New amateur radio license application fees will come into effect on April 19, 2022




A public notice issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 23, 2022, in MD File No. 20-270announced that new application fees for Wireless Telecommunications Bureau applications will take effect April 19, 2022. The new fees, mandated by Congress, apply to applications for amateur radio licenses, including those associated with the Filing of Form 605, the amateur operator/licensee of the main station Application.

Effective April 19, 2022, a $35 fee will apply to applications for a new amateur radio licence, amendment (upgrade and sequential call sign change), renewal and call signs personalized.

Anticipating the implementation of the fee in 2022, the ARRL Board of Directors at its July 2021 meeting approved the “ARRL Youth Licensing Grant ProgramUnder the program, the ARRL will cover a one-time $35 application fee for license applicants under the age of 18 for tests administered under the auspices of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC). Qualified candidates would also pay a reduced exam session. $5 fee to ARRL VEC The ARRL is in the process of finalizing program administration details.

The ARRL had filed comments opposing the imposition of a fee on amateur radio license applications. The FCC initially proposed a higher fee of $50. In a Report and Order (R&O), issued December 29, 2020, the amount was reduced – the FCC agrees with the ARRL and other commenters that its proposed $50 fee for certain amateur radio applications was “too high to account for the minimal staff involvement in these applications.”

Maria Somma, AB1FM, ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC), explained that all fees are per application. “There will be no charge for administrative updates, such as a change of mailing address or email address. The charge will be the responsibility of the applicant, regardless of filing method, and must be paid within 10 calendar days of receipt of the claim by FCC For claims filed by a VEC, the period does not begin until the claim is received by the Commission, an assigned ULS file number and a email sent by the FCC directly to the applicant.”

VEC and Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams will not collect the $35 fee during licensing exam sessions. New and upgraded exam session applicants will continue to pay the $15 exam session fee to the ARRL VE team as usual, and pay the new $35 application fee directly to the FCC using the CORES FRN registration system (CORE – Login).

When the FCC receives the VEC exam information, it will email a link with payment instructions to each successful applicant who will then have 10 calendar days from the date of the email to pay. After the fee is paid and the FCC has processed a request, applicants will receive a second email from the FCC with a link to their official license or an explanation of further action. The link will be good for 30 days.

Somma also explained that claims that are processed and rejected will not be eligible for a refund. This includes vanity call sign requests where the requestor does not receive the requested call sign. “FCC staff has suggested that applicants for custom call signs should first ensure that the requested call signs are available and eligible for their class and carrier area, and then request as many call signs as as the form permits in order to maximize their chances of receiving a call sign.

Further information and instructions on FCC application fees are available from the ARRL VEC at Details of the ARRL Youth Grant Program will also be posted there, when available.

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