Worked All States (WAS) FAQ
Currently, there are 4 application methods for applying for WAS:
1: Traditional paper cards
2: All LoTW
3: Hybrid Application
4: 5 Band WAS
1: Traditional Paper cards:
This method is for applicants who choose to apply for WAS using paper cards only for all 50 states. Here, applicants can either visit their local HF Awards Manager, a DXCC Card Checker or send their application and cards direct to ARRL.
Before making any application applicants are urged to visit the WAS web page and familiarize themselves with the program rules. This will explain how the program works and will help avoid problems that can arise due to not being familiar with how the program works. WAS has been around a long time (1936), slightly longer than the popular DXCC award, so being familiar with how the program works and what is involved will avoid problems and delays.
First, visit the forms link on the WAS web page. Open the current WAS application form and record sheet. (One link contains both forms).
To apply, simply download the latest version of the WAS application form and record sheet. Complete ALL fields on the top page and ALL fields on the record sheet. (Note: This version is currently not interactive but an interactive version is under development). Please print clearly to avoid any possible chance of making a mistake with information noted. Be sure to note your full name as you want it to appear on your certificate as well as the field for your current callsign. Applicants who make contacts with all 50 states under an old callsign can request an award under the old call. When you complete the application be sure to just note the callsign you want on your certificate in the callsign field. Enter your complete mailing address as this is where your certificate will be mailed as well as where your cards will be returned to. We encourage applicants to note their e-mail address. This is in case of problems WAS can contact an applicant to resolve problems. In lieu of an e-mail address applicants can note their contact telephone number. This, and all information noted on an application form, is kept confidential. Additionally, for security reasons, paper applications containing credit card information are shreadded soom after applications are finished.
Next, be sure to mark clearly what you are applying for. Keep in mind the fees for awards (certificates) and endorsements. A detailed fee FAQ question will be discussed further down.
When done, sign and date the application form. This is required as besides confirming you prepared the application it is also your affirmation that you have conformed to all of the program rules as well as the rules governing amateur radio in your country.
At the bottom is a place for credit card information. This is the most recommended method for payment as it removes any doubt or question on what the final program fee(s) that will be assessed. Payment MUST be made with your application, WAS cannot bill you. Upon completion of a paper application information pertaining to credit cards is shredded for security reasons. There are boxes on the bottom of the application form to note other payment methods, if used.
2: All LoTW (LogBook of The World):
Applicants who use LoTW and have credits for all 50 states directly in their account can apply for the WAS award without the need to presenting ANY paper QSL cards. If you are not currently registered in LoTW please visth the main LoTW web page to get started. Once you are registered you can begin to upload logs and when things start coming together with QSO matches you can start working on an all-LoTW WAS award. (or even the hybrid application if you do not have all 50 states via LoTW only (The hybrid application is discussed below)).
For LoTW-only applications the application method is simple. You can visit the WAS and LoTW link on the LoTW page for complete instructions with full screen shots to help you through the process. When all is done if you made payment directly in LoTW on the last page of the application process, you do not need to do anything further. WAS staff checks the LoTW a few times each day and if no further action is needed on an application WAS awards are usualy issued within 1-2 working days after processing.
If LoTW is all configured correctly when you submit your all-LoTW application, upon completion LoTW will automatically link your award to your WAS account and you will be able to view your current award status there. To view the status once completed follow these steps:
- Sign into your LoTW accoint
- Click the Awards link at or by the center of your screen. (There are several yellow colored links link Home, Your QSOs, Awards etc, click the Awards link
- On the left look for your WAS account and you should see a yellow bar with text title bar noting:
"Your LoTW ARRL WAS (Worked All States) Account(s)"
- Under the title bar there should be a drop-down type box with your callsign in it. This box may contain one or more than one callsign depending on how you configured your WAS to track multiple awards based on the WAS rules. (Setting up account(s) is covered in a later section and this is an important area and handling is critical to making sure tracking of your WAS account(s) are done properly.
- Click Select WAS Award Account
- A list of award categories will appear with numbers in the columns
Under the "WAS AWARD" column any award with an asterisk (*) indicates that you have satisfied the requirements for that award. Note, for LoTW-only awards the number 50 should appear since all contacts for the award were via LoTW only. But, for Traditional and Hybrid applications the number noted will normally be less than 50 since the number(s) noted here reflect ONLY LoTW QSO matches and we do not do manual data entry for WAS applications with paper credits so unless all 50 are directly via LoTW it is likely 50 will never appear otherwise. But, the (*) is what indicates that the requirements for the award(s) have been satisfied so this IS what you want to see.
3: Hybrid Applications:
A third and popular way to apply for WAS is by using BOTH LoTW credits with the remaining states made up using paper cards. In order for this method to work effectively it is extremely important to read and follow the instructiions for the hybrid application. For hybrids, the use of the original Application form and record sheet is prohibited. This method is designed to work in a simple and easy way and those who use the old forms with hybrid applications only complicate the application procedure causing unnecessary delays and probable return of the application without processing.
Simply, at the start of the application process LoTW reports to you the remaining states needed by paper cards. When doing the hybrid application on screen 2 LoTW lists the remaining states needed with an empty box next to each needed state. Here, all you must do is fill in the callsign(s) on the paper card(s).
For paperwork after you enter the information on the last screen where you note your credit card, or, note payment by mail, at the bottom of this screen you click 'continue' to submit your application. But, there is one more very important, and required, step
After clicking continue another screen appears. Clicking the link labeled 'Print Field Check List' is extremely important and, hybrid applications cannot be accepted without this form The report generated from clicking this is the ONLY form required when submitting cards to ARRL HQ or if you visit your local HF Awards Manager. Again, do not use ANY of the older WAS application forms and/or record sheet when doing hybrid applications.
