your credentials might suffice.  Think of it as a secondary anchor on a boat.  It is not intended to replace your primary anchor but it might do the job when your primary is not around.

Here is another problem the DCA addresses:  A few SCUBA certifying  agencies are no longer around making verification or replacing a c-card impossible without taking the SCUBA course again through an active certifying agency. Today, even the early c-cards that survive are getting pretty threadbare. The Dive Card Archive captures your c-card in its current condition…forever (or as long as you are going to keep diving, you old salt).

Has this ever happened to you?  It is 0630 on Thanksgiving Day, you are waiting to get on a dive charter in a foreign land and realize you don’t have your c-card. <insert explicative of your choice>!  Your certifying agency offers verification by phone but it is Thanksgiving!  Verification of diving credentials across cultures and time zones can be problematic.  A dive certification agency can certainly verify a card they issued but what if your certifying agency does not offer online verification?  Maybe they offer online verification but you must provide your certification number…which you do not know by memory. <insert another explicative of your choice>.  Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Q: Doesn’t my certifying agency verify my credentials?

A: The short answer is YES but the devil is in the details (read the Q&A above “Has this happened to you?). The Dive Card Archive is not a verification service is not connected with any certifying agencies at this time. The DCA is a community reference database assembled by the divers/cardholders who want a copy of their dive credentials/c-cards to be available on the worldwide web in one location regardless of what agency issued the c-card.

Q:  Will everyone accept the Dive Card Archive entry as proof that I am a certified diver?

A:  That is entirely up to the operator or party who is asking for your credentials.  Remember, DCA is just archiving an image of your card. As with an actual c-card, service can be refused at anytime.  No one is mandated to take you diving, rent you gear, fill your tanks or accept your diving credentials.  What does that really mean?  Dive Operators can refuse service to anyone at anytime for any reason.  So be nice.

Q:  If I actually lose my c-card can I just use the Dive Card Archive entry to  prove I am a certified diver?

A:  The Dive Card Archive was not created to replace your c-card.  It is a back up resource/reference tool.  Your DCA entry is simply an unofficial copy of your diving credentials.  It is not intended to replace an actual c-card from a certifying agency but the DCA entry may make the process of replacing your card a lot easier (depending on the requirements of  your agency to verify your certification).  Having a DCA copy of your c-card insures you have all the information your agency will need to find you in their system.

Q What if I lose my original c-card?

A: If you lose your original c-card then contact your certifying agency and order a replacement.

Q: What if I lose my original c-card and my certifying agency no longer exists?

A: If the agency no longer exists then your DCA entry insures you have a copy but does not guarantee it will be honored as a proof of competency.

NOTE:  If you have not dived in years and your certifying agency does not exist anymore, it might be Destiny’s way of telling you to take the class again.  We are not telling you what to do, folks. A lot has changed in SCUBA diving and while it is a recreational sport, there are dangers that you must be aware of and skills you must be proficient in to enjoy diving safely.  That is why we have certifying agencies, dive tables and teaching standards.

No one said  “Taking that SCUBA class again was sure a waste of time.” ever.

Q:  Will my c-card be searchable in the database?

A: Yes.  The database is growing every day with folks submitting their dive credentials. You will be right there with them unless you choose a privacy setting. It is up to you and you can change it whenever you wish.

Q: What if I do not want my c-card to appear in the DCA database but still want a digital version to show from my smartphone, eReader, tablet or computer?

A: Selecting “private” will insure your content does not appear in the database at all (not even your name) BUT you will still have access to the archived c-card through a private permalink (a static URL) that allows you to save the image to your smartphone or a computer.

Q: What if I decide I do not want my diving credentials listed in the Dive Card Archive?

A:  Well, we will be heartbroken to see you go but you can delete your entry on request and it will be like we never met.  Of course you can always come back if you decide that you made a hasty decision. You will just need to re-register from scratch.  We hold no grudges or data…we are cool like that.

Q: Does the Dive Card Archive sell my information?

A: Nope.  Never. Your email address will not be included in your entry either.  Just your name and your c-card(s) images. If you use an industry partner to enter your diving credentials you are still covered by our policy to not be evil.

Q: Are you going to SPAM me into the stone age?

A:  Negative.  We will likely send an email or two a year to touch base, wish you a Happy New Year or ask you how your experience with the Dive Card Archive has been. Otherwise, you can keep up with the DCA hijinks and interact with the archive’s minions (I mean staff) through the DCA Facebook page.