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Applying for a Vanity Call

How to Apply for a Vanity Call Sign

Individuals must apply online by logging into their FCC license account. The applying amateur must have their FRN (FCC Registration Number) and their CORES/License password to log into the License Manager system
Amateur Radio club v
anity filing instructions are available on the Club Call Sign page.

If you have any questions or issues with the password to login, call the CORES help desk or reset the password online using the FCC support page.
FCC CORES/FRN Help Line:  877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET)
FCC support page:  https://www.fcc.gov/available-support-services 

IMPORTANT -- Amendments to the application will alter the orginal filing date according to the FCC's information regarding revising or amending a pending application.
Amendment (AM) – A request to revise a previously filed, currently pending application. If the amendment is major, the amended application is treated as a new application with a new filing date. If the amendment is minor, the original application receipt date is retained. See applicable Commission Rules.

Applicants seeking a systematically issued sequential call sign change can also apply online in the License Manager system
 

Filing Procedures

  • Processing Times

    Applying for a vanity call sign online is fairly easy and should take less than 5 minutes. The applicant will know immediately the FCC has received the request and that the application was completed correctly.  After submitting the application form, you will receive an FCC application file number.  The FCC takes 18 days to process applications for vanity call signs. 
     

  • Request By List

    The individual must hold a current license and call sign before they may file an application for a vanity call sign under the request by list provision.  For other vanity call sign types, see the instructions in the other sections.

    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.

    Applying for the call sign(s)

    The vanity call sign application process is done directly through the FCC. Applying for a vanity call sign online is very easy and should take less than 5 minutes. 

    The individual will request the call sign(s) under the eligibility “REQUEST BY LIST”.

    This allows the licensee to provide a list of up to 25 call signs in the order of your preference. The first assignable call sign on your list will be assigned to you.
    The request by list provision call signs are limited to the operator license class the individual holds (eg: a general class licensee, can only apply for call signs at the General class or lower levels; see below) .

    The amateur must have their FRN (FCC Registration Number) and their CORES/License password to log in to the FCC's online Filing System https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/licManager/login.jsp.

    Provide a list of up to 25 call signs in the order of your preference. The first assignable call sign on your list will be assigned to your station. When so requesting for your primary or club station:

    • The call sign must have been unassigned for at least two years. If, however, a license is canceled due to the death of the licensee more than two years earlier, the call sign remains unavailable for thirty days following the staff action canceling the license.
    • If you are an Amateur Extra Class operator, each call sign must be in Group A, B, C or D.
    • If you are an Advanced Class operator, each call sign must be in Group B, C or D.
    • If you are a General, Technician Plus, or Technician Class operator, each call sign must be in Group C or D.
    • If you are a Novice Class operator, each call sign must be in Group D.

    For questions or assistance with the password to login, submit a help request on the FCC website via the FCC’s Support Services page or call the FCC at 877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET).

  • Request By Former Holder

    The individual must hold a current license and call sign before they may file an application for a vanity call sign under the request by former holder provision to request a call sign previously held by the licensee.  For other vanity call sign types, see the instructions in the other sections.

    Applying for the call sign

    The vanity call sign application process is done directly through the FCC. Applying for a vanity call sign online is very easy and should take less than 5 minutes. 

    The individual will request the call sign(s) under the eligibility “REQUEST BY FORMER HOLDER”.


    For your primary station, you may request a call sign that was previously assigned to your primary, secondary, repeater, auxiliary link, control or space station. When so requesting for your primary station:

    • You may request your former call sign even though it has been unassigned for less than two years. The two-year requirement does not apply to an otherwise eligible primary station if the call sign was previously assigned to a station of the requestor
    • You do not have to hold a class of operator license required for the Group (A, B, C or D) for the call sign requested. A call sign request by a former holder may be from any Group in the sequential system.
    • Your mailing address does not have to be in the Region designated in the sequential system for the call sign requested (excluding call signs for Regions 11-13). A call sign requested by a close relative of a deceased former holder may be in any Region.

