Getting a Technician LicenseThe most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which requires only a 35 question multiple-choice written examination.
Upgrade to a General LicenseThe General Class is a giant step up in operating privileges. In addition to the Technician privileges, General Class operators are authorized to operate on any frequency in the 160, 30, 17, 12, and 10 meter bands.
Upgrading to an Extra Class LicenseThe HF bands can be awfully crowded, particularly at the top of the solar cycle. Once one earns HF privileges, one may quickly yearn for more room. Extra Class licensees are authorized to operate on all frequencies allocated to the Amateur Service.
Why should I get licensed?
Amateur Radio enthusiasts know that there’s a lot of knowledge and training that go into being a successful Amateur Radio operators (hams). Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed. The rules for earning an Amateur Radio license vary depending on which country you live in. You need to know the rules to operate legally. You also need to know how to operate safely and you’ll need some knowledge and training to operate successfully. Getting licensed is a long standing tradition for hams. US licenses are good for 10 years before renewal, and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government.
Amateur Radio is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Communications Act of 1934. It is also subject to numerous international agreements. All Amateur Radio operators must be licensed. In the US there are three license classes—Technician, General and Extra. Each successive level of license comes with an expansion of privileges. With only 3 License Classes, getting started in Amateur radio has never been easier!
Need additional help? Call the ARRL’s toll-free number at 1-888-277-5289 and request an informational Amateur Radio prospect package or complete this online form.
Prepare for your Technician license exam! Learn More
Join a Club
Many local clubs offer licensing classes on a periodic basis for a nominal fee and connect with other hams. Learn More
Prepare for the Test on Your Own
Sometimes it’s easier to work at your own pace. Use these materials for self-study preparation. Learn More
Take Practice Exams
Get a feel for how the exam is going to go and what you should really focus on while studying. Learn More