ARRL

Outgoing QSL Service

Outgoing QSL Service Rates Changing

The ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau has been a member benefit for decades. Since its official formation in November 1976, tens of millions of QSL cards have been shipped from ARRL Headquarters to Amateur Radio QSL bureaus of other national societies worldwide. At one time, this benefit offered a safe, reliable and inexpensive way to exchange QSL cards for a fraction of the cost of the postal service. What Amateurs saved in financial cost, however, was made up for in time; it could take months, or even years, to send and receive a QSL through the Bureau.

In 2016, QSL’ing is very different. Postal services are generally more reliable than in years past, but international shipping costs have risen significantly. With the advent of the Internet and online QSL confirmation services such as ARRL’s Logbook of The World, fewer and fewer paper cards are being exchanged.

While ARRL believes it is important to keep the long-standing tradition of the ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau available as a benefit to our members, the increased costs associated with its administration have required us to find a solution to keep these services available.

Effective November 1, the rate for one ounce of outgoing QSLs via the bureau will be increased, to the same as the rate of one ounce of USPS international postage. As of September 2016, that is $1.15 per ounce (about 10 QSLs). In addition, a service fee of $7 will be charged per individual transaction, which covers the Bureau’s administrative costs.

The Outgoing QSL Bureau is a significant tradition in the world of Amateur Radio. ARRL is committed to keeping that tradition and service alive for our members who enjoy using it. We are committed to ensuring our members will be able to send their QSL cards through the Bureau for decades to come.

New QSL Service Fee Structure Effective November 1, 2016

ARRL members — including foreign members, QSL Managers, or managers for DXpeditions — should enclose payment as follows: 

$1.15 per ounce, plus $7.00 QSL Bureau service fee. For example, a package containing 1.5 pounds of cards — 24 ounces, or about 225 cards — will cost $34.60. Please see the information below for additional pricing details. The minimum charge is $8.15 for one ounce or less. DXCC credits cannot be used towards the QSL Service fee.

You should use an accurate scale to weigh your cards. Most post offices have scales that you may use.  

Please pay by check (or money order) and write your call sign on the check. Send cash at your own risk.  DO NOT send postage stamps or IRCs. Please make checks payable to: “The ARRL Outgoing QSL Service.” If you would like to know that your cards were received at the ARRL QSL Bureau, include your e-mail address and we will notify you. Notifications will only be made by e-mail.

Packages received with insufficient payment will not be processed until the balance is paid in full. The outgoing QSL bureau does not keep money on account.

Current Rates Until October 31, 2016

ARRL member may continue to send cards through the outgoing QSL bureau at the current rate of 80 cents per ounce with a $3 minumum.

 

  Quick Reference   
Weight Aproximate Number of Cards Price
Less than 4 ounces 1 to 34 $3.00
4 ounces 35 $3.20
5 ounces 45 $4.00
6 ounces 55 $4.80
7 ounces 65 $5.60
8 ounces 75 $6.40
One Pound 150 $12.80

Outgoing QSL Service

  • Outgoing QSL Bureau Rules

    Download outgoing QSL bureau information in PDF format.

     
    Go Now

  • How to Presort Your Cards

    Sorting Cards

     

    Presort your DX QSLs alphabetically by parent call sign prefix (AP, CE, DL, ES, EZ, F, G, JA, LY,

    PY, UN, YL, 5N, 9Y, and so on). Canadian and Australian cards should be sorted by numerical call sign (VE1, VE2, VE3 and VK1, VK2, VK3, etc). Note: Some countries have a parent prefix and use additional prefixes, i.e. G (parent prefix) = M, 2E, 2I, 2M, 2W, etc. When sorting countries that have multiple prefixes, keep that country’s prefixes grouped with the parent prefix in your alphabetical stack.  Addresses are not required.

     

    Do not separate the country prefixes by use of paper clips, rubber bands, slips of paper, or envelopes. This only slows down processing.

  • ARRL Membership

    Please enclose proof of your current ARRL membership.  This can be in the form of a photocopy or cut-out of the address area from your current copy of QST.  You can also write the information from the label on a slip of paper and use that as proof of membership.  A copy of your current membership card is also acceptable.

     

  • Payment and Rates

    Fees and Payment

     

     

    ARRL members — including foreign members, QSL Managers, or managers for DXpeditions — should enclose payment as follows: 

     

    $1.15 per ounce, plus $7.00 QSL Bureau service fee. For example, a package containing 1.5 pounds of cards — 24 ounces, or about 225 cards — will cost $34.60. Please see the information below for additional pricing details. The minimum charge is $8.15 for one ounce or less. DXCC credits cannot be used towards the QSL Service fee.

     

    You should use an accurate scale to weigh your cards. Most post offices have scales that you may use.  

     

    Please pay by check (or money order) and write your call sign on the check. Send cash at your own risk.  DO NOT send postage stamps or IRCs. Please make checks payable to: “The ARRL Outgoing QSL Service.” If you would like to know that your cards were received at the ARRL QSL Bureau, include your e-mail address and we will notify you. Notifications will only be made by e-mail.

