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FCC "Paperless" Amateur Radio
License Policy Effective February 17, 2015
[UPDATED 2015-01-29 1939 UTC]
Starting February 17, the FCC no longer will routinely issue
paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and
licensees. The Commission has maintained for some time now that
the official Amateur Radio license authorization is the
electronic record that exists in its Universal Licensing System
although the FCC has continued to print and mail hard copy
licenses. In mid-December the FCC adopted
to provide access to official electronic authorizations, as
WT Docket 14-161 as part of its “process reform” initiatives.
Under the new procedures, licensees will
access their current official authorization (“Active” status
only) via the ULS License Manager. The FCC will continue to
provide paper license documents to all licensees who notify the
Commission that they prefer to receive one. Licensees also will
be able to print out an official authorization — as well as an
unofficial “reference copy” — from the ULS License Manager.
Releases New General Class Question Pool
(Dec 20, 2014) - - ARLB022 New Element 3
(General Class) Question Pool Released.
The Question Pool Committee of the
National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC)
has released the 2015-2019 Element 3 (General Class) question
pool. The new question pool becomes effective for all Element 3
examinations administered on or after July 1, 2015, and it
remains valid until June 30, 2019.
The question pool files are available in
PDF, Microsoft Word (.doc), and ASCII text formats. Section G7A
requires the use of one illustration, a schematic identified as
G7-1. This drawing file is published separately. Further
information can be found on the web at,
(Dec 12, 2013) --
The ARRL VEC has announced that the
Question Pool Committee has released the new 2014-2018
Technician Class, Element 2,
to the public. This pool will take effect on July 1, 2014, and
will remain valid until June 30, 2018.
New Amateur Radio Vanity Call
(Sept 3, 2014) - -
The FCC has adjusted very slightly
downward — to $21.40 — its proposed
Amateur Service vanity call sign
regulatory fee for Fiscal Year 2014.
In a June Notice of Proposed Rule
the Commission said it was planning
to hike the current $16.10 vanity
fee to $21.60 for the 10-year
license term. The FCC released a
Report and Order and Further Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking
in the proceeding on August 29, in
which it recalculated the fee to
$21.40 for the 10-year license term.
The $5.30 increase still represents
the largest vanity fee hike in many
years. The new $21.40 fee does not
go into effect until 30 days after
is published in
The Federal Register
In the R&O, the FCC said it
considered eliminating the
regulatory fee for Amateur Radio
vanity call sign applications but
decided not to do so “at this time,”
because it lacks “adequate support
to determine whether the cost of
recovery and burden on small
entities outweighs the collected
revenue; or whether eliminating the
fee would adversely affect the
licensing process.” The Commission
said it would reevaluate this issue
in the future to determine if it
should eliminate other fee
The FCC’s Office of Managing
Director sets the actual fee vanity
call sign fee, based on Wireless
projections of new applications and
renewals, taking into consideration
existing Commission licensee
databases, such as the Universal
Licensing System (ULS) database.
The FCC reported there were
11,500 “payment units” in FY 2014.
The Commission said the vanity
program generated an estimated
$230,230 in FY 2013 revenue, and it
estimated that it would collect
nearly $246,100 in FY 2014.
The vanity call sign regulatory
fee is payable when applying for a
new vanity call sign or when
renewing any vanity call sign
designated as "HV" in the FCC's ULS database.
Practice License Exams
(Dec 26, 2008) -- About a month ago, the MARC received an
email from Hamilton Carter, KB0FNR who wanted to let us know that
he has created a website blog containing a set of free online
practice tests that will help prepare folks for their license
Within the practice tests,
online study resources are provided for many of the questions. The
list of resources available for each question is constantly
growing because users can add their own favorite links to the
study materials. Users can also track their test scores over time
and see which elements are giving them the most trouble. Practice
tests are available for Technician, General and Extra Class. Each
question provides instant results to let you know if you answered
If you would like to read a
short review of this new service they are posted at the following
The practice tests website
blog is located at: http://copaseticflow.blogspot.com.
To Amateur Radio License/Upgrade Applicants
(Mar 8, 2007) -- ARRL
Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC) urges all Amateur Radio
license and upgrade applicants to use their FCC Registration
if they have one, when completing Form 605, not their
Social Security number. The FCC asks applicants to register via
the FCC's COmmission REgistration
System (CORES), to obtain an FRN, and it requires
applicants to use their FRNs when filing Form 605. The FRN
uniquely identifies an applicant in all transactions with the FCC
and avoids the need to provide a Social Security number on the
application form. ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, says that
if her department submits license data to the FCC using a Social
Security number when the applicant already has an FRN, the FCC
rejects the data because an FRN already exists. Somma also reminds
applicants and Volunteer Examiner teams to attach any Certificate
of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for
element credit to upgrade applications. Using your FRN and
attaching any needed CSCE to your Amateur Radio
application in Form 605 will eliminate delays in obtaining your
license or upgrade.
