Obtaining a Two Way Radio FCC License

November 13th, 2015

Read these easy instructions and quickly learn how to get a two-way radio license from the FCC. Radio bands that require FCC licenses are the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Very High Frequency (VHF).

How To Apply for a GMRS License
The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) band uses channels in the frequency areas of 462 MHz and 467 MHz. It’s used for two-way hand-held radio communication and is similar to the Family Radio Service (FRS) and Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS), but unlike those frequency bands, using GMRS requires an FCC license. You must be 18 years or older to apply for a license. However, once you have a GMRS license, all family members of any age can operate stations and radio units within the licensed GMRS system. The FCC recently eliminated the regulatory fee for this license, bringing the cost down by 28 percent. The total cost to apply for a GMRS operating license, as of September 2015, is under $100. To apply for a GMRS FCC license, complete FCC forms 159 and 605. These forms can be found on the FCC forms page, and can either be send in or filed electronically. It is also possible to apply for a GMRS license online using the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) web site.

These are 5-year licenses, and they can be renewed as early as 90 days before its expiration up to the expiration date. If the renewal date has already passed, you must request a new license. New GMRS licenses are only granted to individuals, but if a non-individual (such as a business) has an original license that was grated before July 31, 1987, it can be renewed under certain conditions. Read the complete FCC GMRS service rules in Title 47 C.F.R. Part 95, Subpart A. Note that you don’t have to apply for a license before you purchase a GMRS two-way radio, but you do need to be licensed before you can legally operate it.

Applying for FCC UHF and VHF Licenses
While many individuals and businesses do not acquire FCC licenses to operate their UHF or VHF two-way radios, the FCC requests that you do. They state on their website, “Be aware that if you operate a radio transmitter that requires a license, or use a radio that is authorized for use only in a specific service, in another service, you may be fined or imprisoned, and/or the equipment may be confiscated.” Note that you do not need a license to purchase radios, only to use them. Two-way radios that operate on FCC Private Land Mobile frequencies are subject to certain rules and require a station license to operate. The application forms you’ll need are FCC Forms 159 and 600. They can be downloaded from the FCC website or you can request them by calling the FCC forms hotline at 1-800-418-FORM FREE. However, if you have purchased a two-way radio from Tech Wholesale, you will receive FCC licensing information and the necessary forms in the package with your new two-way radio. For any questions about the license application, you can contact the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC FREE (1-888-225-5322).

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