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FCC Seeking Comments on Lifetime Amateur Radio Licenses

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments on a proposed change in its regulations that would grant amateur radio licenses for the life of the holder.

The FCC’s request for comments follows a Petition for Rule-Making (RM 11760) submitted to the FCC in November 2015 by Mark Krotz, an amateur radio operator in Mesa, AZ. In his petition, Krotz estimates that the Commission processes about 70,000 license renewals per year (10 percent of the estimated 700,000 current amateur radio licenses), or about 300 for each workday. According to Krotz, modifying Part 97 of the Commission’s rules to make operators’ licenses effective for life would dramatically reduce the FCC’s administrative costs.

Current regulations provide a 10 year term for amateur radio licenses, and holders must file an application for a renewal of their license at the end of that term. In his petition, Krotz cites examples of other operator licenses, such as the FCC-issued general radiotelephone operator license, that are already issued for the life of the holder.

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Comments on the proposed change in the term of amateur radio licenses can be submitted through the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System.

Photo by Paul L McCord Jr

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