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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB027 (2010)

ARLB027 FCC Issues Report and Order on Vanity and Club Station Call

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 27  ARLB027
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  November 11, 2010
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB027 FCC Issues Report and Order on Vanity and Club Station Call

In November 2009, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making
(NPRM) -- WT Docket No. 09-209 -- seeking to amend the Commission's
Amateur Radio Service rules to clarify and codify existing
procedures governing the vanity call sign system. The NPRM also
sought to revise certain rules applicable to club stations. The ARRL
submitted its comments to the FCC on March 26. On Monday, November
8, 2010, the FCC issued a Report and Order (R&O) with its decisions.
These new rules will take effect 60 days after publication in the
Federal Register.

In the R&O, the FCC amended and clarified its rules with respect to
Amateur Service vanity call signs "in order to promote processes
that are more equitable and administratively efficient."  The FCC
has amended its vanity call sign rules to clarify the date on which
the call sign associated with a license that is canceled due to the
licensee's death becomes available for reassignment and clarifies
the exceptions to the general rule that a call sign is unavailable
to the vanity call sign system for two years after the license
terminates. As for club stations, the FCC has placed limits on who
can file applications on behalf of a club, how many vanity call
signs a club can hold and how many clubs can have the same license

According to the FCC, almost 80,000 licensees have replaced their
sequentially issued Amateur Radio call signs with a vanity call sign
since the program began in 1996. When the program began, the
Commission established what they called "the broad outlines" of the
vanity call sign system, concluding that call signs generally should
not be available for reassignment for two years following the death
of a licensee, or expiration or termination of the license for that
call sign. In doing so, the Commission made exceptions for former
holders of the call sign, close relatives of a deceased former
holder and club stations of which a deceased former holder was a

The complete Report and Order (in PDF format) can be found on the
FCC web site at,


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