     

    Packages received with insufficient payment will not be processed until the balance is paid in full. The outgoing QSL bureau does not keep money on account.

     

     

     

  • Where To Ship

    Packing and Mailing

     

    Your package must include:

     

           Slip with your name, call sign, weight of cards enclosed, and proof of ARRL membership.  Include your e-mail address if you wish to be notified that cards were received.

           Proof of ARRL membership — Copy of QST mailing label or membership card.

           Your payment in the form of check or money order. DO NOT send cash.

           Your QSL cards, sorted as instructed.

    Include only the cards, proof of membership, and the appropriate fee in the package. Box the cards securely and address the package to:

     

    ARRL Outgoing QSL Service

    225 Main Street

    Newington, CT  06111-1494.  

     

    It is strongly recommended that you use a traceable method to ship your cards.

  • Family Members or Blind Members

    Family members may also use the service by enclosing their QSLs with those of the primary member.  Include the appropriate fee with each individual's cards and indicate "family membership" on the primary member's proof of membership. 

     

    Blind members who do not receive QST need only include the appropriate fee along with a note indicating the cards are from a blind member.

     

  • ARRL Affiliated Clubs

    ARRL Affiliated Club stations may use the service to submit club QSLs for its members in bulk (“pooling” their members’ cards together in one package) by indicating the club’s name inside the package. Club secretaries should check their club’s affiliation on the ARRL website to ensure i t is current. In a “pooled” package, each club member using this service must also be an ARRL member. Cards should be sorted “en masse” by prefix, and proof of membership should be enclosed for each ARRL member. QSLs for unaffiliated club calls may also be sent via the outgoing bureau to foreign destinations if the trustee of the club call is a member in good standing. The trustee’s proof of membership must be included with the club call-QSLs.

     

  • Recommended QSL Card Dimensions

    The efficient operation of the worldwide system of QSL Bureaus requires that cards be easy to handle and sort.  Cards of unusual dimensions, either much larger or much smaller than normal or printed on thin paper (i.e. copier paper), slow the work of the Bureaus, most of which is done by unpaid volunteers. 

     

    A review of the cards received by the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service indicates that most fall in the following range:

             Height = 2‑3/4 to 4‑1/4 in. (70 to 110 mm),

             Width = 4‑3/4 to 6‑1/4 in. (120 to 160 mm). 

     

    IARU Region 2, that includes the United States, has suggested the following dimensions as optimum:

                 Height 3-1/2 in. (90 mm), Width 5-1/2 in. (140 mm)

                

    Cards in this range can be easily sorted, stacked and packaged.  Cards outside this range create problems.  In particular, the larger cards often cannot be handled without folding or otherwise damaging them.  In the interest of efficient operation of the worldwide QSL Bureau system, it is recommended that cards entering the system be limited to the range of dimensions given.  

     

  • Countries Not Served By The Outgoing QSL Service

    Countries Not Served By the Outgoing QSL Service

     

    Approximately 225 DXCC entities are served by the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service, as detailed in the ARRL DXCC List. This includes nearly every active country. As noted previously, cards are forwarded from the ARRL Outgoing Service to a counterpart bureau in each of these countries. In some cases, there is no Incoming Bureau in a particular country and cards, therefore, cannot be forwarded.  However, QSL cards can be forwarded to a QSL manager, e.g., ZB2FX via G3RFX. Most operations from places without a QSL bureau have a QSL manager.

     

     

    3B

    Agalega, Mauritius, Rodrigues

    D2

    Angola

    T2

    Tuvalu

    3C

    Equatorial Guinea

    D4

    Cape Verde

    T3

    Kiribati

    3C0

    Pagalu Island

    E3

    Eritrea

    T5

    Somalia

    3DA

    Swaziland

    E4

    Palestine

    T8

    Palau

    3W

    Vietnam

    E5

    North & South Cook

    Is.

    TJ

    Cameroon

    3X

    Guinea

    ET

    Ethiopia

    TL

    Central African Rep

    4J,

    4K

    Azerbaijan

    HH

    Haiti

    TN

    Congo

    4W

    Timor-Leste

    HV

    Vatican

    TT

    Chad

    5A

    Libya

    J5

    Guinea-Bissau

    TU

    Cote d'Ivoire

    5R

    Madagascar

    J8

    St. Vincent

    TY

    Benin

    5T

    Mauritania

    KG4

    Guantanamo Bay

    V3

    Belize

    5U

    Niger

    KH0

    Mariana Is.

    V4

    St. Kitts & Nevis

    5V

    Togo

    KH1

    Baker & Howland Is.

    V6

    Micronesia

    7O

    Yemen

    KH4

    Midway Island

    VP2E

    Anguilla

    7P

    Lesotho

    KH5

    Palmyra & Jarvis Is.

