The FCC Online Survival Guide

*** How to use the FCC Website to your advantage ***

FCC License Search

Go to FCC License Search

Here you may enter a call sign for any of the wireless services, not just Amateur Radio, and get the license

The 'Advanced License Search' allows you to search the FCC license database with many different filters.
You may find all of the licenses in a particular county, for example, or all the licensees whose licenses
are about to expire in a state. For public safety and commercial, find all the licensees on a particular
frequency or range of frequencies, etc.

Obtaining an FRN (FCC Registration Number)

The FCC is strongly encouraging anyone that plans to take the examination for an Amateur Radio License to
first obtain an FRN before going to the exam site.
It is free, and takes the place of using your Social
Security Number on the forms submitted to the Volunteer Examiners. Soon, the FCC will no longer accept your
Social Security Number on the application forms, only the FRN.

If you have a valid FCC Amateur Radio License, then you already have an FRN. It is printed on your license.

Go to Register FRN

Click on 'Register'. Answer the questions regarding your status. Then fill in the form with your information.
Lines with a * are required. NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you supply a valid email address, as this will
soon be required of all licensees.

Save your Password. It will not be displayed anywhere else in the system, nor on your license. If you forget it,
you will have go through the process of resetting your password.

Click on 'Submit', and you should receive your FRN shortly.

Setting Up Your FCC License Manager Account

Being able to access your FCC license through the License Manager will allow you to:

Renew your license;
Request a Vanity Call Sign;
Print an Official copy of your License;
Change your mailing address or email address;
Change your telephone number;
Change your account password;

without using a third party, such as the ARRL or, to do this for an extra fee.

In the future, there will be a $35 fee charged by the FCC for a Renewal or Vanity Call Sign Request.
Changing your Address, Email, Telephone Number, or Password will continue to be free.

It is an FCC requirement for license holders to update their mailing address and email address
whenever it changes

NOTICE: The FCC has recently changed the procedure for setting up your Account.
New instructions are coming soon.

If you have never set a password for your FCC license account, or have forgotten your Personal
Security Question answer and Password, it is a 2-Part process to register. If you have set up
an account in the past, and remember your Personal Security Question answer but not your password,
skip to Step 4.

1. Register your Personal Security Question and Answer. You will need your: FRN (FCC Registration Number)
– it is printed on your license; your Social Security Number; Your Name; Your Email Address.
NOTE: the only times the FCC will ask for your SSN is when requesting an FRN or setting a Personal
Security Question.

2. Go to FCC Support Services Click on “Set Personal Security Question (PSQ)”.
Fill out the form and select a Personal Security Question and enter the answer. Check the
“I certify...” box at the bottom and click on submit. You should receive a tracking
number for inquiries about this request.

3. Wait 2 – 4 business days. You should receive an email from the FCC telling you that
the PSQ is set. If you don't get the email, try the next step after 4 business days.

4. Go to FCC Support Services Click on “Forgot your Password?”
Enter your FRN and then the answer to your Personal Security Question. You will then be allowed
to enter a new password. Once your new password is accepted, you will be able to go to the License
Manager web page and access your license account online.

FCC License Manager

For Online filing, go to FCC License Manager
You will enter your FRN and Password to gain access.

Functions such as renewing a license will be found in the menu on the left side. The Vanity Call
Sign Request is in the menu on the right side.


You will not be able to renew a license until 90 days before the expiration date, or up to 2 years
after the expiration date (Warning: Do not transmit if your license is expired!) If you are in the
renewal window, a message will appear on the page, asking if you want to start the renewal process.
Click on that link, answer the questions, and it will give you the opportunity to update your
information. Follow the instructions. You will be able to review your information before submitting
the renewal. It will also advise you of any fees that need to be paid (coming soon!).

Vanity Call Sign

You should search the FCC License Database for available Call Signs before applying for a Vanity Call
Sign. A Call Sign search that returns no records (if a valid US call sign format), or a Call Sign
that has been expired for more than 2 years is usually available. There are restrictions on the type
of call sign available depending on your license class. The Vanity Call Sign form will allow you to
enter from one to 25 Call Signs. The first available Call Sign that you qualify for on your list will
be the one you get. No action will taken if none of the Call Signs on your list are available.
For more information, go to Applying for a Vanity Call
There are restrictions on the Call Signs that you can request. See Amateur Call Sign Systems and
click on Vanity Call Signs.

Printing Your License

You may download a printable copy of your 'Official' license by clicking on the link at the top of
the License Manager page. On the next page, enter just the call sign in the first box (ignore the
Date search) and click on Search. Your call sign should pop up in the window to the bottom left.
Click on the 'Add' button to move it to the Download window, then click on “Download” on
the bottom right. A .PDF file will be downloaded to your computer.

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Hocking Valley Amateur Radio Club - Revised October 16, 2021