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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB013 (2013)

ARLB013 FCC Seeks Small Vanity Call Sign Fee Increase

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 13  ARLB013
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 30, 2013
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB013 FCC Seeks Small Vanity Call Sign Fee Increase

The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on May 23,
seeking to raise the fee for Amateur Radio vanity call signs by 20
cents. Currently, a vanity call sign costs $15 and is good for 10
years.  The new fee, if approved, will go up to $15.20 for 10 years.
The FCC is authorized by the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
to collect vanity call sign fees to recover the costs associated
with that program.  The NPRM can be found in PDF format at,

The vanity call sign fee has fluctuated over the 15 years of the
current program -- from a low of $11.70 in 2007 to a high of $70 (as
first proposed in the FCC's 1994 Report and Order). The FCC said it
anticipates some 14,300 Amateur Radio vanity call sign "payment
units," or applications, during the next fiscal year, collecting
$217,360 in fees from the program.

The vanity call sign regulatory fee is payable not only when
applying for a new vanity call sign, but also upon renewing a vanity
call sign. Those holding vanity call signs issued prior to 1993 are
exempt from having to pay the vanity call sign regulatory fee at
renewal, as Congress did not authorize the FCC to collect regulatory
fees until 1996. Such "heritage" vanity call sign holders do not
appear as vanity licensees in the FCC Amateur Radio database.

Amateur Radio licensees may file for renewal only within 90 days of
their license expiration date. All radio amateurs must have an FCC
Registration Number (FRN) before filing any application with the
Commission. Applicants can obtain an FRN by going to the Universal
Licensing System (ULS) and clicking on the "New Users: Register"
link. You must supply your Social Security Number to obtain an FRN.

The ARRL VEC will process license renewals for vanity call sign
holders for a modest fee. The service is available to ARRL members
and nonmembers, although League members pay less. Routine,
non-vanity renewals continue to be free of charge for ARRL members.
Trustees of club stations with vanity call signs may renew either
via the ULS or through a Club Station Call Sign Administrator, such
as the ARRL VEC.

Visit the "Call Sign Renewals or Changes" web page at for complete
instructions on how to have the ARRL renew your license for you or
for how to do it yourself.

License application and renewal information and links to the
required forms are available on the FCC License Renewals web page at The FCC's forms page at also offers the required forms.


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