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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB009 (2012)

ARLB009 FCC Seeks Higher Vanity Call Sign Fee

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 9  ARLB009
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 7, 2012
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB009 FCC Seeks Higher Vanity Call Sign Fee

The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on May 4,
seeking to raise the fee for Amateur Radio vanity call signs.  The
NPRM can be found in PDF format on the web at,

Currently, a vanity call sign costs $14.20 and is good for 10 years;
the new fee, if the FCC plan goes through, will go up to $15 for 10
years, an increase of 80 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 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).  The FCC said it
anticipates some 14,300 Amateur Radio vanity call sign "payment
units," or applications, during the next fiscal year, collecting
214,500 dollars in fees from the 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. The first vanity call sign licenses issued
under the current Amateur Radio vanity call sign program that began
in 1996 came up for renewal six years ago.

Those holding vanity call signs issued prior to 1993 are exempt from
having to pay the vanity call sign regulatory fee at renewal, as
Congress did not authorize the FCC to collect regulatory fees until
1996. 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 web
site at, and clicking
on the "New Users Register" link. You must supply your Social
Security Number to obtain an FRN.


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