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The FCC is Not Reinstating a Vanity Call Sign Fee

05/16/2019

An erroneous report this week suggested that the FCC planned to again impose an Amateur Radio vanity call sign application (regulatory) fee of $70 for the 10-year term. This incorrect conclusion resulted from an incomplete reading of the May 7 FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the matter of the assessment and collection of regulatory fees for fiscal year 2019.

Although the Schedule of Regulatory Fees does show a $7 annual fee for Amateur Radio vanity call signs, a boldface heading in that section of the NPRM states, “REGULATORY FEES. This section is no longer in effect as it has been amended by RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018...” Section 9(e)(2) of RAY BAUM’S Act gives the Commission discretion to exempt a party from paying regulatory fees when the FCC determines that the cost of collection exceeds the amount collected. A new section 9(e)(1) incorporated the Amateur Radio vanity fee exemption from FCC rules into the statute.

The NPRM makes clear in several other places that regulatory fees no longer apply to Amateur Radio licenses. The FCC eliminated the regulatory fee for Amateur Radio vanity call signs in 2015. 



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