ARRL

ULS FAQ

Implementation of the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) in the Amateur Radio Service ushered in an era of electronic, interactive filing and handling of Amateur Radio applications. It offers users fast and easy electronic filing, improved data accuracy through automated checking of applications filed online, and enhanced electronic access to licensing information. 

With ULS, you can renew or modify your license or apply for a vanity call sign online. The ULS also means the demise of the old FCC Form 610 series long familiar to amateurs in favor of the "universal" FCC Form 605, primarily an electronic document, but also available on paper from the FCC. ULS also gives VECs the authority to design their own forms. 

Visit the ULS Registration 101 page for a step by step primer for registering online. Registration in the FCC COmmission REgistration System (CORES) is the process of identifying your Taxpayer Identification Number (typically your Social Security Number), your name and your call sign (or call signs if you hold any in other FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau administered services) into the FCC ULS system. 

Upon registration, you will be assigned a Federal Registration Number (FRN). This number will be used to uniquely identify you in all transactions with the FCC. Once the FRN is issued you can use ULS to renew your license, change your address, obtain a duplicate license or use any of the other services that the FCC offers. 

Not sure if you have an FRN? Check your license to determine if it’s been assigned an FRN. 

Electronic filing is strongly encouraged by the FCC. Below are a list of some of the benefits of filing online: 

  • Online Edits catch mistakes and incorrect data as they are entered, avoiding long delays that occur when the Commission returns incomplete applications.
  • Automatic Fee Calculation tabulates the correct fees for your applications and provides a choice of easy payment methods online or through the mail.
  • Immediate Receipt Confirmation of Applications ensures that your application is received by the FCC for processing the day you submit it. 

To learn more on how to begin filing through FCC ULS, see the FCC overview for New Users.

FAQ

  • What forms do I use and how can I obtain them?

    The FCC strongly encourages electronic filing via the FCC ULS web site; however you may still file some forms manually. For information on the forms needed for various purposes in the Amateur Radio Service visit the ARRL Application Filing FAQ web page. All of the forms can also be found on the our FCC and ARRL forms web page.
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  • If applying manually, where do I send the form(s)?

    Basic filing information is shown below. For detailed filing instructions please visit ARRL’s Application Filing FAQ web page. The various forms mandated by FCC ULS can be sent to one of the following addresses (where applicable): 1. The FCC Gettysburg, PA address: The manually filed FCC Form 605 applications and/or FCC Schedule D (part 1) forms, and FCC 606 Forms that do NOT require a FCC regulatory fee (vanity call sign applications see #2.) must be sent to: FCC 1270 Fairfield Road Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245 License modifications/changes or NON-Vanity renewal procedures do not have a fee. Allow 2 to 4 weeks for processing. Only applications not requiring a fee may be sent to the FCC Gettysburg address. 2. The FCC Bank Contractor St. Louis, MO address: The manually filed vanity applications using an FCC Form 605 and the Schedule D and also the Form 159 with the required FCC Regulatory Fee must be sent to: Federal Communications Commission Wireless Bureau Applications PO Box 979097 St. Louis, MO, 63197-9000 NOTE: The payment type code for vanity applications for the Form 159 is WAVR. The Form 159 Lockbox Number is the PO Box you are mailing the forms (eg, the Lockbox is "979097"). When submitting a vanity application electronically and when the fee is paid by check or money order through the mail, ULS will assign a file number and show the correct fee amount due as well as the payment type code on a confirmation screen. Click the "Form 159" button to put this information onto the Form 159. Print the completed form and mail it with the proper fee. Payments made for electronically filed applications will go to: Federal Communications Commission Wireless Bureau Applications, ULS Electronic Filings PO Box 979097 St. Louis, MO, 63197-9000 New Vanity Call sign requests and Vanity license renewals require a FCC Regulatory Fee. If you do not wish to pay the mandatory fee at the time of renewal, you may request a sequentially issued call sign. For a detailed list of license filing instructions and filing fees, please visit our ARRL Standard Instructions web page. 3. The ARRL Newington, CT address: The ARRL will check and process to the FCC non-Vanity FCC Forms 605 and NCVEC Forms 605. The NCVEC Form 605, a quick and easy form, can not be sent directly to the FCC. ARRL members (and non-members)* can send forms to: ARRL/VEC 225 Main St. Newington, CT 06111 The NCVEC Form 605 must be sent to the ARRL/VEC. If sent directly to the FCC, it will be rejected. A license can be renewed no sooner than 90 days before the expiration of the license. License changes can be done anytime. The FCC requires a FCC Regulatory Fee to renew Vanity licenses. If you do not wish to pay the mandatory fee, you may request a sequentially issued call sign at the time of renewal. * For a complete list of license filing instructions and filing fees, please visit our ARRL Standard Instructions web page. ARRL members can refer to the ARRL Member Instructions page. ARRL can not process requests for New Vanity call signs.

  • What is ULS registration? If you are a ham, aren't you already in the FCC's database?

    Registration in the FCC COmmission REgistration System (CORES) is the process of identifying your Taxpayer Information Number, typically your Social Security Number, your name and your call sign (or call signs if you hold any in other FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau-administered services) into the FCC ULS system. Registration enables quick license data retrieval each time you file an application with the FCC. Existing Amateur Radio licensing data has been transferred into the ULS database, and the pre-ULS database no longer is available.
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  • When do I have to register under ULS?

    You can register your Taxpayer Information Number (TIN) at any time. In order to have a transaction with the FCC ULS system, all amateur applicants and licensees must be registered in the COmmission REgistration System (CORES). This is not optional; it is mandatory. However, you do not need to register until the first time you intend to file an application in the FCC ULS. For most Amateur Radio operators, this will be when you renew or modify your license (ie, change your address, name, or call sign, upgrade your class of operator license, or apply for a vanity call sign).Panel Text
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  • How do I register?

    You only need to register your Taxpayer Information Number (TIN) once. It can be done manually using FCC Form 606 (not to be confused with the multipurpose Form 605; more on that later) or electronically via the FCC COmmission REgistration System (CORES) web site. While Form 606 is primarily a "virtual" form, it is available in hard-copy form from the FCC. Not having a computer or electronic access is no excuse for not being registered. Automatic TIN registration is available for those filing an application through a VEC and who have not previously registered. Submit your TIN to the VEC with your application, and when the VEC electronically files the application with the FCC, your TIN will be automatically registered in the CORES and ULS systems and a Federal Registration Number (FRN) will be issued. You can file a paper application using FCC Form 606 (TIN Registration Form). Obtain this form (and other FCC forms) from the FCC Forms web page or from the FCC's Forms Distribution Center, 800-418-FORM (3676). The hard-copy FCC Form 606 can be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245. For a step-by-step primer on registering on-line, visit our ULS 101 web page.

  • What will happen if I don't register in FCC CORES?

    Again, registration in FCC COmmission REgistration System (CORES) is required. The FCC advises that anyone who fails to register will be unable to receive services from the FCC. This means the FCC will not process future license grants, upgrades, modifications or renewals, or vanity call sign requests on behalf of any applicant not registered in CORES. If you are not registered, you will not be able to electronically file an application in the FCC ULS system. Additionally, any manually filed application will be dismissed by FCC. If you wish to conduct business with the FCC, you must first register through FCC CORES. Upon registration, you will be assigned a FCC Registration Number (FRN). This number will be used to uniquely identify you in all transactions with the FCC. Effective December 3, 2001, the use of an FCC Registration Number (FRN) became mandatory.

  • What happens when I register electronically?

    When you register electronically in the FCC COmmission REgistration System (CORES) system and provide your Taxpayer Information Number (TIN), which is typically your social security number, you'll be asked to create a Password and Personal Security Question and Answer to identify yourself in future. Your password can be 5 to 30 characters (letters and/or numbers) long and is case-sensitive. We recommend not using your Amateur Radio call sign or any other call sign that might be associated with you as a Password or Personal Security Answer. Once registered, you'll receive a ten digit Federal Registration Number (FRN) beginning with a zero "Ø". You must use this number in place of your TIN in future dealings with the FCC. Next you will click on the link to access ULS and associate your call sign(s) with your new FRN and password. Existing call signs must be associated with an FRN before you can file license transactions in ULS. One big advantage to on-line registration is that the ULS application system checks for errors before you submit your data. This advantage is not available to manually filed applications.

  • I registered manually under FCC CORES. How do we get I get my Federal Registration Number (FRN)?

    If you registered manually or via a VEC, you may view your FRN in the FCC ULS database using the “Search Licenses” button. If you do not have access to the web you will need to call the ULS Technical Support Staff at 877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern Time). Additionally, 7 to 10 days after registration in FCC CORES, two envelopes will arrive in the mail from the FCC. One envelope will contain your FRN and the other will show your temporary password which can be used to log into the CORES system.

  • Why do I have to give the FCC my Social Security Number (SSN)?

    The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 requires all federal agencies to collect Taxpayer Identification Numbers (which is typically your SSN) from all persons doing business with the agency. To view the actual Act. This includes all applicants and holders of FCC licenses. The ULS uses your SSN as a unique identifier. Your SSN and your password will provide access to the electronic filing features of the ULS.
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  • What security measures is the FCC taking to keep my Social Security Number (SSN) private?

    Once registered, your SSN will not be disclosed to the public. The Commission has taken several steps to ensure the privacy of your SSN. Electronic registration on the Internet is accomplished using the FCC's secure COmmission REgistration System (CORES) web site.

  • Why does the FCC ask for phone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses?

    Supplying a telephone and fax number and email address is optional.

  • Using ULS, how do I access my license data or renew or modify my license? Can I do it through the Web?

    Update your license record on line via the FCC ULS web site. For a detailed list of license filing instructions and filing fees, please visit our ARRL Standard Instructions web page.

  • How do I complete an FCC Form 605?

    FCC Form 605 is long, but some of the questions do not apply to the amateur service because this form is used by many radio services in addition to the Amateur Service. It is critical that amateurs use the correct application codes on the Form 605. For example if an application for renewal indicates an application code of "RM" (to renew AND modify a license), the entire application will be rejected if the license is not within 90 days of expiration. Here are quick instructions on completing the form: For detailed filing instructions visit ARRL’s Application Filing FAQ web page. For Address Changes, Systematic Call Changes* and Name Changes: * Complete Items 1-30 * Under "Radio Service Code (#1), write "HA" for a non-vanity license or "HV" for a vanity license, * Under "Application Purpose," (#2), write code "MD" * If filing manually, remember to date and sign the back of the form * Systematic call sign changes require an additional FCC form (FCC Form 605 Schedule D) to accompany the regular 605 form for submission to the FCC (or participating VECs). On Schedule D, under the heading Systematic Call Sign Change, enter 'Y' for block 1. License Renewal and Reinstatement (if expired less than 2 years): * Complete FCC Form 605 by completing Items 1-30 * Under "Radio Service Code (#1), write HA for a non-vanity license or "HV" for a Vanity license*, * Under "Application Purpose" (#2), write code RO to Renew Only OR write code RM for Renewal and Modification of the license; * If filing manually, remember to sign and date the back of the form Amateurs may only renew their license no more than 90 days prior to the expiration of the license. License applications submitted prematurely will be dismissed without action. If the licensee has expired more than 2 years, the individual must be retested. * For Vanity license renewals or licensees requesting a New Vanity Call Sign, the FCC requires additional forms and a FCC Regulatory fee. Visit ARRL’s Amateur Radio Vanity Call Signs page for detailed instructions. License Lost or Destroyed: * Complete the FCC Form 605 by completing Items 1-30 * Under "Radio Service Code (#1), write HA for a non-vanity license or "HV" for a vanity license, * Under "Application Purpose," (#2), write code DU; * If filing manually, remember to sign and date the back of the form You must complete an FCC Form 605 in order to receive a duplicate license. Amateurs are not required to carry a copy of their license at all times as they were at one time; as long as your license data appears on the FCC database, that's sufficient. There are other times when you need to carry a copy of your FCC license, at a testing session or during foreign travel, for example.

  • I need to change the address on our club station license. Can I do this via the ULS?

    The FCC has privatized the club call sign assignment program. Any Club, Military-Recreation or RACES Station License must go through a Club Station Call Sign Administrator (CSCSA) of which the ARRL VEC is one. The FCC no longer accepts applications directly, unless the application is from a Club requesting a New Vanity Call Sign or from a Club Renewing a Vanity Call Sign. Clubs that hold Vanity Call Signs or are requesting a New Vanity Call Sign may electronically renew their FCC-issued licenses "on line" via the FCC web using FCC ULS. The FCC says that trustees and custodians of club, military recreation, and RACES licenses should not use their personal Social Security Number as the TIN for these licenses. Club station trustees and applicants should obtain a FRN from FCC using the club’s EIN (Employer Identification Number) / TIN if applicable or under the provision “reason for exemption – amateur club”. For more information on Club license filing procedures visit the ARRL’s Club License Information page.

  • What if I don't have a Social Security Number (SSN)?

    If you are eligible for a SSN, you must obtain one before using ULS. In general, all US citizens and individuals admitted for permanent residence in the US are eligible for an SSN. Most younger US amateurs who are US citizens will need a SSN. For more information, contact the Social Security Administration at http://www.ssa.gov or by calling 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778).

  • I hold a US ham ticket, but I'm a citizen of another country and not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN). How can I register in the ULS?

    To use ULS everyone must first be issued a Federal Registration Number (FRN) by the COmmission REgistration System (CORES) system. To receive an FRN, individuals will register in CORES with their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or if foreign will register by applying for an exemption. 1) Individual US citizens or nationals or anyone that has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence or for U.S. employment can get a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)/Social Security Number (SSN) from the IRS. For more information, contact the Internal Revenue Service at http://www.irs.ustreas.gov or call 800-829-1040 inside the US or 215-516-ITIN outside the US. 2) Nonresident aliens who must file a US tax return or can be named on someone else's US tax return, are eligible for a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, contact the Internal Revenue Service at http://www.irs.ustreas.gov or call 800-829-1040 inside the US or 215-516-ITIN outside the US. 3) Some individuals who are not US Citizens will not have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Internal Revenue Service assigned Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for employment purposes. Applicant’s who are not eligible for a SSN, can still obtain a FRN from the FCC under the provision “reason for exemption - the individual is a foreigner”.

  • Where can I find information about the ULS?

    For general information about ULS, including answers to frequently asked questions regarding submitting applications, finding the status of pending applications, password help and TIN registration, consult the ULS FAQ Web site. Individuals with specific questions not addressed on this page may contact FCC Technical Support / FRN Help via telephone at: 877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern Time) or via e-mail; CORES@fcc.gov. For all other application/licensing questions, contact FCC Licensing Support toll-free at 888-CALL-FCC or 888-225-5322, or via e-mail fccinfo@fcc.gov. Licensing Support is available Monday through Friday 8 AM-6PM Eastern Time.
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