The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff has clarified in response to an ARRL request that the new $35 application fee will not apply to most license modifications, including those to upgrade an Amateur Radio Licensee’s operator class and changes to club station trustees. The FCC staff explained that the new fees will apply only to applications for a new license, renewal, rule waiver, or a new vanity call sign. As previously announced, the new fees take effect on April 19, 2022.
“We are pleased that the FCC will not charge licensees the FCC application fee for license upgrade applications,” said ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM. “While applicants for a new license will need to pay the $35 FCC application fee, there will be no FCC charge for future upgrades and administrative updates such as a change of mailing or email address. Most current licensees therefore will not be charged the new FCC application fee until they renew their license or apply for a new vanity call sign.”
The Federal Communications Commission has announced that the new $35 Amateur Radio license application fees will take effect on April 19, 2022. The FCC’s authority to impose and collect fees is mandated by Congress.
New, modification (upgrade and sequential call sign change), renewal, and vanity call sign applications must all pay the fee per application.
Administrative updates, such as a change of name, mailing or email address, will be exempt from fees.
The FCC has also stated that applications processed and dismissed will not be entitled to a refund. This includes vanity requests where the applicant does not receive the requested call sign.
VECs and Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams will not have to collect the $35 fee at exam sessions. New and upgrade applicants will pay the $15 exam session fee to the ARRL VE team as usual. Once the FCC receives the examination information from the VEC, the FCC will email a link with payment instructions to each successful candidate who then will have 10 calendar days from the date of the email to pay the $35 application fee directly to the FCC by using the CORES FRN Registration system (CORES – Login). After the fee is paid and the FCC has processed an application, examinees will receive a second email from the FCC with a link to their official license. The link will be good for 30 days.
Additional details can be found at https://www.arrl.org/fcc-application-fee