    For questions or assistance with the club password to login, submit a help request on the FCC website via the FCC’s Support Services page or call the FCC at 877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET).

  • Request In Memoriam

    When a family member passes away, an individual may wish to honor their family member by applying for the silent key's (deceased ham's) call sign as a vanity call sign. 

    The individual must hold a current license and call sign before they may file an application for a vanity call sign under the request in memoriam provision to request a call sign previously held by a close family member now deceased.  For other vanity call sign types, see the instructions in the other sections.

    Under the in memoriam provision, depending on the license class of the applicant, it may limit the call signs they are eligible to apply for (eg: a general class licensee, can only apply for call signs at the General class or lower levels; see below). Therefore, before appying, you must have the cooresponding license class level of the silent key's call sign you are requesting.

    Applying for the call sign

    The vanity call sign application process is done directly through the FCC. Applying for a vanity call sign online is very easy and should take less than 5 minutes. 

    The individual will request the call sign(s) under the eligibility “
    By Close Relative Of Former Holder Now Deceased”.

    For your primary station, you may request a call sign that was previously assigned to the primary, secondary, repeater, auxiliary link, control or space station of your now-deceased spouse, child, grandchild, stepchild, parent, grandparent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or in-law. An "in-law" is limited to a parent, stepparent, sibling, or step-sibling of a licensee's spouse; the spouse of a licensee's sibling, step-sibling, child, or stepchild; or the spouse of a licensee’s spouse’s sibling or step-sibling. A call sign requested by a close relative of a deceased former holder may be in any region.
    When so requesting for your primary station:

    • You must be an Amateur Extra Class operator to request a Group A call sign.
    • You must be an Amateur Extra or Advanced Class operator to request a Group B call sign.
    • You must be an Amateur Extra, Advanced, General, Technician Plus, or Technician Class operator to request a Group C call sign.
    • You must be an Amateur Extra, Advanced, General, Technician Plus, Technician or Novice class operator to request a Group D call sign.
    • Your mailing address does not have to be in a Region designated in the sequential system for the call sign requested. A call sign requested by a close relative of former holder now deceased may be in any Region.
    • You must show your relationship to the deceased person exactly as listed in the instruction, i.e., "child", "niece" or "in-law".


    For questions or assistance with the club password to login, submit a help request on the FCC website via the FCC’s Support Services page or call the FCC at 877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET).

Additional Information

  • Help on the FCC website

    Access the FCC ULS system and click on “File Online” to access the FCC's interactive License Manager system. Have your FRN (FCC Registration Number) and password available for login. Visit the FCC's Vanity FAQ page for more information.

    Additional information can be found on Amateur Radio Service section of the FCC's ULS website.

    If you have any questions or issues with the password to login, call the CORES help desk or reset the password online using the FCC support page.
    FCC CORES/FRN Help Line:  877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET)
    FCC support page:  https://www.fcc.gov/available-support-services 
     

  • What Happens After I Submit My Online Application?

    The FCC processing time for Vanity applications is 18 days. If you have not heard anything from FCC in 25 days, you should contact the FCC regarding your application. You can call FCC weekdays toll free at 888-225-5322 (8am to 5pm EST).
     

  • When Can I Begin Using my New Vanity Call Sign?

    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. On December 30, 2020, the FCC Wireless Services ceased the printing of paper licenses. The FCC will now only provide these documents electronically through email. There are a number of ways a license holder can obtain a copy of their license. Licensees can find the instructions on the ARRL's Obtain a License Copy web page.

  • What if, After I'm Granted a Vanity Call Sign, I Decide I Would Like My Old Call Sign Back?

    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 application. Choose the "request by former holder" provision to apply for 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).
     

  • Amateur Radio Clubs

    View the information on the Club Call Signs page.
     

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