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October 25, 2014
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VE Manual : 4.5 Amateur Station Vanity Call Sign System
Beginning in 1996, licensed amateur radio operators were able to select a call sign of their choice. The key word is "licensed." Although the "Vanity Call Sign System" is completely separate from the VEC System, we feel it important that you advise your examinees about its existence. Here is what they need to know about call signs:
All first-time and previously-licensed amateurs whose two-year call sign grace period has expired will receive a new call sign. This call sign will be systematically issued at no charge from the alphabetized "Group" appropriate for the examinee's license class. When all sequential call signs are allocated within a "Group," call signs are assigned from the next lower group
Upgrading amateurs who select a new call sign will receive a sequential call sign at no cost from the appropriate call sign "Group."
Under the Vanity Call Sign System, a specific unassigned call sign may be chosen by new and upgrading amateurs who have already been assigned a sequential call sign. Unlike sequentially issued call signs, the call sign is not free. It must be selected from a "Group" that coincides with the applicants license class or a lower license class.
Amateur Extra Class licensees may select Group A, B, C or D format station call signs. Advanced Class licensees may select Group B, C or D call signs. General and Technician Class licensees may select Group C or D format call signs. And Novice Class licensees may select only Group D (2-by-3) format call signs.
By definition, a "Vanity" call sign is a station call sign that is selected by the FCC from a list of up to 25 call signs requested by a station licensee. The request is made on FCC Form 605. The W5YI Group offers a service to licensees who wish to apply for a Vanity call sign. Call 1-800-669-9594 for further information.

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