FCC Seeks Higher Vanity Call Fee

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KJ4VTH, May 10, 2012.

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  1. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Subscriber QRZ Page

    The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to raise the fee for Amateur Radio vanity call signs. Currently a vanity call sign costs $14.20 and is good for 10 years. The new fee, if approved, will be $15 for 10 years. The FCC is authorized by the Communications Act of 1934 to collect vanity call sign fees to recover the costs associated with that program.
  2. NA7U

    NA7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    80 cents more?? Is that all, or is there a typo above? I'd say they should double it and put it towards enforcement of FCC regulations on the bands. We miss you Riley Hollingsworth! :)
  3. WA6TKD

    WA6TKD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would think such a small increase would lose money for the FCC in all the effort to change and document updates, etc. Make it $20.
  4. KC0W

    KC0W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm absolutely livid regarding this cost increase. When will the madness stop? :mad: :mad:

    Tom KC├śW
  5. KN4X

    KN4X Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only thing that they do now that is not 100% automated is cancel a call at the request of someone due to the person being a SK. The system is just a bunch of servers humming along, with us feeding it address changes, renewals, etc, etc. Even the Vanity call system (lottery) is 100% automated. I guess the power bill has increased.
  6. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    Although I have no interest in a vanity call myself, I could see charging the fee for the initial vanity callsign. Even $20 is practically insignificant these days, especially considering the near-negligible buying power of the 2012 dollarette. But what I have a problem with is that they continue charging the fee at each renewal. Once the vanity callsign is in the data base, it costs them no more to renew that one than it would have to renew the old sequential call. It probably costs more to cancel the vanity and issue another sequential call upon non-payment of the fee than to simply renew the vanity one. Realistically, $20 every 10 years isn't enough to gripe about, but because of the fee, the holder of a vanity call can't conveniently with a few mouse clicks renew on line, but must go through all the procedure of filling in the form, and then sending the money in, making renewal a lot more hassle. They should just increase the initial fee, and make it a one-time deal. $100 or more wouldn't be unreasonable for a lifetime vanity call sign, and a substantial fee would discourage abuse of the system, such as the bogus "club" callsign holders who hog up a half dozen 1X2s.

    I recall back in the 60s, an Extra Class 1X2 cost $20, and I never heard complaints that it was unreasonable. What would be the equivalent of that in to-day's dollarettes?
  7. VK3VO

    VK3VO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In Australia the ANNUAL fee for a ham licence is $66. Evidently this is an administration fee of $23 plus $43 of tax!
  8. NN5AA

    NN5AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    $ 25 every 5 years. Flat charge for all license classes. Use the additional income to add field enforcement people. Require that they be licensed Amateurs themselves. Keep the K1MAN's and others of its' ilk off the airwaves. I'm sure this post will not be agreeable to everyone.
    42 cents a month should not be a problem for anyone's financial ability.
  9. K7BRY

    K7BRY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have got to believe that it would cost more to publish the change, take public comment on the change, and whatever else they have to do to change the rules; than the 80 cents times the number of vanity calls would bring in. Not that I'm anxious to see fees ever go up, but we really are talking about relatively insignificant numbers here.
  10. K5CO

    K5CO Ham Member QRZ Page


    NO........not the increase in the cost of power (that will be soon as coal gets knocked out completely). The government has been printing money like wildfire and the only reason the increase is so small is that the bureaucrats are completely incompetent and don't know how to calculate the change.
  11. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    No matter WHAT the fee, irt goes into the Treasury. The ONLY way (unfortunately) to get any fees or additional funds directled to the FCC is through Congress, and even then, wouldn't be directed for enforcement matters.
  12. W5TFW

    W5TFW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Give us a BREAK !

    1ST OFF ! to the Fellow that is complaining,........ I paid $ 50.00 for MINE so stop CRYING !:cool:
    to the FCC : PLEASE,......... PICK a PRICE and stick with it ! this Yo Yo stuff is for the BIRDS !:rolleyes:

    J.M.O. 73 Joey
  13. W7REA

    W7REA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got my vanity call in 2008... so I don't know the answer, but is there the extra fee Every time a vanity call ham renews, or just the initial time?

