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After The License Exam
When you're done with the exam, return the test booklet, and the answer
sheet to the VE Team. They will grade it IMMEDIATELY (or as soon as is possible), and tell you whether you have passed or failed the test...
although they can NOT tell you what to study the next time, if you failed;
nor they can they tell you which questions you missed. Once your test
booklet and answer sheet have been turned into the VE Team, you may NOT
have them back.
As noted above, THERE IS NO DISGRACE IN FAILING an exam. If the VE Team
has the time and resources, and you're willing to pay an additional test
fee, they will let you retest, but with a different set of questions. Not
every ham radio operator has passed their license exam on the first try...
and some have taken nearly a dozen tries to pass an exam element.
If you pass the exam, and you do not yet have a callsign or a license; depending on processing time, your new callsign and/or license class
should be available on the Internet at the QRZ Ham Radio website at http://www.qrz.com
in about 10 to 14 days...but sometimes, it may take a
bit longer...or it may be a bit sooner. However, during a Government
Shutdown, it will be delayed until the governement (and FCC) reopen...and
there likely will be a huge backlog of data to be processed...so, your
patience in this regard is appreciated.
Some VE Teams will scan in all the exam session documents, and put them
into a PDF file, and upload them to a private URL (hidden from the public),
to the VEC. If sent in on a weekend, it'll be processed the first business
day (usually a Monday, unless that day's a holiday). By the end of that
day, or by late the next day, the callsign/license will be in the FCC
Once the callsign is there, you can begin operating. Look for the link entitled "FCC Reports"...and look for your name (last name first).
Archived entries are available, in case you can't access the Internet for
a period of time after you pass the test.
You can also go to the HamData website, http://www.hamdata.com
for new callsigns. Look under the link "Latest FCC Information".
The FCC no longer mails out a "paper copy" of ones amateur radio license. Instead, about 1 to 2 weeks after the exam session, the licensee will be notified via email that their license is available via the FCC ULS...and
they are provided logon credentials (usually the FRN and a temporary
password, which should be changed after initial logon). As noted, as of
April 19, 2022...examinees will have to pay a $35 fee for a new, renewed,
or upgraded ham radio license, or a callsign change (sequential or vanity), whether for individual or a club.
Once logged on, they can print an "Official Copy" of their license,
plus a "Reference Copy" to take to a future license exam session, should
they decide to upgrade their license. The FCC no longer mails out paper
copies of the licenses.
Once the copy of your new license is in hand, you may DESTROY the old license, and the applicable CSCE for the new one, unless you'd like to
keep the CSCE as a novelty. Be sure to SIGN the new license before you
make a copy of it, and/or laminate it; as the license is NOT valid without
If you have not seen your callsign or upgrade in the FCC ULS 2 weeks
after you took the test, you should call either the exam session liaison,
or the VEC. In the case of an ARRL/VEC test session, they can be reached
from 7am to 4pm U.S. Central Time, Monday through Friday (except holidays),
at (860) 594-0300 -- this is a long distance call. However, the FCC is NOT available during a Government Shutdown.
Be sure to keep your U.S. Mailing Address CURRENT...as your license may
be SUSPENDED/REVOKED by the FCC, if mail they send to you is returned as undeliverable.
If you have a Certificate Of Successful Completion Of Examination
(CSCE), with a current license and callsign...that shows you've upgraded
to a higher license class, you may begin using your new license class privileges IMMEDIATELY...with the special identifiers, as follows:
UPGRADING TO: VOICE IDENTIFIER: DIGITAL IDENTIFIER:
Technician Temporary KT /KT
NOTE: This ONLY applies if upgrading from the "old Novice" license;
otherwise, no identifier is required...since Technician is the entry
class license...and you would NOT have a callsign to start with. The
digital identifier is for either Morse Code, or on a digital mode,
such as packet, PSK31, etc. -- the phone identifier is for voice.
General Temporary AG /AG
Amateur Extra Temporary AE /AE
The use of these special ID's follow your callsign on the new bands
for which your CSCE shows that you've upgraded to. If you previously
had privileges on a certain band without the CSCE (for instance, you
upgraded from Technician to General), you're not required to use the
ID on frequencies above 50 Megahertz. However, using the Technician to
General upgrade example, if you want to use the frequencies for the
General Class licensee, you are REQUIRED to use the new identifier.
If you upgrade to the Extra Class license BEFORE your General Class
paper license copy is in hand, or in the FCC database, you keep your
Technician Class license, and the CSCE's for the General and Extra
Class upgrade, as proof of your upgrades. Again, using the upgrade to
Extra Class as an example, you use the special identifier for it,
instead of the General Class license identifier.
Once your new license grant appears in the FCC ULS database, or on
the QRZ or Hamdata websites noted above), you're no longer required to
use the special identifier. This usually takes 1 to 2 weeks after the
day you passed the exam. Failure to use the identifier before your
license upgrade appears in the FCC database would make it appear that
you are operating on amateur radio bands outside your privileges, and
you could get a Notice Of Violation from the FCC if that occurs.
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--- SBBSecho 3.15-Win32
* Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)