March 31, 2022

ARRL News | New FCC Application Fee Will Not Apply To Amateur Radio License Upgrades

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff has clarified in response to an ARRL request that the new $35 application fee will not apply to most license modifications, including those to upgrade an Amateur Radio Licensee’s operator class and changes to club station trustees. The FCC staff explained that the new fees will apply only to applications for a new license, renewal, rule waiver, or a new vanity call sign. As previously announced, the new fees take effect on April 19, 2022.

“We are pleased that the FCC will not charge licensees the FCC application fee for license upgrade applications,” said ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM. “While applicants for a new license will need to pay the $35 FCC application fee, there will be no FCC charge for future upgrades and administrative updates such as a change of mailing or email address. Most current licensees therefore will not be charged the new FCC application fee until they renew their license or apply for a new vanity call sign.”

ARRL previously reported that the new $35 application fee for Amateur Radio licenses will become effective on April 19, 2022. Further information and instructions about the FCC Application Fee are available from the ARRL VEC.

March 25, 2022
New Amateur Radio License Applications Fee To Become Effective April 19, 2022


ARLB010 New Amateur Radio License Applications Fee To Become Effective April 19, 2022



ARRL Bulletin 10 ARLB010

From ARRL Headquarters

Newington CT March 25, 2022

To all radio amateurs


ARLB010 New Amateur Radio License Applications Fee To Become

Effective April 19, 2022

A Public Notice released by the Federal Communications Commission

(FCC) on March 23, 2022, in MD Docket No. 20-270, announced that new

application fees for Wireless Telecommunications Bureau applications

will become effective on April 19, 2022. The new fees, mandated by

Congress, apply to applications for Amateur Radio licenses including

those associated with filing Form 605, the Amateur Operator/Primary

Station Licensee Application.

The docket can be found online at,


Effective April 19, 2022, a $35 fee will apply to applications for a

new Amateur Radio license, modification (upgrade and sequential call

sign change), renewal, and vanity call signs.

Anticipating the implementation of the fee in 2022, the ARRL Board

of Directors, at its July 2021 meeting, approved the "ARRL Youth

Licensing Grant Program." 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 program.

ARRL had filed comments in opposition to imposing a fee on Amateur

Radio license applications. The FCC initially proposed a higher, $50

fee. In a Report and Order (R&O), released on December 29, 2020, the

amount was reduced -- the FCC agreeing with 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."

ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC) Manager Maria Somma,

AB1FM, explained that all fees are per application. "There will be

no fee for administrative updates, such as a change of mailing or

email address. The fees will be the responsibility of the applicant

regardless of filing method and must be paid within 10 calendar days

of FCC's receipt of the application. For applications filed by a

VEC, the period does not begin until the application is received by

the Commission, a ULS file number assigned, and an email sent by the

FCC directly to the applicant."

VECs and Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams will not collect the $35 fee

at license exam sessions. New and upgrade candidates at an exam

session 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 by using the CORES FRN Registration system (CORES - Login).

The CORES Login can be found at, .

When the FCC receives the examination information from the VEC, it

will email a link with payment instructions to each successful

candidate who then will have 10 calendar days from the date of the

email 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 explanation of other action. The

link will be good for 30 days.

Somma also explained that applications that are processed and

dismissed will not be entitled to a refund. This includes vanity

call sign requests where the applicant does not receive the

requested call sign. "The FCC staff has suggested that applicants

for vanity call signs should first ensure the call signs requested

are available and eligible for their operator class and area, and

then request as many call signs as the form allows to maximize their

chances of receiving a call sign."

Further information and instructions about the FCC Application Fee

are available from the ARRL VEC at

Details for the ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program will be similarly

posted there, when available.