New license fees for Amateur Radio coming

From Bob Rose/AA3RR

Greetings from Prescott Valley

It’s too early to know what the final dollar amount will be for amateur radio applications but I’m sure it will be an issue for many licensees and "wannabes” once it is determined.

We also don’t know when the application fees will go into effect.

The NPRM was released on 26 August and once it is posted in the Federal Register (in the next business days) the clock starts ticking.

Based on the timeline for comments (30 days following publication in the FR) and Reply comments (45 days after publication in the FR) plus time to review the comments (I expect a lot of them) I think we could be looking at a Report and Order in November with an effective date 30 days following publication of the R&O - Possibly in mid- to late-December 2020. I think that’s quick but somewhat realistic. Perhaps Congress has given them some additional time due to COVID-19 which could push the implementation date into next year.

Either way, licensees have time to prepare to upgrade their licenses for free. Even in a COVID-19 environment.

I recommend you inform your clubs and their membership of the FCC’s proposed fee for amateur radio applications. Be sure to point out that this is not an FCC initiative but rather the result of an act of congress. You can use the document I sent earlier as a source of information and to explain how applicants will pay the application fee.

You may want to start looking at creative ways to conduct exam sessions within the guidelines and restrictions of your local area

You could also survey your club membership on where they stand with regard to an application fee and upgrading their license or even renewing their license.

This will probably give you a sense of the future attendance at your test sessions once application fees are implemented.

Bob Rose/AA3RR

Laurel VEC Regional Coordinator

5th VEC Region

7122 E Prairie Ridge Rd

Prescott Valley, AZ 86315

(410) 353-0174

I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two and

I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express

IMO this will create another hurdle to get interested but unsure operators licensed, and will encourage those buying cheap radios for “emergencies” and off road activities to become even more stubborn about getting legal.