Radio Enters A New Era
(Feb 23, 2007) -- A new
Amateur Radio Service regime now is in place. The requirement to
demonstrate Morse code proficiency to gain HF privileges
officially disappeared from the FCC's Part 97 rules today at 12:01
AM Eastern Time. At the same time, some 200,000 Technician
licensees without Morse code exam credit acquired HF privileges
equivalent to those available to Novice licensees. The League is
marking the occasion with a W1AW special event aimed at welcoming
newcomers to the HF bands. The "W1AW HF Open House" has
included exam sessions under both old and new rules. ARRL Chief
Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, points to the still-growing
number of ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC) test
sessions now on the schedule across the US as evidence that the
rule changes will provide a shot in the arm to Amateur Radio.
& Class Information
The recruitment and training of new hams is
vital to the continuation of the Amateur Radio Service. The
Massillon Amateur Radio Club has always believed in the importance
of providing an ongoing training program to assist those
individuals who would like to become licensed amateur radio
Each year usually in
February or March, the MARC sponsors training classes for the
Technician class entry level license. This includes instruction in
both Morse Code and theory. If there is sufficient interest we
will also assist already licensed hams to upgrade to either
General or Extra Class licenses. We usually use the ARRL study
guide materials which are readily available at most Radio Shack
stores. This is the "Now Your Talking" materials and it
is a great way to begin your study.
With the advent of the Volunteer Examination Coordinator Program
sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, the MARC in
conjunction with the Canton Amateur Radio Club sponsors VEC
testing three times a year. Tests are given at the EOC office which is
located in the basement of the Stark County Sheriff's office which
is off State Route 62 East in Canton. The exact address is 4500
Atlantic Blvd. NE, Canton, Ohio 44705. Doors open at 8:00 AM for
registration with testing beginning at 9:00 AM.
Should You Bring ?
The VEC program has set the following rules in order to take an
1.) A check or money order payable
to "ARRL/VEC" for the current ARRL test fee. The fee for
2016 will remain at $ 15.00.
2.) Two forms of ID, one a picture
ID and one other form of ID.
3.) Any CSEC's from a previous
test session. Bring the original and one photocopy.
4.) Your Amateur Radio license, if
licensed. Bring both the original and one photocopy.
Volunteer Examiner Program
Are you ready to upgrade ? Do you know someone who is ready to
take his or her Amateur Radio exam ? No problem. The ARRL has more
than 30,000 volunteer examiners worldwide, ready to help. Let's
take a look at how the ARRL VEC staff helps hams and prospective
hams upgrade or earn a first FCC Amateur Radio License. Click
here for the full story.
Click on the ARRL VEC Banner for complete
information on the ARRL VEC Program.
It Time To Renew Your License ?
(Oct 22, 2005) -- One
of the items the club tracks is the expiration date of members
licenses. The most recent dates are also posted on this website as
a reminder to notify members when their license is nearing its
expiration date. If you are a members of the ARRL, one of their
many benefits free of charge is a license expiration and
application processing service.
My license was set to expire on November 24th of
this year. The last time I renewed my license was back in 1995 and
it was done using the old venerable FCC Form 610. All I had to do
was fill it out, sign and date it and send it in. A lot has
changed since then and while the process is a bit more complicated
in some respects, it's also much easier thanks to the ARRL.
It started with a letter I received back on May 6,
2005. The letter was the official expiration notification and
application form to renew my license from the ARRL. The current
rules state that you may file for your Amateur Radio license
renewal by mail at 90 days or less before your license will expire
or up to two years after expiration.
At the beginning of October I completed the ARRL
form by providing my social security number, email address,
signing and dating the application. I then simply returned it to
ARRL headquarters using their provided return envelope. About two
weeks later I received a letter from the FCC titled "Manual
Registration of CORES". You must register with the FCC's
Commission Registration System (CORES) for any license
transaction conducted. I was issued an FCC Registration Number (FRN),
to be used for any inquiries and transactions with the FCC.
The letter indicated that I would receive another
letter containing my password that would be needed to
update/change my registration data in the FCC's CORES website.
Sure enough, about a week later I received my letter containing a
rather lengthy password. I haven't had the need as yet to use my
FRN number to see my individual record. You can, of course search
the FCC's callsign database and also bring up the record of any
licensed amateur radio operator.
So what's the status of my license renewal ? About
one week later I received yet another very formal looking envelope
from the FCC. Inside was my renewed amateur radio license. I am
glad to report that I am fully legal until November 24, 2015. I
sincerely hope I'm still around and enjoying the hobby by then !
Total time from when I initially returned the completed ARRL form
until I received my renewed license - about 5 weeks. Not to bad I
thought considering the FCC is a government agency. I have to
admit, thanks to the ARRL's application processing service, it was
very easy. I would highly recommend it rather that doing it the
old fashion way !
De Terry - N8ATZ
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