FCC Testing and Licensing

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. 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 of choice for most 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 world-wide 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 info@crhrc.org 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.  Two of those are:

Hamstudy.org allows you to take practice tests on-line.  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 start getting your required documentation in order.

Required Documentation

The first document you need is an FCC Registration Number (FRN). 

Once you have a FRN, you will need to download and complete an FCC Form 605.

You will also need a government issued photo ID. Your driver’s license will work fine.

If you are testing to upgrade your license, you will also need an “Official Copy” of your current license. A “Reference Copy” will not be accepted. Download your official license here.

You must bring these documents completed and ready to submit at your test session.

The test fee is $15.00 for any level of test. We appreciate you bringing exact change.

And finally, please be sure to email info@crhrc.org to let us know you wish to test. We need to make sure we prepare testing materials for each person testing.

Review: Required items to bring to a test session:

  • FCC Registration Number
  • FCC Form 605 – Filled out
  • Photo ID (i.e. Drivers License)
  • Official copy of FCC license (if upgrading)
  • $15.00 Test fee (exact change appreciated)
  • RSVP email to info@crhrc.org
  • Optional – You may bring a calculator. If it is a programable calculator, you will be asked to demonstrate a memory clear / reset function before the test session begins.

Let’s find you a test session!

Date:Saturday September 18th
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