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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB008 (2007)

ARLB008 FCC Now Processing Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Backlog

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 8  ARLB008
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  February 9, 2007
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB008 FCC Now Processing Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Backlog

The FCC has resumed processing new Amateur Radio vanity call sign
applications. An initial stab at whittling down the backlog began
February 8 -- five weeks to the day after the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued the last vanity call sign
prior to the resumption. The Commission stopped processing new
vanity call sign applications received on or after December 18 while
it readied the Universal Licensing System (ULS) vanity application
software to accommodate a December 15 rule change to discourage the
filing of multiple applications for the same call sign. The FCC has
continued to accept new vanity applications and to process vanity
renewals. A WTB staff member, speaking on background, told ARRL the
Commission could be back on track by next week.

''We've resumed processing, and by next week we'll be caught up,''
said the staffer, who conceded that the FCC's ULS software had not
been fully tested to ensure it could deal with the
multiple-applications issue when the new rule's December 15
effective date rolled around. ''We knew the date was coming, but the
software wasn't quite ready.'' The Commission could complete
processing of applications that have been sitting in the queue as
early as February 12.

As of February 9, the WTB appeared to have granted some 125 vanity
call sign applications submitted between December 18 and December
22. Another 500 or so applications remain in the queue.

The FCC this week also issued a public notice to announce the formal
implementation of the multiple applications rule, 97.19(a)(1),
effective February 8. The notice said the ULS would limit
individuals to filing only one vanity call sign application on the
same day.

''In the case where an applicant files multiple vanity call sign
applications on the same day, only the first-filed application will
be considered for the process, and the additional applications will
be dismissed,'' the FCC said. ''This new process will eliminate the
possibility of an applicant having more than one application for the
same call sign being considered on any one day.''

The Commission is likely to receive an avalanche of new vanity call
sign applications after February 23, when elimination of the Morse
code examination requirement is expected to spur a massive influx of
license upgrades.

The FCC is processing new vanity call sign applications now in the
queue in the order they were received. Typically, it takes 18 days
from the time the FCC receives a vanity application until the call
sign is issued -- or the application is denied. The current vanity
call sign fee, payable for new applications as well as renewals, is
$20.80 for the 10-year license term.


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