ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB012 (2007)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB012
ARLB012 FCC poised to lower vanity call sign fee

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ARRL Bulletin 12  ARLB012
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  April 23, 2007
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB012
ARLB012 FCC poised to lower vanity call sign fee

The FCC has proposed reducing the regulatory fee to obtain or retain
an Amateur Radio vanity call sign by more than 40 percent starting
later this year. In a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) released
April 18, "Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal
Year 2007," in MD Docket 07-81, the Commission is proposing to cut
the fee from its current $20.80 to $11.70.  If ultimately adopted,
that would mark the lowest fee in the history of the current vanity
call sign program. The FCC proposed to collect nearly $290.3 million
in FY 2007 regulatory fees.

"These fees are mandated by Congress and are collected to recover
the regulatory costs associated with the Commission's enforcement,
policy and rulemaking, user information, and international
activities," the FCC said. "Consistent with our established
practice, we intend to collect these regulatory fees in the
August-September 2007 time frame in order to collect the required
amount by the end of the fiscal year." Comments on MD Docket 07-81
are due May 3. Reply comments are due May 11.

The vanity call sign fee has fluctuated over the 11 years of the
current vanity call sign program, from a low of $12 to a high of
$50. The FCC says it anticipates some 14,700 Amateur Radio vanity
call sign "payment units" or applications during the next fiscal
year.

The vanity call sign regulatory fee is payable not only when
applying for a new vanity call sign but upon renewing a vanity call
sign for a new term. The first vanity call sign licenses issued
under the current Amateur Radio vanity call sign program that began
in 1996 came up for renewal last year.

Those holding vanity call signs issued prior to 1996 are exempt from
having to pay the vanity call sign regulatory fee at renewal,
however. That's because Congress did not authorize the FCC to
collect regulatory fees until 1993. Such "heritage" vanity call sign
holders do not appear as vanity licensees in the FCC Amateur Radio
database.

Amateur Radio licensees may file for renewal only within 90 days of
their license expiration date. All radio amateurs must have an FCC
Registration Number (FRN) before filing any application with the
Commission. Applicants can obtain an FRN by going to the FCC
Universal Licensing System (ULS) at, http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/,
and clicking on the "New Users Register" link. You must supply your
Social Security Number to obtain an FRN.
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