Three types of licenses for ham radio operators are being granted today: Technician, General, and Amateur Extra. By taking progressively more challenging exams, you gain access to more frequencies and operating privileges. After you pass a specific test level, called an element, you have permanent credit for it as long as you keep your license renewed. This system allows you to progress at your own pace. Your license is good for ten years, and you can renew it without taking an exam.
Licenses to operate amateur stations for personal use are granted to individuals of any age once they demonstrate an understanding of both pertinent FCC regulations and knowledge of radio station operation and safety considerations. Applicants as young as five years old have passed examinations and were granted licenses. Operator licenses are divided into different classes, each of which corresponds to an increasing degree of knowledge and corresponding privileges. Over the years, the details of the classes have changed significantly, leading to the current system of three open classes and three grandfathered but closed to new applicants classes. Amateur radio licenses in the United States are issued and renewed by the Federal Communications Commission without charge, although the private individuals who administer the examinations may recoup their expenses by charging a fee. Licenses currently remain valid for 10 years from the date of issuance or renewal. Renewal can be done on-line.
An amateur radio operator is someone who uses equipment at an amateur radio station to engage in two-way personal communications with other amateur operators on radio frequencies assigned to the amateur radio service. Amateur radio operators have been granted an amateur radio license by a governmental regulatory authority after passing an examination on applicable regulations, electronics, radio theory, and radio operation. As a component of their license, amateur radio operators are assigned a call sign that they use to identify themselves during communication. There are about three million amateur radio operators worldwide. Amateur radio operators are also known as radio amateurs or hams.
Forgot Password? 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. The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators.