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FCC FAQ

  • Does ARRL offer a simplified renewal process for members?

    Yes. ARRL members can send us the NCVEC Form 605 for license modifications. It must be sent to the ARRL VEC in Newington, not to the FCC.  View the NCVEC 605 instructions.  Go Now   
     

  • Does the FCC or ARRL charge application processing fees?

    Currently, there are no fees to file applications directly with the FCC. However, sometime in 2022, the FCC will begin charging an application fee per application.

    There is no charge to current ARRL members when submitting NCVEC Form 605 for license renewals or changes (address, name, email, etc.).  For NON-members who wish to change or renew their license, there is a $15 charge to use the ARRL VEC service. 

    FCC application fees will apply to all application filings (member and non-member) when the
    FCC fee takes effect.

    Vanity applications must be filed online directly with the FCC. 

  • How can I apply for a license renewal, a vanity license, a new license, make a change to the license, or obtain a license copy?

    File electronically through the FCC ULS License Manager system;
    or file manually to the ARRL VEC using the NCVEC Form 605.
    Vanity applications may only be filed online directly with the FCC. 

    To obtain a license copy applicants must go through the FCC ULS License Manager System.

    Take and pass an Amateur Radio exam to receive a new or upgrade license.
    Search for an Exam Location.  
     

  • Can I file forms to the FCC?

    As of June 29, 2021, the FCC no longer accepts paper filings. Applicants must login and file applications in the License Manager system on the FCC website. The FCC online filing instructions are here.

  • What is the Universal Licensing System?

    Before the Universal Licensing System was created, amateurs had to wait weeks or months when making license changes.  The implementation of the Universal Licensing System in the Amateur Radio Service ushered in a new era of electronic, interactive filing and handling of Amateur Radio applications.  It provides users fast and easy electronic filing, improved data accuracy through automated checking of applications filed online, and enhanced electronic access to licensing information.  With ULS, applicants can renew or modify a license or apply for a vanity call sign on the FCC's ULS webpage. 

    Many hams had already registered in ULS through CORES.  Amateurs may file applications using the FCC Form 605 electronically at any time of day, seven days a week (ULS does not process applications received on a weekend or holiday until the next FCC business day).  Applicants can file for license renewals, modifications, cancellations and amendments, as well as requests for a vanity call sign, duplicate license requests, changes of address or other clerical license modifications.  Visit the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Amateur Radio webpage for information on accessing the ULS.  Amateurs experiencing problems with ULS should contact the FCC License Support staff at 877-480-3201 or go to the FCC’s Support page and click on "help request".  For more information see ULS and CORES assistance from the FCC

    Renewal applications sumbitted prior to 90 days before the expiration of the license are not permitted under the ULS and any such filings will be returned without action.

    Amateur applications must be filed electronically (interactively) on the FCC Web site.  Paper applications are no longer accepted by the FCC.  Amateurs must log into the ULS License Manager System with their 10-digit FRN (FCC Registration Number) and password to view and manage your license and applications, and update anything in your FCC license record, including adding an email address.  With the implementation of the Universal Licensing System, it's now easier to file applications online.

    In all cases, you must first be registered with the FCC, obtain a FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password (for electronic filing) before you can make changes to your amateur license or conduct other business with the FCC.  In the older CORES system, amateurs were automatically registered in both the Universal Licensing and CORES systems.
    Visit the FCC ULS frequently asked questions page for futher information.  Go Now 
     

  • What is the Commission Registration System?

    Before you can take advantage of filing in the ULS, first you must create an account.  Register in the CORES (COmission REgistration System).  For many amateurs, ULS and CORES may be transparent, especially for those filing electronically, but they are two different systems.  Registration involves setting up a user account, entering your Taxpayer Information Number (typically your Social Security Number), and other pertinent information.  When the registration is complete, you will be assigned a FCC Registration Number (FRN).  This number will be used to uniquely identify you in all transactions with the FCC.

    Amateurs must file electronically via the FCC ULS website.  As of June 29, 2021, the FCC no longer accepts paper filings.  Applicants must login and file applications in the License Manager System on the FCC website. 
    The FCC online filing instructions are 
    here.
     

  • How do I know if I'm registered under CORES and ULS? And what are the best ways to register?

    All amateurs must be registered with the FCC and have an FRN (FCC Registration Number) number.
    Do not re-register if you already have an FRN.

    If you received your call sign before June 28, 2021, then the FCC assigned you an FRN at the same time that you were assigned your call sign, if you did not already apply for one before your examination.
    After June 28, 2021, any applicants applying for a new amateur radio license must first register in
    CORES and obtain their FRN.

    Reset your password, set up your personal security question for your account, or submit a help request on the FCC
    Support Services page.

    For further information, visit the FCC's Guide to the ULS.

  • How can my club make a license modification?

    The FCC has privatized the Club Call Sign assignment program (as well as the Military-Recreation Call Sign Program). Any club or military-recreation license must go through a Club Station Call Sign Administrator (CSCSA) of which the ARRL VEC is one. The FCC no longer accepts applications directly from clubs, unless the club is requesting a vanity call sign or renewing a vanity call sign.
    Refer to ARRL 's Club Call Signs page for additional information.
     

  • Where do I send manually filed forms?

    As of June 29, 2021, the FCC no longer accepts paper filings, therefore the FCC 605 form is no longer used for filing directly with the FCC. Applicants must login and file applications in the License Manager System on the FCC website. 
    The FCC online filing instructions are 
    here.

    NCVEC 605 forms can be manually filed to the ARRL VEC.  Go Now 

  • What is being done about online privacy?

    Some amateurs have been concerned over the FCC's requirement for your Social Security Number.  The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-134, requires all federal agencies to collect Taxpayer Identification Numbers from all persons doing business with the agency.

    This includes all applicants and holders of FCC licenses.  The ULS uses your SSN as a unique identifier.  Your SSN (or FRN) and your password will provide access to the electronic filing features of the ULS. 

    Per FCC rues, supplying an email address is mandatory.  Supplying a phone and fax number is optional.  Your SSN will not be disclosed to the public and it must be given only once.  The FCC has taken several steps to ensure the privacy of your SSN.  Electronic registration on the Internet is accomplished using the FCC's secure web server.  View FCC Licensee Privacy information.
     

  • How do I obtain ULS & CORES assistance from the FCC?

    On the FCC website:  
    Users Guide to ULS
    ULS Resources 

    For assistance, submit a help request on the FCC’s Support Services page or call the FCC at 877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET).

  • Where can I find paper forms?

    FCC forms can no longer be used for filing directly to the FCC.  As of June 29, 2021, the FCC no longer accepts paper applications.  Applicants must login and file applications in the License Manager System on the FCC website. 
    The FCC online filing instructions are 
    here.

    The ARRL VEC Form 605-C (for clubs and military recreation stations only) and the NCVEC Form 605 can only be found on the ARRL website.
    Go Now