How to Obtain an Official FCC License Copy
The FCC went paperless in February 2015. In order to streamline procedures and save money, the FCC stopped routinely printing and mailing licenses.
There are a number of ways a license holder can obtain an official FCC copy of their license. The official license will display the FCC logo and the watermark "Official Copy" will be printed across each page of an official authorization from FCC. Please note that FCC stopped using distinctive paper stock to produce hard copy licenses and has been printing these on “standard, white recycled paper.” The Bureau noted that the distinctive paper stock it had used was six times more expensive than the plain recycled paper it now uses.
Choose the Method that's Right For You
1. Download and Print License: The licensee can log into the FCC ULS License Manager System http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/ with their FRN and password to ‘Download the Electronic Authorization’ of the official license. On the ‘Download Authorizations’ page the license holder will add their call sign to the ‘Authorizations to Download’ and then click download. The PDF of the license can be saved to a computer and printed later or the file can be opened and printed immediately.
2. Login and Set Paper Preferences: The licensee can log into the FCC ULS License Manager System http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/ with their FRN and password and choose ‘Set Paper Authorization Preferences’. This option determines whether a user will receive paper authorizations (printed license and FRN information) from the FCC for future mailings.
On the ‘Set Paper Authorization Preferences’ page, the license holder would select either YES or NO and then click SAVE. By selecting YES, you will continue to receive paper authorizations printed and mailed by the FCC. By selecting NO, you will not receive authorizations printed and mailed from the FCC. This preference will affect all granted authorizations on this FRN.
3. Receive License via Email: When modifying, renewing or requesting a duplicate copy of the license, a licensee who already has an FCC Registration Number (FRN) and provides a valid e-mail address under “Applicant Information” while logged in to the ULS system will receive an official ULS-generated electronic authorization via e-mail.
The action of adding a valid e-mail address into the FCC system can also be performed by a VEC filing new, upgraded, modified or renewed licenses on behalf of applicants. All exam applicants should include a valid email address on their NCVEC 605 form, in order to receive their license electronically.
4. Contact FCC: Licensees may contact FCC Support via the web, by telephone (1-877-480-3201) or by mail to request paper licenses. Please note that FCC stopped using distinctive paper stock to produce hard copy licenses and has been printing these on “standard, white recycled paper.” The Bureau noted that the distinctive paper stock it had used was six times more expensive than the plain recycled paper it now uses.
A printer friendly version of these instructions can be found here.
An unofficial "reference copy" can always be printed from the FCC’s ULS License database http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/.
New licensees may choose to register their SSN (social security number) with the FCC and receive a FRN before the exam date to make retrieving a copy of their new license after the session much easier.
VE Teams may accept photocopies or printouts of licenses from the follow sources: the official license or reference license printed from the FCC website, and license data printed out from the ARRL website or QRZ website. This information can be found on the ARRL web page what to bring to an exam session.