Licensing information for Australia - VK, Including Islands

Prepared by: OH2MCN - Veke & PA0GAM - Gerben & 9M2/VK2CZ - David & VK4DU - Glenn & K6USN - Allen
Status: March-97, May '98, July '99, Jan'00 & Sep '01 & Oct 2002 & Aug '05 & Feb '06

Intro: If you have a foreign ham license, you can get a license for Australia. This gives only the addresses needed.
VK is CEPT since 2008.

Newly formed Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the licensing authority and provides information for visitors on their web pages and the very old Radiocommunications Technical Licence Specification TLS 5/1995 Amateur can be found on my Web server. ACMA has a page for Equivalents to Overseas amateur Qualifications but these new ACMA web pages are not made to have any external links to them! You have to surf there and find what you want with search commands! I have purposely taken all the other http addresses off from here to guarantee up-to-date information. (They have changed so too often lately, and once again, and once again.)

There are also very good but old SMA Information booklets (maybe now ACMA booklets): RIB 70 Information for Prospective Amateur Operators, RIB 71 Amateur Service - Licence Conditions and Regulations, RIB 72 Amateur Service - Operating Procedures (Nov '95) that may be ordered from ACMA and are most probably given to you with your Australian licence.

Addition From: "Glenn VK4DU" < vk4du at >
Subject: Overseas amateurs visiting VK
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 13:10:32 +1000

Dear OM,

Just an additional note for VK.

You CAN NOT operate with your overseas license in VK, even on 2 m. You MUST get a VK call before you can operate. (i.e. no CEPT)

Glenn VK4DU
WIA/ex ACA liaison committee

Good information about Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island can be found on the Web. Accomodation information elsewhere in Australia is also available. PG5M (ex PA5NT and PA0GAM) Gerben has made a nice and useful homepage on Christmas Island and his operation as VK9GA (follow DXpeditions).
For Cocos (Keeling) Islands try
THE COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS, Travel Docs, Out of Bounds
For Christmas Island try
Christmas Island Tourism AssociationTravel Docs

Some older information said that apply VK9 via Capital Territory office. The experience so far has been that ACMA (ex ACA) office in Perth handles licenses for Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Island. This is very convenient because the flights to VK9C/X depart from Perth (and Jakarta).

Wireless Institute of Australia [WIA]
Location: Suite 10, 229 Balaclava Rd., North Caulfield, Victoria 3161
Address: P.O. Box 2175, Caulfield Junction, Victoria 3125
Tel: +61 (3) 9528-5962 <National Office>, (8) 9409-9680 <VK6NE>, (3) 9802-6137 <VK3KI>
Fax: +61 (3) 9523-8191 <National Office>
nationaloffice at <National Office>, president at <VK3KI>
President: Michael Owen, VK3KI
Secretary: Chris Jones, VK2ZDD
IARU liaison: Neil Penfold, VK6NE
Last updated: 28-Apr-2005

Countries with which Australia has Reciprocal Licensing Arrangements (Sept 2001):
CEPT, VE, OZ, F incl. FK, DL, SV, VU, 4X, JA, 9M, ZL, P29, SP, H44, EA, HB, G*, W
and countries with no reciprocal arrangements but which have a class of certificate or licence accepted as equivalent to an Australian Qualification:
CEPT, LU, ZF, VR2, YB, EI, I, LX, 9H, A35, PA, LA, DU, 9V, ZS, 4S7, SM, YJ, West Indies (meaning what ?)

Paperwork needed:
- Photocopy of current license
- Photocopy (if not applying in person) of current passport authenticated by some local authorities such as police, embassy or consulate, etc.
- Completed application form (can be faxed to you from ACMA offices).

License fee is AUS dollars 40 (Autumn 2001). Payment by money order is not preferred because of bad experiences and it takes too long (sometimes up to 6 months). ACA suggests to ask a friend in Australia to make the initial payment for you or second best is to send a bank cheque.

Veikko Komppa (Veke) < oh2mcn at >


"Gerben A.Menting" < gam at >

Addition from: K6USN at 
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006

I've held a VK call since 2001 and renewed it three times by walking into the Telecommunications Authority in Sydney or Cairns. A ten minute process if you bring your passport and current ham license along.

The 'new' system is a lot more convoluted. Starting in mid 2005 the Telecommunications Authority morphed into the Australian Communications and Media Authority. One central point for processing license applications and no more walk ins at convenient field offices!

The process can take three months, and requires notarized copies of your ham license, your passport, your airline ticket, and your visa. There is a fee of $58 Australian dollars, and this is the biggest bump of all for most of us. You can't (on initial application) use VISA or Mastercharge. No personal checks. Only checks through international banks that do business in Australia. (They don't tell you which ones, or how). There are none in my town, or within 100 miles of me. The only alterative is a very costly Intl Money Transfer, which is more than the ham license! Not all banks do these, either.

For those of us who book the more economical 'non-refundable' airline tickets, this turns in to a crap shoot. Will you get your license in the mail before you take off for Australia? One snag in the application process will send you back to square one, and the clock is ticking on the airline booking you HAD to have before you could apply for the license!

This new system needs some fine tuning to be at least marginally user-friendly. Also beware - some of the e mails I've exchanged with the ACMA have contained incorrect information, such as saying 'personal checks are okay'. I've yet to have any organization in Australia take a personal check made out in US dollars!

Allen K6USN Chico, CA

Addition From: "PWC ." < pwc at >
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2001

Subject: VK Licensing

The Australian Licensing authority is now called the "Australian Communications Authority" (ACA). They have all VK licences online. see  Generally you need to front any of their offices (check the web site for address, as they have closed many sub-urban branches) with your original home licence, AUD$40 or so (you can get licences from 3 months to 5 year blocks). You also have a choice of ANY unused callsign appropraite to your Aussie grade - vanity calls are no-charge (but hard to find free).

73 David Burger 9M2/VK2CZ, K3HZ Kuala Lumpur

DX Holiday: VK - Australia and VK9C - Cocos-Keeling Island and VK9L - Lord Howe Island and VK9N - Norfolk Island and VK9X - Christmas Island

Back to MENU