ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB013 (2011)

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ARLB013 FCC Seeks to Raise the Fee for Vanity Call Signs

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ARRL Bulletin 13  ARLB013
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 5, 2011
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB013
ARLB013 FCC Seeks to Raise the Fee for Vanity Call Signs

The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (NPRM) on
May 3, seeking to raise the fee for Amateur Radio vanity call signs.
Currently, a vanity call sign costs $13.30 and is good for 10 years.

The new fee, if the FCC plan goes through, will go up to $14.20 for
10 years, an increase of 90 cents. The FCC is authorized by the
Communications Act of 1934 (as amended) to collect vanity call sign
fees to recover the costs associated with that program.

The vanity call sign regulatory fee is payable not only when
applying for a new vanity call sign, but also upon renewing a vanity
call sign for a new term. Instructions on how to comment on this
NPRM are available on the FCC Web site at,
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/howtocomment.html.

The vanity call sign fee has fluctuated over the 14 years of the
current program -- from a low of $11.70 in 2007 to a high of $70 (as
first proposed in the FCC's 1994 Report and Order).  In 2007, the
Commission lowered the fee from $20.80 to $11.70. The FCC said it
anticipates some 14,600 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 also 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 five years ago.

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 ULS at,
http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=home, and clicking on the
"New Users Register" link. You must supply your Social Security
Number to obtain an FRN.
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