DXCC Card Checking FAQ

Last Updated: 6/23/2012


K7AR is a ARRL certified card checker and will happy to check your cards if you please follow these guidelines below.


Q: What is the Online DXCC Program?
A: The Online DXCC Program allows you to enter your QSO data online. There are several advantages to using the online system.  Click here to read more about the Online DXCC System.

Q: How do I login to the Online DXCC system?
A: Click here to go to the Online DXCC system. You need an ARRL Web Site account to use this Online DXCC system and will be asked to log in.

Q: Can I still submit handwritten applications?
A: Yes, applications prepared by hand or via the online system are acceptable for field checking.

Q: Will you check anyone's cards?
A: Yes, as long as you are a member of the ARRL and follow DXCC Program guidelines.  I will check cards in the order I receive them,  but I will give priority to Northwestern Division residents.  In cases where I am backlogged, I may suggest using a local checker in your area.

Q: What materials do I need to send to you?
A: You need to send me these items:

Your cards to be checked, in the order you entered them for Online DXCC, or in the order specified below for handwritten applications.

A DXCC Application form (PDF file available from ARRL web site.   For an Online DXCC submission, this form will be printed when you you complete the online application.)

For handwritten applications: a check made to the ARRL for the appropriate fees.  The fee schedule is listed here

I am recommending that you use a credit card when submitting your application.  This way, there is no guesswork about what the specific fees are.  The application form has a spot to include your credit card info.

For Online DXCC applications:  Payment is handled through the online process. No extra steps are needed.

If your application is 3 pages or less, please include a business sized envelope addressed to the ARRL DXCC Desk with one unit of postage.

If your application is greater than 3 pages, please include a 6x9" manila envelope envelope addressed to the ARRL DXCC Desk with sufficient postage to cover the package.

Sufficient return postage to mail your cards back to you.  I will return your cards by Priority Mail (see below).

Q: Can you check all cards?
A: No.  I cannot check cards for 160 Meters or deleted countries.  (The previous rule about not checking cards older than 10 years old has been dropped.)

Q: Can I use my logging program to generate the necessary paperwork?
A: Generally, no.  Unless your program produces pages that look exactly like the ARRL forms, this is discouraged.  The problems uncovered with third party logging forms include:

The DXCC Desk is trying to work with logging software vendors to produce compatible form output, but this is a work-in-progress.  I will accept forms produced by logging software, but I may kick the forms back to you if they have the above problems.

Q: Is there a preferred way to ship cards to you?
A: I prefer Priority Mail since it is fast and cheap, and I don't have to sign for it, or go to the Post Office or UPS Office in person.

Q: Can I just send my materials to you?
A:  No, I would rather hear from you in advance, especially if I'm out of town you won't have to wonder what happened to your cards.  My address/phone number/email address are shown below.

Q: Can I check the status of my DXCC application at the ARRL?
A: Yes, the League has setup a web page where you can check that your application has been received, and where you are in the processing queue.  Click here to visit the Applications Received page. 

Q: What order do the cards need to be in?
A: For handwritten applications, the DXCC Desk has asked that your cards be sorted by band, then by mode, then multi-QSO cards at the end of the stack.  This is spelled out on the record sheet of QSOs you got from the League's web site.  So, first put 80 Meter CW cards, then 80 Meter SSB cards, then 40 M CW cards, and so on, until 10 Meter SSB cards.  After that, list any cards that have multiple QSOs on them.

Q: How do I sort the "multiple QSO" cards at the end of my list of cards?
A: There is no specific order needed for these cards.

Q: Are official DXCC Rules available online?
A: Yes, click here to read the rules.  The rules contain a detailed description of how field checking works, and what cards are acceptable for field checking.

Q: Can I use any DXCC forms I have in the shack?
A: No, please make certain the forms are the latest ones.  If they are not dated within 1-2 years (as noted on the bottom right), please use the above links to download and print the latest forms.

Q: What common mistakes are observed on DXCC forms and paperwork?
A: Prefix and Country Names do not match.  Please double check your entries, especially if hand prepared and not computer generated.  Also, many applications are missing the award, certificate or endorsement desired.  Please check the appropriate box(es) in the upper left corner of the form.  Also, it may be difficult to calculate the fees required for your application.  Please contact the DXCC Desk with any specific questions.

Q: Should I submit exactly 100 cards for my initial DXCC certificate?
A: No, you should submit 2 or 3 extra cards in case I need to reject a card or two (see the next question).

Q: Why do you reject a card?
A: I have found 3 reasons that cards are typically kicked out.  First, the callsign is wrong or missing.  In several cases, letters in the callsign have been transposed, such as W1AW was submitted as W1WA.  Also I have seen cards with no callsign.  It's just missing.  In both of these cases the cards are rejected and as far as I know there is no recourse, you must resend to the manager to get it fixed.

Second, the entity name for some common prefixes is missing.  This is the case for prefixes such as FO, VP8, VK9 and probably others.  If you submit a FO card for credit as the Australs it must clearly say Austral Islands somewhere on the card.  This is also true for Falkland Islands and so on.  As far as I know, it is not required to have the entity name displayed on the card for all entities, just the ones with multiple definitions.  So if you submit a card for DL1ABC it is obviously a German card even if Germany is not displayed on the card.  

Third, if the QSO data has been rewritten, struck through or modified I may reject the card.  This is much less common in these days of computer printed labels.  I have seen cards with "white out" covering part of the QSO data and new data rewritten over the "white out".  A card like this will get rejected.

Q: Does the ARRL maintain a DXCC FAQ list?
A: Yes!  Check here for an extensive list of DXCC questions and answers maintained by the DXCC Desk.


Al Rovner, K7AR
18809 NE 21st St
Vancouver, WA 98684
Email: k7ar@arrl.net

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