Renew Your License

Need to renew your ham license?  There are lots of ways to do it and in most cases, it’s FREE! (unless you have a vanity call – see bottom of page)

You may only renew your license once it is within 90 days of the renewal date – before that, they won’t accept it.  If you renew AFTER your license expires, you MUST NOT OPERATE until you receive your renewal in the mail.  In all cases, you must not operate on the air without a valid license.


The FCC accepts renewals electronically via their new Universal Licensing Service (ULS)system. You may file for electronic renewal at 90 days or less before your license will expire, or up to two years after expiration. The FCC’s URL for electronic renewals is:  To use the on-line ULS system, you must first be sure you are using a web browser which FCC indicates is fully functional for ULS use (FCC indicates that at present only recent versions of Netscape {such as version 4.76} are fully tested and functional); you must then register in the Commission Registration System (CORES), which involves supplying your Taxpayer ID Number (TIN) to FCC (our TIN as individuals is our Social Security Number {SSN}). To register, choose the “REGISTER, CORES/Call Sign” link and complete your registration information (ignore the contact person, and SGIN references). Be sure to enter your call sign. Lastly print out the summary page for your records. Once registered, you must then choose the “FILE, Online Filing” link to perform your on-line transaction with FCC (any on-line filing questions can be directed to FCC Tech Support weekdays at 202-414-1250). Be sure to print a copy of your on-line renewal request for your records.

Processing time can vary depending on the FCC’s workload. If you file your renewal electronically or via ARRL, the FCC may take only a day or two to renew your license. If you file by hardcopy by mail to FCC, the FCC might take several weeks to process your renewal. If you have not received your renewed license within 12 weeks, you may contact the FCC for guidance on how to proceed. The FCC may be reached by telephone 1-888-225-5322; by fax to 717-338-2696; or by writing to: FCC, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg PA 17325-7245.

If your FCC license will expire in the next few days or weeks, you may continue to operate your amateur station IF you file with FCC or with us your renewal request (and if we receive it before your license expiration date. Be sure to keep a copy of your renewal request for your records.

2)  Use W5YI to renew your license.
But they charge you $8 to renew your license for you.

3)  Renew with the ARRL by Mail FREE:
This option is only available to current ARRL members.
You may file for your Amateur Radio license renewal by mail at 90 days or less before your license will expire, or up to two years after expiration. As a member, sending an NCVEC Form 605 back to us at HQ is all you’ll need in order to complete your renewal request.
On NCVEC Form 605, only complete the top part of the form (Section 1).
NCVEC Form 605 is available via

4)  You may also file your renewal by mail directly to the FCC – FREE
Do NOT use NCVEC Form 605 when mailing to FCC. “FCC” Form 605 (formerly Form FCC 610) is required-and it is the only form FCC will accept. If you choose this option, you can mail your “FCC” Form 605 to: FCC, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg PA 17325-7245. FCC processing may take several weeks.  You can download the form from

Vanity call renewals:

Again, W5YI may be the easiest way, but they do charge you IN ADDITION to the fee you have to pay for renewing a Vanity Call (which has increased).

The form is available here: if you want to send it in yourself.

The ULS system is great for renewing your vanity call and the renewal fee will be there when you renew.