FCC Testing and Licensing
We are often asked “How do I go about getting started in ham radio?“
Getting started is really not that hard. Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed and know the rules to operate legally. A testing fee of $14 is due and payable at the time of the test and applicable to all new or upgrade tests. Effective April 19, 2022, there is a $35 application fee applied to new licenses, license renewals and vanity call sign changes. (The $35 application fee does not apply to license upgrades.) When the FCC receives your initial license application (after successful testing) it will email a link with payment instructions to the candidate. Candidates will have 10 calendar days from the date of the email to pay. US licenses are good for 10 years before renewal and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government.
In the US there are three license classes – Technician, General and Extra.
The Technician class license is the entry-level license for new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above 30 megahertz, allowing these licensees the ability to communicate locally and most often within North America. It also allows for some limited privileges on the HF (also called “short wave”) bands used for international communications.
The General class license grants some operating privileges on all Amateur Radio bands and all operating modes. This license opens the door to worldwide communications. Earning the General class license requires passing a 35 question examination. General class licensees must also have passed the Technician written examination.
The Amateur Extra class license conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. Earning the license is more difficult; it requires passing a thorough 50 question examination. Extra class licensees must also have passed all previous license class written examinations.
CRHRC can help you get licensed!
An Elmer is an experienced ham who mentors beginners or the less experienced, advancing their knowledge in a personal way, usually with much hands-on radio operation and oversight. Email us at email@example.com letting us know you are interested in getting licensed and we’ll help connect you with an Elmer.
Study, study, study!
There are several On-Line study sites to help you prepare for taking the Technician class license test or upgrading your license. Study sites include:
Hamstudy.org allows you to take practice tests on-line with the same look and feel of your actual test. Take them over and over and over again until you have seen all of the questions from the question pool. When you feel prepared for the real thing, you are ready to test!
The Test Session
There is a $14.00 testing fee payable at the testing location.
You will need to bring a current and valid government-issued photo ID to the testing session. Your driver’s license will work fine.
If you are currently licensed and testing for an upgrade, you will need to bring an “official” copy of your license (a reference copy is not accepted) or your most recent CSEC.
CRHRC provides in-person electronic testing. We provide a testing device that includes a calculator.
Registration is completed on-line, creates your required forms and submits them to the testing team electronically.
Upcoming Testing Sessions
In most cases, we are able to schedule a testing session on-demand.
If a testing date is not listed below, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you are ready to test. We will coordinate with you to set one up as soon as possible.
|Date:||Saturday June 17th, 2023|
Click here to register on-line
|Location:||YK Communications Conference Center|
111 W. Putnam St., Ganado, TX 77962
|Start Time:||10:00 am|
|Sponsoring Club:||Cross Roads Ham Radio Club – W5YI VE Team|
When you have completed your on-line registration, our test session manager will contact you directly for confirmation.
- Register for a testing session by clicking the registration link above.
- Bring your government issued photo ID (Driver’s License).
- If you are currently licensed and you will be testing for an upgrade, you will need to bring one of the following items:
- An “OFFICIAL” copy of your license. (There is a difference between an “Official Copy” and a “Reference Copy” of your FCC license. Download an official copy of your license here.) OR
- Your most recent CSCE form.
- Bring your test fee of $14.00
And finally, please be sure to email email@example.com if you have any additional questions about license testing.
It is a privilege to test amateur radio operators. We appreciate the opportunity to administer yours!
Additional Licensing Resources
Obtaining an FCC Registration Number (FRN)
New Technician Question Pool Released, Effective July 1, 2022
The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee (QPC) has released the 2022 – 2026 Technician Class FCC Element 2 NCVEC Question Pool Syllabus & Question Pool into the public domain. It’s available as a Word document or PDF. The three graphics required for the new Technician question pool are available within the documents, or separately as PDF or JPG files.
The new pool incorporates some significant changes compared to the 2018 – 2022 pool. Its 257 questions were modified slightly to improve wording or to replace distractors; 51 new questions were generated, and 62 questions were eliminated. This resulted in a reduction of 11 questions, bringing the total number of questions in the pool from 423 to 412. The difficulty level of the questions is now more balanced, and the techniques and practices addressed have been updated.
The new 2022 – 2026 question pool is effective July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2026, and must be used for Technician-class license exams administered on or after July 1, 2022.