How To Get Ham Radio License Without Hassle – Complete Checklist

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
How To Get Ham Radio License

Do you like to communicate? Do you like wireless technology?

Ham radio is exactly what you need.

Amateur radio is unique, because it allows you to communicate if you are near, in different countries, in space, etc.

Ham radio is not just radio. It is a whole network of hams around the world. They communicate with each other and enjoy using the radio.

In addition to the enjoyment, ham radio is very useful. You can find help or help someone in emergency situations, only by using ham radio.

There are more ham radio fans than you think. Worldwide, there are more than 2.5 million ham radio operators.

Do you know what distinguishes all these people? They are all licensed.

Using Ham radio requires a license.

Even if you hear a child on the radio, it means that next to him there is an adult who has a license. Otherwise, he or she cannot use the radio.

A license doesn’t necessarily cause a lot of problems. I will try to prove it to you.

Ham Radio Licensing Requirements

A license is needed to use an amateur radio frequency.

How do you get a ham radio license? You need to pass the license tests.

What will be in the tests? As a rule, tests cover the theory of electronics, as well as the rules and norms of ham radio.

Should I prepare for the test? It is required. On the Internet, you can find many accessible textbooks.

Licensing is available for people of any age. Everyone can take the test and obtain a license.

Licensing agreements vary by country. This discussion focuses on the United States. There are several license classes here.

Each class gives you the opportunity to work in specific ranges, with the help of some modes. The rule is that the higher the license class, the more frequencies are available for use.

There is good news: testing requirements have been eased. You only need to answer 35 written questions. It is important that the requirements for Morse code are also simplified.

Why Should I Get A License?

If you want to use a ham radio, you might ask this question: “Why should I get a license?” Listen to ham radio without a license is illegal?

Everyone must get a license before going on the air. It is necessary to get a license so that you know the rules of ham radio. It is very important that it is legal.

Why is this necessary? The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulates the operation of ham radio. At least that is the case in the USA.

The terms of use require a license which will be “proof” that you understand the relevant regulations, understand how to operate the radio and have an understanding of safety requirements.

You should also consider responsibility. Ham radio will be the only means of communication in an emergency.

It also works like a driver’s license. You can only drive a car, if you have “proof” (that is, a license) that you know how to drive and know how to do it.

The ham radio license is also valid for 10 years, after which it must be renewed,

What Are License Classes?

In the United States (and in many other countries), there are several ham radio license classes.

As mentioned earlier, each class works at certain frequencies. There are currently three licensed classes: technician, general and additional.

Technician License Class

This class requires a technical exam. The technician class has privileges in VHF, UHF and beyond. It is believed that this license class is useful for local communications. However, it has limited options for HF.

General License Class

Another license class is “General”. In order to obtain this type of license, you must pass a technical and general exam. It is a more advanced level, in which technical characteristics and a more extensive radio spectrum are available to you.

Extra License Class

This license class is even more advanced. Therefore, to work in this class, you need to pass technical, general, and additional (extra) exams.

This class has additional advantages. You have opportunities for both technical and general class at the same time and more spectrum in several HF-ranges.

This license class allows you to communicate with hams around the world.

However, there are certain conditions. As a ham radio user, you can only have one license per license class. If you have passed three exams, you will not receive three different licenses. You will receive one extra class license.

What Are Amateur Radio Exams Like?

The main form of the exam is written.

One exam consists of 35 questions (the number of questions depends on the class of license). Previously, there was a test of Morse code knowledge (with a minimum of five words per minute). This test is no longer required.

All exams, without exception, cover topics, such as the rules and methods of operating ham radio, electronics, distribution, antennas and safety.

We will analyze each license class:

The technician class exam is relatively simple. It includes 35 questions from a pool of 400 questions. The general class is a more difficult exam that has 35 questions from a pool of 500 questions.

The most difficult exam is for the extra class, because it has 50 questions from a pool of 700 questions.

How is the exam?

You can take the exam regularly in any part of the country. Exam locations are equipped for people with all types of physical abilities. If necessary, you can get a test in Braille, or organizers can read questions out loud.

The exams are inexpensive. Usually, volunteer organizers charge about $15. They need this amount to cover the cost of the exam.

If you want to save money, it is better to pass three exams at the same time.

What Class Of License Do I Need?

Ham radio now has only three licensing classes. Therefore, you can choose any of them.

To save on the exam, many choose the extra license class. However, saving money is not the only criterion for choosing the right class.

The technician license class only allows you to communicate within and urban area.

If communication within the framework of one city is what you need, then pass such an exam, get the appropriate license and enjoy life. This exam is very simple.

The other license class, general, has other features and capabilities. This license class gives you the opportunity to use ham radio for emergency communications (this is not always local, with the exception of hurricanes and many other incidents).

Actually, in an emergency, you can use ham radio with any license. It does not matter. The fact is that using ham radio in case of emergency, still requires some basic training and practice. That is why you need a license.

In addition, the general license class allows you to communicate around the world on a short wave.

You can also go to sea or live on a boat. You need a general class license.

Extra class is a combo option for those radio amateurs who need everything at once.

A license of this class allows you to be professional and use all the ham radio features. With an extra class license, you have full access to all frequencies.

Such a license gives all operational privileges in Europe, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. You can also be the examiner who conducts the exam.

It also allows you to be a certified broadcast technologist. It is also excellent prestige and great training. You have all the information and the final choice is yours.

What Exams Do You Have To Pass?

It depends on the specific case:

A) You have never used ham radio and you do not have any license. It means that you need to pass the technical exam. Only after that, you can pass the rest of the classes.

B) Your license has expired in the last two years (i.e. your grace period has expired). In this case, you do not need to pass the exam, but only to renew the license.

C) Your license was valid until 1987 and has expired. If the license was a technician class, then you will receive a general class license. In such a situation, you have two options: take an exam or provide proof that you had a license of a certain class.

D) Your general or advanced class license has expired. In both cases, you will receive a general license, because the advanced level no longer exists.

You can get a general class license, by attending a VE session. You must also do one of the following: take a technical exam or provide proof that you had a license of a certain class.

E) Your general, advanced and amateur extra license has expired. You will either receive a loan for the general exams (element 3) and extra (element 4), or you will need to confirm that you have an extra class license.

F) Your starter license has not expired. You do not need to pass the exam. Just wait until the license expires and pass the exam for the technician class.

G) Your license has not expired, but this class is no longer exists. If there was a “Technician” or “Technic Plus” you will receive a license “Technician”. If you had an advanced class license, then you need to pass the extra class exam and obtain the appropriate license.

A little more information on this issue: you have no opportunity to get a commercial license or a license from another country.

How Can You Confirm An Expired License?

If you have an expired license, then you can get a loan for an exam of a particular class.

For example, if you had an advanced level license, then you receive a credit for taking the “general” class exam.

All evidence must be submitted on a test VE. IMPORTANT: All evidence must be reliable and you are responsible for their accuracy.

What is meant by “evidence”? It is the original or a copy of the expired license that the FCC has already issued to you, and it can also be a reference copy of the license that you took from the database.

You might say: “I received my license in the mid-1970s. Where can I find it?”The FCC issued a “License Verification Letter”, which says that you received a license.

Proof can also be a listing from the 1967 Radio Amateur Phone Book.

You now have information about ham radio and how to become a  user of this radio. Go to Ham Test Online and get ready for the upcoming exam!

Also Recommended:

1. CB vs Ham Radio – What Is The Difference Between Them?
2. Antenna for Ham Radio – Reviews and Guide
3. Ham Radio Base Station Reviews and Depth Buying Guide

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top