ARRL

Incoming QSL Service

Incoming QSL Service

  • Introduction

    Within the US, the ARRL DX QSL Bureau System is made up of numerous call-area bureaus. They act as central clearing houses for QSL cards arriving from foreign countries. Volunteers staff these "incoming" bureaus. The service is free.  ARRL membership is not required.

     

    Canadian amateurs can use the Radio Amateurs of Canada's incoming QSL bureau.

     

  • How the QSL System Works

    Most countries have "outgoing" QSL bureaus that operate in much the same manner as the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service. The members send their cards to their outgoing bureau, where they are packaged and shipped to the appropriate countries.

     

    A majority of the DX QSL cards are shipped directly to the individual incoming bureaus where volunteers sort the incoming QSLs by the first letter of the call sign suffix. One individual may be assigned the responsibility of handling one or more letters of the alphabet.

     

    All incoming QSL Bureaus have e-mail addresses and Web pages.  The information for specific Bureaus is listed below.

  • Claiming Your QSLs

    You can claim your QSLs by sending a 5" x 7-1/2" or 6" x 9" self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) or money credit to the bureau serving your call sign area. Neatly print your call sign in the upper left corner of the envelope. Place your mailing address on the front of the envelope. A suggested way to send envelopes is to affix a first class stamp and clip extra postage to the envelope. Then, if you receive more than 1 ounce of cards, they can be sent in a single package.

     

    Some incoming bureaus sell envelopes or postage credits in addition to the normal SASE handling. They provide the proper envelope and postage upon the prepayment of a certain fee. The exact arrangements can be obtained by sending your inquiry with a SASE to your area bureau. (A list of bureaus appears below.)

  • How to Make the Bureau System Work Better for You

    Good cooperation between the DXer and the bureau is important to ensure a smooth flow of cards. Remember that the people who work in the area bureaus are volunteers. They are providing you with a valuable service. To obtain the best results, please pay close attention to the following dos and don'ts.

     

    Dos

    • Do keep self-addressed 5 x 7-1/2 or 6 x 9 inch envelopes or money credit on file at your bureau, with your call sign in the upper left corner, and affix at least one unit of first-class postage.
    • Do send the bureau enough postage to cover SASEs on file and enough to take care of possible postage rate increases.
    • Do respond quickly to any bureau request for SASEs, stamps or money. Unclaimed card backlogs are the bureau's biggest problem.
    • Do notify the bureau of your new call sign as you upgrade. Please send SASEs with your new call, in addition to SASEs with your old call.
    • Do include your call sign on any correspondence with the bureau. 
    • Do include a SASE with any information request to the bureau.
    • Do notify the bureau in writing if you don't want your cards.
    • Do notify the Bureau of a change of address.

    Don'ts

    • Don't send domestic US to US cards to the various call area bureaus.
    • Don't expect DX cards to arrive for several months after the QSO. Overseas delivery is very slow. Many cards coming from overseas bureaus are over a year old.
    • Don't send your outgoing DX cards to your call area bureau. 
    • Don't send SASEs to your "portable" bureau. For example, NU0X/1 sends SASEs to the W0 bureau, not the W1 bureau.
    • Don't send SASEs or money credits to the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service.
    • Don't send SASEs larger than 6 x 9 inches. SASEs larger than 6 x 9 inches require additional postage surcharges.

  • Complete Information

    For a PDF file of all of the information above, click the Learn More link below.

     
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