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 Amateur Radio Licenses

In the US there are three license classes—Technician, General and Extra.

Technician

The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices.

With a Technician Class license, you will have all ham radio privileges above 30 MHz.  Technician licensees now also have additional privileges on certain HF frequencies. Technicians may also operate on the 80, 40 and 15 meter bands using CW, and on the 10 meter band using CW, voice and digital modes.

General

The General class license grants some operating privileges on all Amateur Radio bands and all operating modes. This license opens the door to world-wide communications. Earning the General class license requires passing a 35 question examination. General class licensees must also have passed the Technician written examination.

Extra

The Amateur Extra class license conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. Earning the license is more difficult; it requires passing a thorough 50 question examination. Extra class licensees must also have passed all previous license class written examinations.

Get trained

Amateur radio exam practice tools could be found easily on the Internet, you can also buy books (or ebooks), DVD, but one of the best method is to find a club or an Elmer (an amateur radio operator who will instruct you and keep your motivation up).

As an example of free resources you can find on the Internet, you have the ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio

The question pools are available from the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators website

Please note the validity dates and the withdraw questions. As an example, the Technician class (Element 2) Question Pool is available from the following links Technician pool and  is valid until June 30, 2018.

Find an exam session

For exams organized in France, you can check the calendar on the Examens (Exams) page of this website.

If you are interested in all exams managed by the ARRL VEC, connect to the ARRL website

What to bring at an exam session

  1.  US citizens:
    1. A legal photo ID (passport, US driver’s license)
    2. Social Security Number (SSN) or your FCC issued Federal    Registration Number (FRN); VEC’s are required by the FCC to submit either your SSN or your FRN number with your license application  form. If you prefer not to give your SSN at the exam session, then  you may register your SSN with the FCC before exam day. Once you    have a FCC issued FRN, you may no longer use your SSN on the  application. For instructions on how to register your SSN with the FCC and receive a FRN, visit the FCC’s FAQ page and the FCC’s registration instructions page.  Please note that some exam teams will only accept a valid FRN on your application.  Check with your local exam team before exam day. Please note the address you will need to provide at the exam desk must be located in the US territories.
  2. non-US citizens:
    1. A legal photo ID (ID card, passport, US driver’s license).
    2. your FCC issued Federal Registration Number (FRN)- see above (1-2). If you didn’t register to the FCC before the exam, the VEC will do it for you and you will receive a letter from the FCC at the postal address you will provide during the test session with your credentials to connect the FCC website and get your license and callsign to . Your address must be located in the US territories.
  3. All
    1. If applicable, bring either a photocopy of your current Amateur Radio  license or a reference copy printed out from the FCC website, the  license information printed from ARRL website or QRZ website,  or the original(s) and photocopy(s) of any Certificates of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) you may hold from previous exam sessions. If your license has already been issued by FCC,  the CSCE showing license credit is not needed. The photocopy(s) will not be returned. Instructions on how to obtain an official license copy are on the
      VE Resources page in the section titled « Obtain a License Copy ».
    2. Two number two pencils with erasers and a pen.
    3. A calculator with the memory erased and formulas cleared is allowed.
    4. You may not bring any written notes or calculations into the exam session.
    5. Slide rules and logarithmic tables are acceptable, as long as they’re free of notes and formulas. Cell phone must be silenced or turned off during  the exam session and the phones’ calculator function may not be used.
      In addition, iPhones, iPads, Androids, smartphones, Blackberry devices and all similar electronic devices with a calculator capability, may NOT be used.
    6. Bring  cash to cover the exam session fee(s). Check the ARRL VEC’s current exam fees.

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