4: Five (5) Band WAS
Applications for 5 Band WAS can be submitted using the traditional paper method. The forms for this award can be found here. Download the application and record sheet and complete all areas of these forms. In order to qualify for this award applicants MUST have 50 US states on each of the primary bands of 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters. There are no substitution bands for this award. Once qualified, applicants can endorse this award on the remaining amateur bands except 60 Meters or 5 MHz.
While LoTW is not set up to allow for applying for 5 Band WAS, applicants can still use LoTW, however, the instructions posted on this page MUST be followed exactly as shown. Also, for 5 Band WAS applicants DO NOT use the traditional paper forms along with LoTW. The instructions posted are sufficient to get applicants through the process in the quickest and most efficient way. Anything else will cause delays.
After reading the instructions here and on the web page send WAS questions to email@example.com
This FAQ is designed to answer questions that cannot be defined easily in the rules. If you have a question that you feel will be beneficial to WAS participants please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before making any application it is recommended that you visit the WAS web page. Here, you will find all of the formsand fees, as well as the rules that will help make your application process run smoothly and minimize or eliminate any problems.
Under the Awards link in LoTW is where you will find your WAS account(s). If you are only tracking awards from one location it is not necessary to configure this screen for more than one account. Most hams label their account with their callsign and WAS (eg: W1AW - WAS). This is all that is needed. From your one location you track any and all awards right here.
Do not set up WAS account for each band or mode etc. Doing this could cause a conflict where the set up of QSOs for an award might not be distributed properly. Having one account will assure you that all credits towards WAS are given.
When you set up your WAS, at least, one rule is required. If you are working all from one location all you need to use is either the callsign rule or state rule. Anything more might cause QSOs to not be distributed properly and you might not be able to claim all the credits available to you.
Also, if you have multiple calsigns but they are all from the same location, or location within 50 miles as noted in WAS rule 3, after setting up the rule on your primary callsign just add the other callsigns to the same account. Again, if you do a separate account for each you might not get all of the credits you are entitled to. Also, after configuring the rules be sure to change ALL to ANY so that WAS recognizes any combination of callsigns for the same account.
For configuration, again, just one account from the same location is all you need. As noted in WAS rule 3 there is a 50 mile rule so anything you do within this rule counts towards your one account. If you exceed 50 miles you must set up a second account. You can feed both awards as needed but keep in mind the 50 mile rule for each account.
Applicants who travel, especially abroad, can set there WAS account up for each DX callsign based on the LoTW certificate you have.
If you are not sure about configuring a rule, STOP and contact the WAS awards manager for assistance:
No. In order to qualify for the 5 Band WAS certificate you must, first, qualify on the 5 primary bands of 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 Meters. After this, 5B WAS can be endorsed on any of the remaining amateur bands except 60 Meters or 5 MHz.
Information on 5Band WAS can be found at:
Also, upon qualification applicants can purchase the 5B WAS wall plaque and/or the 5B WAS lapel pin
You can order these items as noted in the instructions on the WAS web page special instructions for applying for 5B WAS via LoTW or you can call or even e-mail the order form to WAS. After this, engraved endorsement plates are available for the remaining endorsement band(s). See the sample 5B WAS plaque to see what the endorsement plate(s) look like.
Send question about the WAS program to:
No. 5 Band DXCC is strictly a band award and there is no mode endorsement for this award.
In short, no. Once you have a WAS from a location or location within 50 miles (rule 3) you cannot get another award, for the same category, from that location or location within the 50 mile rule. You can get multiple awards for any of the different available categories, but you cannot appy for the same award, again, from the same location.
Example: You received a Basic WAS from you home location in Newington, CT. Unless you have a location that exceeds the 50 mile rule you cannot apply for another Basic WAS from that location. But, you can apply for Phone, CW and any of the other categories from that same location
However, if you work from a location beyond the 50 mile rule you can build awards for the same category as from your prior location.
Example: You have a Basic WAS from your home in Newington, CT and you have a summer home in Florida. Since Florida exceeds the 50 mile rule you can build a completly new award account from the Florida location and you can apply for awards even in the same award category from your Newington, CT location
No. Unlike as for awards like DXCC, for WAS we do not do manual data entry of paper cards. Only when you have all 50 states together then you can apply for your WAS certificate.
Also, because of this, since manual data entry is not done applicants cannot send a partial application to build towards their WAS. Applicants must wait until they have all 50 states confirmed by one of the 3 ways to apply for their WAS:
1: Paper Cards submission - All 50 states confirmed via paper cards
2: LoTW - Where all 50 states have been confirmed in LoTW wherre applicants do not need paper cards to complete their submission
3: Hybrid - Where applicants have all 50 states confirmed but in a combination of paper cards with the remaining confirmed via LoTW.
Unlike for awards like DXCC, in WAS we do not do the manual data entry of paper cards sent to complete a Hybrid application. This is mainly due to the fact that (again unlike DXCC) once you achieve 50 states on an award category you cannot go any further. You qualify at 50 states but there is no more that can be added so additional tracking of paper credits is not necessary.
Basically, once you see the asterisk (*) next to an award this indicates that you have satisfied the requirements for that award and you cannot go any further on that award.
The only time "50" will appear in an LoTW WAS account is when all 50 states are confirmed by QSO matches.
You can apply for other awards as noted in the program.