By Maria Somma, AB1FM, ARRL VEC Manager
The FCC released a Public Notice on March 23, 2022, stating that the
amateur radio application fees, including those associated with Form 605
application filings, would become effective on April 19, 2022. The
Federal Communications Commission’s authority to impose and collect fees
is mandated by Congress.
The $35 application fee, when it becomes effective on April 19, will
apply to new, renewal, and modification applications that request a new
vanity call sign. The fee will be per application.
Administrative updates, such as a change of name, mailing or email
address, and modification applications to upgrade an amateur radio
licensee’s operator class, will be exempt from fees. (this new
information was just confirmed by FCC staff on Tuesday, March 29.)
VECs and Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams will not have to collect the $35
fee at exam sessions.
Once the FCC application fee takes effect, new applicants will pay the
$15 exam session fee to the ARRL VE team as usual and pay the $35
application fee directly to the FCC by using the CORES FRN Registration
system. VEC and VE team licensing procedures will not change.
When the FCC receives the examination information from the VEC, it will
email a link with payment instructions to each qualifying candidate. The
candidate will have 10 calendar days, from the date of the application
file number being issued, to pay. After the fee is paid, and the FCC has
processed an application, examinees will receive a second email from the
FCC with a link to their official license or, in very rare instances, an
explanation for why the application was dismissed or denied. The link
will be valid for 30 days.
Per usual procedures, examinees that pass multiple exams at one session,
will have one application transmitted to the FCC reflecting the
highest-level license class earned. Again, our procedures will not
change. The new license candidates will have an extra step before the
license is issued. VE teams can point candidates to our FCC Application
Fee webpage. Our new ARRL VEC CSCEs also include information about the
application fee and points candidates to the webpage. The FCC rule
pertaining to CSCEs will not change. CSCE credit will continue to be
valid for 365 days, starting from the date of issuance.
For VE teams holding exam sessions the weekend before April 19, the FCC
advised that applications not received by the FCC before April 19 will
be subjected to the fee. The ARRL VEC urges teams to upload sessions via
our documents upload page to get your sessions to us as quickly as
possible. Assuming the FCC electronic batch filing (EBF) system is
functioning properly on Monday, April 18, the VEC staff will work to get
these to the FCC before April 19. Email the VEC department at
VEC@arrl.org for the upload instructions.
Additionally, the FCC stated that the fee for applications processed
and dismissed will not be refundable. This includes vanity requests
where the applicant does not receive the requested call sign. However,
returned applications that are missing information will not require an
additional fee, if the missing information is submitted to the FCC
within the proper amount of time.
Youth Licensing Grant Program
Anticipating the implementation of the fee in 2022, the ARRL Board of
Directors, approved the ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program in July 2021.
Under the program, ARRL will cover a one-time $35 application fee for
license candidates younger than 18-years old for tests administered
under the auspices of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL
VEC). Qualified candidates also would pay a reduced exam session fee of
$5 to the ARRL VEC. ARRL is finalizing details for administering the
Further news and instructions will follow as the FCC releases them.
Details for the ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program will be posted when
available. For additional information, visit the resources below.
ARRL VEC Application Fees webpage:
ARRL News Story:
FCC CORES Video Tutorials:
FCC Registration Help: apps.fcc.gov/cores/publicHome.do?help=true
ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO