In the early days of the Universal Licensing System (ULS), deployed in the Amateur Service on August 16, 1999, the FCC registration and filing systems were not easy to navigate. Now, however, the FCC has taken great strides to make ULS and COmission REgistration System (CORES) easier to use.
The FCC has done a very good job of updating their Web page and there is a specific section for the Amateur Radio Service. The FCC has even devoted a page to common filing tasks which offers instruction on filing electronically via the ULS.
If you wish to conduct business with the FCC, you must first register through FCC CORES. 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. Effective December 3, 2001, the use of a Federal Registration Number (FRN) became mandatory.
You must be registered in CORES and be issued an FRN before 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.
If you are already registered in FCC CORES, and if you have a FRN and know your CORES Password no further action is required. You can go directly to the Online Filing page, where you’ll select "Log In" to file a transaction with FCC using the ULS. You will be required to supply your FCC assigned FRN and your Password to renew or update your license.
If you are NOT registered in FCC CORES and do not have a FRN, you will need to sign up for one. Follow the instructions on the next page to learn how to register.
If you are Registered (have a FRN) but do not know your FCC CORES Password you can reset your password online.
There are two ways to register:
Manual Registration: You must file two forms. Complete an FCC Form 160 to obtain an FRN, based on your Taxpayer Identification Number. Note that the FCC Form 160 does not ask for your call sign. Once you receive that in the mail from the FCC, you must then complete an FCC Form 606 to associate your FRN and call. An individual or entity is not required to have a call sign, but is required to have an FRN when doing business with the FCC. Automatic registration is available for those filing an application through a VEC and to those who have previously registered in ULS.
In other words, you must have given the FCC your Social Security Number once; if you have not, you will not be auto-registered and will need to do so.
Electronic Registration: If not already registered in CORES, go to the FCC Amateur Radio Web site and choose REGISTER "CORES/Call Sign". Either choose REGISTER NOW if you are not sure you are already registered or, if you are already registered, choose UPDATE REGISTRATION INFORMATION. Questions can be directed to the CORES Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201. Complete your registration information (ignore the contact person, and SGIN references). If you are not a US citizen, follow the prompts. When the system confirms that you are registered, and the page goes on to read "To continue on to another FCC Filing system, select: AUCTIONS, BLS, CDBS, CSRS, ETFS, IBFS, or ULS, be sure to link your call sign to your registration by choosing "ULS"; then choose "Proceed to Call Sign/ASR Number Registration", then re-enter the FRN number the FCC assigned to you and enter your password (for password help contact FCC Tech Support weekdays at 202-414-1250 or at email@example.com). Lastly, choose "ENTER CALL SIGNS" and enter your amateur call sign in the first block of the 100 spaces-then click on "Submit", and you are now finished with your CORES Registration. Then choose "HOME". You may update your registration (e.g., change address, passwords, or call sign) in a similar fashion.
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 manual filers. If you file electronically with ULS, you will be required to use your CORES password. CORES passwords will be the same as current ULS passwords. If you chose to log in with your TIN, the FCC will tell you your FRN. It should be used in all transactions with the FCC. If you don't have an FRN, you will be prompted to obtain one first before the FCC will accept your application.