ALL exam candidates MUST have an FRN and MUST include an email on their application.

The FCC has recently instituted a $35 application fee, this will be explained below

I am a VE (Volunteer Examiner registered with the ARRL/VEC (American Radio Relay League/Volunteer Examiner Coordinator). Most VECs post scheduled exam sessions on their websites. You can find sessions local to you on the ARRL/VEC and W5YI websites. If you are in the Klamath Falls, OR area you can also check the Klamath Basin Amateur Radio Association W7VW website to see if there is a local session scheduled.

Check with all exam sessions to be sure scheduled sessions are still happening and to find out what you will need to bring with you. Most exam sessions will require photo ID (or parent ID and school ID for minors), previous license documentation, and the exam fee ($15 for ARRL-VEC). Most session providers provide all application paperwork, writing implements, and calculators, but it’s good to check first.

For FCC License Exams

  • ALL candidates MUST have an FRN, and a postal address, and a valid email address
  • ALL candidates MUST present photo ID (and a copy of their amateur radio license if applying for an upgrade)
  • These requirements are set by the FCC

Electronic Application Submission
With electronic submission, you will see your new license or upgrade in the FCC database within a couple of business days, often the day after the exam session, rather than a week to 10 days. Check to see if the VE group submits their session results electronically. Not all do.

FRN (FCC Registration Number)
You need to do this BEFORE the exam session. Registration for an FRN is free and you will be issued the FRN on the spot. You will need the FRN to communicate with the FCC once you have taken and passed your exam.

The FCC has a video on how to register on the CORES system and get your FRN.

Postal and Email Address Required
The FCC now requires a valid email address on all applications. If you don’t keep your email address updated along with your postal mailing address, you may have your license suspended or revoked if mail/email is returned undeliverable. Updating your contact information is free and can be done online in minutes.

Exam & Application Fees
The VECs (Volunteer Examiner Coordinators) charge a test session fee to cover the cost of exam materials and administrative expenses. This fee has nothing to do with the FCC.

In 2023 the FCC began charging a $35 application fee. This fee will NOT be applied to administrative changes i.e. updating postal address or updating email address.

The Process

  • When you arrive at the exam session…
  • You will be asked to fill in your name, contact information, and FRN on the license application form 605 and the exam answer sheet.
  • Once completed, you will present the forms, your ID, and the exam fee to the session coordinator.
  • You will be given back the answer sheet and an exam booklet. Please do not write in the exam booklet.
  • When you are done with the exam, return the answer sheet and exam booklet to the coordinator.
  • After the exam has been graded:
    • Pass – you will be allowed to take the next license class exam at no additional charge, or you may collect your CSCE (proof of passing the exam) and leave the session
    • Fail – you may retake the test during the session. You will need to pay the exam fee for each attempt until passing.
  • You will NOT pay the FCC application fee at the exam session.
  • Once your passing exam and license application have been acknowledged by the FCC, (this should be 1-3 days after the application is submitted by the VEC) the FCC will post a note on your ULS account saying the application is pending and a link to the CORES sit to pay the application fee.
    • You will need to log in to the CORES site and pay the application fee online.
    • You will have 30 days to pay the application fee or the application will be rejected.
    • If your application is rejected, contact the exam coordinator for the session you attended for help in filing a new application.
    • Once you have paid the license fee your license will be activated and your callsign issued. You may begin using your new callsign on-air. Congratulations on your new license!

This is a new process, there are bound to be a few glitches here and there. In most cases, small glitches can be fixed without too much headache. Take your time in completing the forms completely and keep your CSCE at least until you have your callsign.

Feel free to ask questions at any time in the process, during the exam session, or after.

Note: An Amateur Radio license is required to transmit on amateur frequencies. No license is required to listen! I highly recommend getting an inexpensive amateur radio or scanner and listening in on your local repeaters so you can hit the ground running when your new callsign is posted.

Last Updated 13 April 2024

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