    I am not really belly aching about the increase, but I can't see having to pay it once my call and information is in the system. About like a vanity license plate... I pay the one time fee to get it set up, after that, it's standard city, state, county fees.
  14. K1OC

    K1OC Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a cost recovery fee. The FCC gets to recover the cost of running the vanity callsign system and that's all. Yes, the process is automated, but the computers and the people to run them do cost money. Since the FCC is allowed only to recover its cost, it has to recalculate that cost every year. Fred Maia wrote a really good article in QST within the last year or so explaining how it works. One way to think about it is that at $15 for a license that's good for 10 years, whether for the initial application or a renewal, it costs the FCC $1.50 a year to maintain your information in its vanity callsign database. Seems like a pretty good deal to me.
  15. KC5MO

    KC5MO Subscriber QRZ Page

    Still cheaper than most other countries and a lot less than most other hobbies ( depending on your station ).
  16. W4BOH

    W4BOH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is no place for political rants.

    The vanity fee should be at least doubled.
    I wouldn't mind if there were a fee for all licenses.

  17. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member QRZ Page

    Would many hams pay a one time fee for their vanity call? In Canada, the vanity fee is a one-time payment of $60 CDN. Why not a $60 -- $80 one time fee option for new applicants, and an optional prorated lump-sum payment for current vanity licenseholders?

    I suspect that most hams would never agree on a "fair" pro-rata. For this reason ham opposition to this measure would likely be widespread. We're probably stuck with ten-year renewal fees. Still, I would pay a prorated lifetime fee if the pro rata was reasonably pegged to future costs.

    73, Jordan
  18. NW9M

    NW9M Ham Member QRZ Page

    The problem that I see with these imposed fees is that everyone agrees with them as long as they personally can afford it.

    Sure, 80 cents is no big deal to most so we can say "go ahead and tack it on, heck make it $30", however would so many be agreeable if instead it was that much per year? Instead of arguing what amount, it really needs to be looked at to see if this fee actually goes to administering the license program and not to make up some other shortfall somewhere else, or sponsor some quarter million dollar conference somewhere.

    I just pulled some numbers from N4MC's website, which states there are 751,051 licensed amateur callsigns and that 12.31% are vanity calls. so that means that approximately 92,451 amateurs have vanity calls. At the current price rate that equals a little over $131,200 per year.

    Just for administering this program, which has not much to do with the actual licensing, just granting and maintaining a different callsign. Now granted the first group got in for less so this is not 100% accurate, but if this system is not economically feasible at the current price maybe it should be altered so that it is, just like any private business would have to do.

    To put it in a different light, lets do a crude division of the numbers and say that every year 9,245 vanity licenses expire. That means that every month 771 vanity licenses need renewal, which if we figure 20 working days in a month (oops, this is a gov't job so lets say 17 working days) so then we get a rough estimate of 45 renewals per day. I think a budget of close to $11,000 a month can handle this. I know it sure could in the business world.
  19. N2LJ

    N2LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The extra small fee doesn't bother me one bit. Nobody forced me to choose a new call or give up my old one. I could have opted for the next available call for my area and license class, but I chose to go the vanity call route.

    Sure, I'd like it to have been a one-time fee, but compared to the cost of radios, coax, etc., it's pretty reasonable. For comparison, many states charge an annual fee of at least $20 for a vanity license plate for your car, and in some states that includes Ham Radio plates! In NJ, though, there is thankfully a one-time fee for vanity ($50) or Ham ($15) plates.

  20. W6SDM

    W6SDM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why do they even bother with 80-cent increases? As someone said, it probably cost more to administer and collect than the revenue will bring in.

    I don't have a problem paying more for my license as long as I get some benefit over and above what I am getting now. Otherwise, it's just a tax increase.

    Finally, I don't think the lack of enforcement is a matter of insufficient funding. It's a matter of lack of will on the part of the FCC. The egregious violations that have taken place by very few people have persisted for years. Volunteers and concerned passerby have submitted logs, tapes, and other evidence to no avail. Even though the individuals are small in number, if this malicious nonsense is allowed to continue without consequence, it will expand.
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