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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB074 (1998)

ARLB074 FCC adopts Universal Licensing System

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 74  ARLB074
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 17, 1998
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB074 FCC adopts Universal Licensing System

Amateurs can say good-bye to the familiar FCC Form 610 series. The
FCC has adopted its long- proposed Universal Licensing System, which
will replace the Forms 610 with a new Form 605, the Quick-Form
Application for Authorization in the Ship, Aircraft, Amateur,
Restricted and Commercial Operator, and General Mobile Radio
Services. Applicants may continue to use the old forms for six
months after the new rules go into effect, however. An effective
date will be announced when the FCC issues the official Report and

The FCC also adopted proposals to permit automatic reciprocal
licensing of foreign hams wishing to operate in the US, pursuant to
recent international reciprocal operating agreements.

The FCC said the ULS will ''fundamentally change'' the way the
Commission receives and processes wireless applications and makes
licensee information available to the public. The rules adopted
September 17 will--in the FCC's words--''consolidate, revise, and
streamline'' license application procedures for radio services under
the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. The FCC last November began
initial collection of licensee data to populate the ULS. Using the
ULS, applicants and licensees will be able to file, modify, and
renew electronically. Access to the ULS is via

When the FCC first aired its ULS plan, some licensees expressed
concerns because ULS registration would require applicants to
provide a Taxpayer Identification Number, typically a Social
Security Number. In its public notice, the FCC assured that ''all TIN
information will be kept confidential.''

The FCC's action consolidates 40 existing forms into four ULS
application forms, including the new Form 605. Electronic filing in
the ULS will not yet be mandatory for the Amateur Service. Hams will
have the option of filing electronically or on paper. However,
electronic filing via the ULS will be required for Volunteer
Examiner Coordinators in the Amateur Service. Mandatory electronic
filing requirements go into effect July 1, 1999 or six months after
the use of ULS in a particular service-- whichever is later.

An official Report and Order detailing the FCC's actions is expected
to be released soon. The FCC's Public Notice is available on the FCC
Web site at


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