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October 23, 2014
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About Call Signs : Types of radio stations in the Amateur Service
Licensees are required to hold both an Amateur radio station license and an Amateur operator license when controlling equipment that transmits on the ham bands from any land area regulated by the FCC ...or aboard any ship, aircraft or spacecraft registered in the United States.

Both licenses are normally granted for a 10-year term and are embodied in a single (FCC Form 660) license document. For identification purposes, a unique station call sign is initially assigned from an alphabetized "Group" list to each amateur station. Anyone (except a representative of a foreign government) who qualifies by examination is eligible to apply for an Amateur station license. There are no minimum age requirements.

There are four basic types of FCC-issued Amateur station licenses:

a) Operator/Primary station licenses are granted to individuals. The operator and station licenses are granted together and a person may hold only one. The classes of Amateur operator license are: Novice, Technician, Technician Plus (Morse code), General, Advanced, and Amateur Extra. (See Sec. 97.5(b)1.) Effective April 15, 2000, only Technician, General and Amateur Extra Class licenses are issued.

b) Club station licenses are granted to licensed radioamateurs (except Novices) designated by an officer of a ham club (containing at least four members) to be the license trustee. No new Club station licenses were issued between March 24, 1978 and March 25, 1995, but existing club stations could be renewed. (See Sec. 97.5(b)2.)

c) Military recreation station licenses are granted to persons who have been appointed by a military official to be the license custodian of an Amateur station located at a military recreational site. This custodian need not be a licensed radioamateur. No new military recreation station licenses were issued between March 24, 1978 and March 25, 1995, but existing military recreation station licenses could be renewed. (See Sec. 97.(b)3.)

d) Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) station licenses are granted to persons who have been appointed by a governmental agency to be the custodian of a station which provides civil defense communications during a local, regional or national civil emergency. This custodian need not be a licensed radioamateur. No new RACES station licenses have been issued since March 24, 1978, but existing RACES station licenses may be renewed indefinitely. The FCC is phasing out RACES station licenses and no more will be granted. (See Sec. 97.5(b)4.)


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