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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB023 (2015)

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ARLB023 Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Fee to Disappear in September

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ARRL Bulletin 23  ARLB023
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  July 30, 2015
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB023
ARLB023 Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Fee to Disappear in September

The Amateur Radio vanity call sign regulatory fee is set to
disappear in the next few weeks. According to the best-available
information from FCC sources, the first day that applicants will be
able to file a vanity application without having to pay a fee is
Thursday, September 3. In deciding earlier this year to drop the
regulatory fee components for Amateur Radio vanity call signs and
General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) applications, the FCC said it
was doing so to save money and personnel resources. The Commission
asserted that it costs more of both to process the regulatory fees
and issue refunds than the amount of the regulatory fee payment.

"Our costs have increased over time, and now that the costs exceed
the amount of the regulatory fee, the increased relative
administrative cost supports eliminating this regulatory fee
category," the FCC said in its Report and Order, which appeared on
July 21 in The Federal Register. "Once [it's] eliminated, these
licensees will no longer be financially burdened with such payments,
and the Commission will no longer incur these administrative costs
that exceed the fee payments."

The FCC raised the Amateur Service vanity call sign regulatory fee
from $16.10 to its current $21.40 for the 10-year license term in
2014. The $5.30 increase was the largest such fee hike in many
years. In a typical fiscal year, the FCC collected on the order of
$250,000 in vanity call sign regulatory fees.

The FCC said the revenue it would otherwise collect from such
regulatory fees "will be proportionally assessed on other wireless
fee categories." Congress has mandated that the FCC collect nearly
$340 million in regulatory fees from all services in fiscal year
2015.
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