License and Testing
Anyone can become a ham except representatives of foreign governments. There are no age restrictions. If you can pass the written tests, you can be a licensed ham operator. There have even been 6 year old ham operators.
The entry-level license is the Technician Class license. That license class began in 1991 and now has the largest number of participants. To become a Technician Class operator, you need only pass one very simple (35 question) multiple choice written test (Exam Element 2) to obtain your FCC license. Taking a class is NOT required to take a written exam. Many people choose to self study, but taking a class does help in learning theory and application. Effective February 23, 2007 the FCC removed all testing requirements for Morse Code for all classes of licenses. The written examinations are comprised of questions taken from the various question pools.
Technician (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2026) 411 Questions 35 Questions on Test.
General (July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2027) 432 Questions 35 Questions on Test 26 correct to pass.
Extra (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2024) 622 Questions 50 Questions on Test
The class for which each applicant is qualified is determined by the degree of skill and knowledge of operating a station that the applicant demonstrates, and by passing a license examination before a team of three volunteer examiners (VEs). New amateur operators start at the Technician class and then advance to the General Class ...and to the top-of-the ladder Amateur Extra Class.
Preparing for the Test: Testing for Amateur Radio licenses has been simplified over the years, but preparation is still needed to ensure success in passing the exams. The General Class and Extra Class licenses can be particularly difficult for some people who have little or no preparation in subjects such as electrical theory and wave propagation. But have no fear, for there are many resources available to help you get ready for your next exam. In the past, it was often the Morse code requirement that kept many people from upgrading their license. Now that the Morse code requirement is gone, the only things keeping you from moving up the ranks in licensing in Amateur radio is your time, desire, and willingness to learn. With a little bit of self-motivation, you can self-study and prepare to upgrade your license.
We at LBARA offer training classes each year, but you can get started right now! Most find it easiest to simply take practice exams online until they start passing them consistently. Others want to take the time to study the material and learn the "why" behind the questions. In either case, here are some resources that you should find helpful in preparing for your next exam:
http://www.qrz.com/testing QRZ Online Testing Website
http://www.eham.net/exams Online Testing Website
http://www.w5yi.org/ W5YI Website where you can purchase books and other ham radio materials.
http://www.arrl.org/catalog/lm/ ARRL Website where you can purchase books and other ham radio materials.
What to bring to the Test: Exam sessions are conducted by volunteers working under the direction of the FCC. If you have any special needs, be sure to notify the exam session administrator before exam day so special accommodations can be made for you. Bring a legal photo ID (drivers license, passport) OR, when no photo ID is available, two forms of identification must be presented (birth certificate, report card, library card, Social Security card, utility bill, bank statement. Non-photo ID/driver's license, etc.). Students may bring a school ID card, minor's work permit, school report card, library card and/or a written note from a legal guardian. You must supply a valid street address or P.O. Box number. If applicable, bring a photocopy of your current Amateur Radio license The photocopy(s) will not be returned. You must bring your FCC issued Federal Registration Number (FRN). VEC’s are required by the FCC to submit your FRN number with your license application form. For instructions on how to register your SSN with the FCC and receive a FRN, visit the ARRL web page: https://apps.fcc.gov/coresWeb/regEntityType.do. Bring a check or money order for $14 payable to Steve Fehlhaber. Cash is also acceptable. In accordance with W5YI specifications, half of the fee goes to the W5YI VEC, and the other half goes to a local fund that is strictly used for future testing and ham-related materials. It is illegal for VEs to use collected monies for personal use. To be prepared you should also bring two number two pencils with erasers and a pen. Scratch paper will be provided for you. A calculator with the memory erased and formulas cleared is allowed. The calculators will be checked by a VE. You may not bring any written notes or calculations into the exam session.
All current tests are written tests and answer sheets. Your test will be provided by one of the VEs present. When you are finished with your test, raise your hand and one of the VEs will make sure that you answered all the questions. The attending VE’s will grade the test and let you know Pass or Fail and/or how many questions were missed or correct. Computerized testing is being evaluated and may be used in the near future. If you pass your first test, then you may attempt to take the next class test at no extra charge. However, if you fail the next test, then you must pay an additional $14 to take the test again. For example, let's say you take your technician test and pass it. Then you may attempt to take the general exam. If you pass it, then you will be licensed as a general class operator. You may then attempt to take the extra class test. If you pass it, then you will be licensed as an extra class operator. If you fail any test, then you must pay an additional $14 to take that test again.
Once you pass one or more of your exams and the paperwork is completed, your application will be processed from the W5YI Team to the FCC. You CANNOT use your amateur radio operator privileges until your call sign shows up in the FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS) database. See Fee and Payment link information below. Your Call Sign/Upgrade should show up on QRZ.com within 24 hours of FCC issuance. An official copy of a New License or Upgrade is NO Longer mailed by the FCC. You can sign on to the FCC ULS site and use your password to print an official copy. https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do Fee and Payment link information Once the application is received by the FCC, the FCC will give it a File #, and then the applicant will receive an email from the FCC with full instructions to pay the $35 fee. NOTE: Applicants do not need to wait for an email from the FCC to make a payment. They can login into CORES and check for an application that needs to be paid. If the applicant does not pay the required fee within 10 (calendar) days, the application will be dismissed and they will not receive a license. This will only apply to New (unlicensed) licensees, Renewals, and new Vanity call sign requests. Upgrades, Address change, and Name change applications will NOT be assessed the new fee.
FCC Pay Fees Site: https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/paymentFrnLogin.do. Please advise your applicants that the FCC Pay Fee site is not compatible with phones and tablets. The required FCC payment must be made on a computer.
Contact Steve at email@example.com or 435-893-1957 text or call. Leave a message or text and it will be returned asap.