Amateur Radio Service | Federal Communications Commission

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ruler part

47 CFR Part 97


Radio service code(s)

  • HA -Hobbyists
  • excluding tax – Amateur Vanity

The Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services are intended for qualified persons of all ages who are interested in radio technology solely for personal purposes and without pecuniary interest. These services present an opportunity for self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations. Twenty-nine small frequency bands across the entire spectrum are allocated to this service internationally. Some 1,300 types of digital, analog, impulse and spread spectrum emissions can be transmitted.

Millions of amateur operators in all regions of the world communicate with each other directly or through ad hoc relay systems and amateur satellites. They exchange messages by voice, teleprinter, telegraphy, facsimile and television. In areas where the FCC regulates services, an amateur operator must have an FCC or Canadian license. Reciprocal licenses issued by the FCC for foreign amateur licensees are no longer required. Reciprocal operation in the United States is now permitted by 47 CFR § 97.107.

All frequencies are shared. No frequency is assigned for the exclusive use of an amateur station. Station control operators cooperate to select transmission channels to make best use of frequencies. They design, build, modify and repair their stations. The FCC’s Equipment Authorization Program generally does not apply to amateur station transmitters.

Operator class and exams

The FCC has issued six types of license operator class, each allowing different levels of privileges. The class for which each licensee is qualified is determined by the degree of skill and knowledge in operating a station that the licensee demonstrates in an examination to Volunteer Examiners (VEs) in their community.

Most new amateur operators start at the Technician class and can then progress to the General Class or Additional Amateur Class operator license. EVs give exam credit for the class of license currently held so that exams required for that license do not need to be repeated. The EVs build the written tests from pools of questions made public. Useful study guides and training courses are widely available.

Licenses and exams

Operating an amateur station requires a grant of an amateur operator license from the FCC. Before receiving a license grant, you must pass a exam administered by a team of volunteer examiners (EV). VEs determine the license operator class for which you are qualified by testing your skills and abilities in operating an amateur station. You can contact a VE team in your community to arrange for the exam items you desire to be administered. If you need help finding a VE team in your area, contact a Volunteer Reviewer Coordinator (VEC).

After you pass the review, the VEC collects your information from your VE team and, after carefully reviewing it, forwards it to the FCC for processing. Your operating authority begins when your licensing information appears in the Universal Licensing System Amateur Service Licensee Database.

Common Filing Tasks

Amateur license holders are required to submit applications using the Universal Licensing System (ULS). Common filing tasks include:

03/18/2021
SECOND REPORT AND ORDER, REEXAMINATION ORDER AND PROPOSED VARIATION ORDER (FCC 21-32)
Facilitate shared use in the 3100-3550 MHz band
pdf

02/10/2020
REPORT AND ORDER AND OTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT (FCC 20-138)
Facilitate shared use in the 3100-3550 MHz band
pdf

09/16/2016

PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 16-1048)

Amateur service operation in CEPT countries

02/07/2011

PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 11-221)

Amateur service operation in CEPT countries

05/07/2010

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULES (FCC 10-76)

Amendments to Parts 2 and 97 of the Rules of the Board to facilitate the use by the amateur radio service of the 5 MHz allocation. Proposed to modify parts 2 and 97 of its rules relating to the amateur radio service

27/10/2009

LETTER (DA 09-2302)

Kentucky Department of Military Affairs

Granted waiver request.

09/10/2009

PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 09-2031)

Amateur service operation in CEPT countries

02/08/2007

PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 07-610)

WTB implements restriction of one request per custom call sign

11/12/2006

HEARING DESIGNATION ORDER (DA 06-2487)

Subject: Joseph W. Hartmann, Jr., Application for New License in the Amateur Radio Service

By this Order of Designation of Hearing, we begin hearing proceedings before an Administrative Judge of the Commission (ALJ) to determine whether the application filed by Joseph Hartmann, Jr. for a new amateur radio service license should be granted. .

12/19/2005

PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 05-3224)

WTB Reminds Wireless Licensees in Areas Affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma of Procedures for Requesting Further Extensions of Regulatory Deadlines

08/10/2002

NOTICE AND ORDER MEMORANDUM (DA 02-2475)

Modification and clarification of policies and procedures governing the location and maintenance of amateur radio antennas and support structures; Amendment to section 97.15

Denied the motion for reconsideration filed by W. Lee McVey

11/13/2002

REPORT AND ORDER (FCC 02-298)

Revisions to Broadcast Auxiliary Rules in Part 74 and Technical Compliance Rules for Broadcast Auxiliary Service, Cable Television Relay Service and Fixed Services in Parts 74, 78 and 101 of the Commission Rules

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