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Use of Special Call Sign Suffixes in the US During COVID-19 Pandemic


Some countries have authorized selected radio amateurs or organizations to identify with longer-than-normal suffixes that relate to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as “STAYHOME.” FCC Part 97 Amateur Radio Service rules do not provide for amateur call sign suffixes longer than three characters, but a potential workaround exists.

As §97.119(c) of the FCC’s Amateur Radio Service rules states: “One or more indicators may be included with the call sign. Each indicator must be separated from the call sign by the slant mark (/) or by any suitable word that denotes the slant mark. If an indicator is self-assigned, it must be included before, after, or both before and after, the call sign. No self-assigned indicator may conflict with any other indicator specified by the FCC Rules or with any prefix assigned to another country.”

While ARRL has no plans to sponsor or support an effort as an ARRL contest-based activity, licensees desiring to do this as a one-off stay-at-home event are welcome to do so. 



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