    VP2M

    Montserrat

    7Q

    Malawi

    KH7K

    Kure Island

    VQ9

    Chagos Diego Garcia

    8Q

    Maldives

    KH9

    Wake island

    XU

    Cambodia

    9L

    Sierra Leone

    KP1

    Navassa Island

    XW

    Laos

    9N

    Nepal

    KP5

    Desecheo Island

    XZ

    Myanmar

    9U

    Burundi

    P2

    Papua New Guinea

    YA

    Afghanistan

    9X

    Rwanda

    P5

    North Korea

    Z2

    Zimbabwe

    A3

    Tonga

    PZ

    Suriname

    ZA

    Albania

    A5

    Bhutan

    S0

    Western Sahara

     

     

    A6

    United Arab Emirates

    S7

    Seychelles

     

     

    C2

    Nauru

    S9

    Sao Tome & Principe

     

     

    C5

    Gambia

    ST

    Sudan

     

     

    C6

    Bahamas

    SU

    Egypt

     

     

    CN

    Morocco

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Countries that currently deliver QSL cards only to members of that country’s national radio society include the following:

    Belarus, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Zambia.

  • Additional Information

    Additional Information

     

    We do not hold cards for countries with no Incoming Bureau. Only cards indicating a QSL Manager for a station in these particular countries will be forwarded. Undeliverable cards will normally not be returned.

     

    When sending cards to foreign QSL managers, you must sort these cards using the manager's call sign, rather than the station’s call sign. SWL cards can be forwarded through the QSL Service.

     

    The Outgoing QSL Service CANNOT forward stamps, cards inside envelopes, IRCs or “green stamps” (cash) to the foreign QSL bureaus.

     

    Please direct any questions or comments to the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service, 225 Main Street, Newington CT, 06111-1494. The Outgoing QSL Service can be reached at 860-594-0274. Inquires via e-mail may be sent to buro@arrl.org

     

    Information regarding the Incoming QSL bureaus can be located at: http://www.arrl.org/incomingqsl-service.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Question: How do I QSL a station that has a QSL Manager when I'm using the Bureau? How do I Indicate the Managers call on my card? How do I sort cards with Managers, by the Contacted station's call or the Manager's call?

    Answer: A NOTE ON QSLING VIA A MANAGER

    When QSLing via a Manager please write via and the Manager's call on the back upper left corner of your card. If the back of your card is not blank please write it on your card near the contacted stations call and if possible make it stand out in some way (highlight it, use different color pen, etc.)

    When sorting these cards please sort them en-masse with your regular QSL's by the Manager's call (if the Manager's call is on the back of the card please sort with the Managers call facing up).

    DO NOT use envelopes, slips of paper or post-it notes to separate the cards with QSL Managers. Because these cards go through so many hands before they reach their destination slips of paper and post-it's will most likely fall off and envelopes can become damaged, possibly damaging the enclosed card.

    Please try and follow these guidelines to ensure your cards are routed properly and arrive in good condition.

     

    Question: Can I send QSL cards to US QSL Managers through the Bureau?

    Answer: Yes you can as long as you or the station you made contact with was outside the 48 contiguous states at the time.

     

    Question: Can I QSL US Amateurs through the Bureau system?

    Answer: No you cannot send cards to other US hams through the Bureau UNLESS you or the other station was DX at the time and your QSL card indicates this. (ex. you make a contact with XE/K1TLK or you are in Mexico and your QSL card indicates that is where you were at the time of the contact.)

    Note: DX means anything outside the 48 contiguous states, which means you can send cards for Alaskan and Hawaiian calls as well as those for US territories or military bases through the outgoing bureau. (The prefixes for these areas are as follows: All AL, KL, NL, WL, AH, KH, NH, WH, KP, NP, WP calls as wells as KG4x2 calls (ex. KG2SV), KA6x2 calls and KA2x2 calls.) Please refer to the "Countries Not Served" list on the Outgoing QSL Service information sheet because there are a few US territories we can not forward to.

     

    Question: I made a contact with RA/ZS3RAS, do I sort this card with the RA's or ZS's?

    Answer: Whenever you are sorting this type of card always sort it by the FULL callsign, which in this case is ZS3RAS. If you encounter a call such as RA4WXS/HA3TL you would sort it by the FIRST full callsign unless the contacted station indicates otherwise. If the card needs to go to the second callsign you must indicate this on the card in some way. (please refer to the section on QSLing via a manager at the top of the first page.)

     

    Question: How do I go about changing my address with my Incoming Bureau?

    Answer: You need to contact the Incoming Bureau Manager for your call area, you can do this by mail or e-mail. You can find the mail and e-mail addresses for the various Bureaus or you can call the Outgoing Bureau at (860) 594-0274 and we will be happy to give you the information you'll need.

     

    Question: I just changed my call sign, who within the QSL service must I contact?

    Answer: You must let the Manager of your Incoming Bureau know and you must have envelopes or money credits on file for both calls for at least one to two years after the change. Also, if you had a 1-land call and your new call is a 2-land call then you must have envelopes or money credits on file with both Bureaus. The reason we ask that you do this is because the Bureau system is slow so even if you have not made any contacts in a few months you may still receive cards for contacts you made before then.

     

    As for the Outgoing Bureau you don't need to do anything unless you happen to be sending cards for your old call as well as your new call in a shipment. If you do this just write on a slip of paper that you have included cards for your old call in the shipment and put it in the package with your cards.

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