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FCC Not Processing License and Exam Session Files Again


To borrow a common highway traffic warning: Expect Delays.

The FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) electronic batch filing (EBF) system is down again, after working for a brief window on Wednesday, November 18 following an outage on Friday, November 13. Some files were processed through the system Wednesday, but the FCC  reported on November 19 that it was again unable to process VEC license and examination session files. The problem remains unresolved.

ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said her office again had to alert the FCC IT staff, which is looking into the issue but did not estimate how long the system would be down. Somma said it was the third time the EBF system has gone down since late September, when the FCC said a process had stopped running on an FCC server.

The FCC doesn’t have a long term fix in place yet, and it appears the same issue is recurring with greater frequency. Applicants should expect delays in exam license processing, until the FCC can get fix the problem. The FCC has apologized for the continued inconvenience this is causing the Amateur Radio community.

“We transmit the exam sessions to FCC as soon as possible, which is usually 24 to 48 hours from the day received in our office,” Somma said. “We make every effort to process each session quickly and efficiently while following FCC rules. Unless there is missing candidate information or paperwork, we normally aim to send the session to the FCC within a few days, because most of the VEC staff understands what it feels like to wait for your call sign to be issued.”

Somma expressed the hope that applicants and VEs would be understanding and patient while the FCC attempts to get the EBF system up and running again.




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