How to Apply for a Vanity Call Sign
Applicants have two ways in which to apply for a Vanity call sign. FCC accepts the required forms by mail, or applicants can apply on line using the FCC's web site.
The FCC allows the applicant to submit up to 25, desired call sign choices in the order listed by the applicant. The FCC will not honor any request where the applicant may write on the application "please give me the next W1??? call sign that is available". The applicant must tell the FCC exactly which call sign(s) is/are being requested for FCC to consider the assignment.
Applicants seeking a regular Systematic call sign change can apply on line at the FCC's web site or can use the FCC Form 605 and FCC Form 605 “Schedule D” (fill in section 1). Mail the two required forms directly to the FCC in Gettysburg PA
Applying for a Vanity Call Sign...
Obtain, complete and forward FCC Form 605 and FCC Form 605 “Schedule D to:
Federal Communications Commission - Amateur Division
1270 Fairfield Road Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245
Need to obtain Form 605, Form 606 or any other FCC forms? Connect to the FCC's web site forms page at: http://www.fcc.gov/formpage.html or contact the FCC's Forms Distribution Center toll free at 1(800) 418-FORM (3676) to obtain the forms you need.
You can find information on how to apply on line for a Vanity call sign by connecting to the FCC's web site.
Click on the icon entitled “Online Filing LOG IN” to access the FCC's interactive, online application system. For complete instructions visit the FCC’s Obtaining a Vanity Call Sign web page.
After submitting the application form, you will receive a FCC application file number. FCC takes 18 days to process applications for vanity call signs.
Assuming your fee reaches FCC as required, the FCC processing time for Vanity applications is 18 days. If you have not heard anything from FCC in 30 days, you should contact the FCC regarding your application. You can call FCC weekdays toll free at 888-225-5322 (wait to speak with a live person); or fax FCC at 717-338-2696; or write to them at: FCC, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg PA 17325-7245.
Once you have learned, through any FCC data source, that you have been granted a new Vanity call sign, you can immediately begin using the call sign. The FCC stopped routinely printing and mailing licenses in February 2015. Depending on the license paper preferences you set in the FCC system, an official license will be sent via email or printed and sent by mail. There are a number of ways a license holder can obtain an official copy of their license.
Licensees can find the instructions on the VE Resources web page in the section titled "Obtain a License Copy".
Some amateurs find that no one knows them under their new vanity call sign identity, and they don't desire to wait to let the new identity sink in. In such cases the applicant would like to get the call sign back that they gave up when they applied for their vanity call sign. Is there a way to accomplish this? The answer is yes, so long as the call sign they surrendered has not yet been reassigned to someone else (surrendered call signs are available only to former holders; or members of a deceased amateur's family, or to a club where the deceased amateur was a member--with permission of the family; within the first two years after the call sign was surrendered or cancelled).
The solution is to submit another vanity call sign 605 application. On the Form 605 “Schedule D” list that the vanity call sign being chosen is your former call sign. Yes, this means you get your former call back--and it becomes a vanity call sign (but that's the small price you pay for being able to get your former call sign back). Some vanity call sign holders use this same mechanism to obtain a vanity call sign that they consider even more desirable than their current vanity call or former call sign (choices like a call sign that includes their initials is common).