FCC fees for amateur radio - updates on implementation

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N2RJ, Jul 9, 2021.

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  1. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not in North Carolina.
     
    KI5HKW, M1WML, K5MUG and 2 others like this.
  2. AB3QD

    AB3QD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would pay even more if the FCC would actually do its job and go after all of the so called certified equipment that provides the constant s9+ noise floor or the intermodulation cause by poor maintenance practices at many private and government antenna sites.
     
    WA7AXT, NA4RA, N0CEL and 14 others like this.
  3. KI6PMD

    KI6PMD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do not mind the fee ! If the FCC cleans up the bands & stops taking our SPECTRUM & selling it !!! 73' Phil..
     
    KD0WGB, WA7AXT, N0CEL and 12 others like this.
  4. KD5BVX

    KD5BVX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    $3.50 per year is hardly anything to be upset about. At all. And the fear mongering that it will continue to go up, etc., just doesn't hold water.
     
    K8PG, N8WCR, KD0WGB and 17 others like this.
  5. KO4ESA

    KO4ESA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly.
     
    KD0WGB, AJ6KZ and M1WML like this.
  6. W7IMM

    W7IMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    IIRC, I paid $9 in 1971 to take the 13wpm, General and advanced tests (together) . That was the last time I paid for a ham radio test (I think) Can't remember when the fees were eliminated.

    $9 in 1971 is $58.93 today. [ https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dollar/1971-to-present-value?amount=9 ]
    I take this hobby seriously enough to pay $58.93 (or even it's equiv) every 10 years to renew

    I am not following how $35 is excessive.
     
    K8PG, N8WCR, K7LZR and 3 others like this.
  7. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    If Aretha Franklin were still alive and a ham, in response to this thread she'd probably start singing:

    ♫♪♪ Re, re, re, re, re, re, re, rehash ♫♪♪
     
    AJ6KZ, KO4ESA, K6VOX and 5 others like this.
  8. AD7SK

    AD7SK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The proposed license fee and the electricity bill are the cheapest parts of this hobby.
     
    W0FS, N0CEL, AJ6KZ and 10 others like this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    January 1, 1977.

    Here's a short history of US Amateur Radio License fees (not VE test fees). The following is based on QST articles from the time periods listed. In all cases, the ARRL strongly opposed the fees. Sometimes the opposition was effective, sometimes it wasn't.

    In 1933, the FRC (predecessor of the FCC) proposed a fee of $5 ($101.57 in 2020 dollars) for amateur operator licenses. In 1933 operator license terms were 3 years. This proposal was strongly opposed and was not enacted.

    In 1954, the FCC proposed a fee of $3 ($29.33 in 2020 dollars) for amateur licenses. From 1945 until the early 1980s, license terms were 5 years. This proposal was strongly opposed and was not enacted.

    In the early 1960s the FCC again proposed fees for amateur licenses, and this time the proposal was enacted despite the opposition. The original effective date of January 1, 1964 was delayed a few months by a legal challenge, but by mid-March, 1964 the following fees were enacted:

    New or renewed license: $4 ($33.92 in 2020 dollars)
    Modified license: $2 ($16.96)
    Special callsign: $20 ($169.60)

    Novice and RACES licenses remained free.

    Effective August 1, 1970, the FCC raised the above fees for amateur licenses to the following:

    New or renewed license: $9 ($60.93 in 2020 dollars)
    Modified license: $4 ($27.08)
    Special callsign: $25 ($169.26)

    Novice and RACES licenses remained free.

    Effective March 1, 1975, the FCC lowered the above fees for amateur licenses to the following:

    New or renewed license: $4 ($19.54 in 2020 dollars)
    Modified license: $3 ($14.66)
    Duplicate license: $2 ($9.77)
    Special callsign: $25 ($122.15)

    Novice and RACES licenses remained free.

    Finally, effective January 1, 1977, FCC dropped all fees for amateur licenses. From then until now, all US amateur licenses have been free.

    VE testing fees are set by the VECs, and go to pay the costs of conducting the test sessions - space rental, duplication, postage, etc. The FCC sets a maximum fee, but VECs can set the fees lower, or waive them entirely.

    Modern vanity-call fees have varied over time - someone else can write their history.

    In the above schedule of fees, a "new or renewed license" included the fee for taking the tests, pass or fail, for a new license or a license upgrade. A "modified" license meant a change of address or name, but not a license upgrade.

    Special callsigns in those days followed different rules than today, but there were specific cases where an amateur could get a callsign that wasn't sequentially issued. The special-callsign fee was a one-time charge.

    All 2020-equivalent prices are from the Westegg Inflation Calculator:

    https://westegg.com/inflation/

    It is left to the reader to figure the per-year cost of the above fees.

    I think there are four issues:

    1) Most US hams today were licensed after January 1, 1977. To many of them, US amateur licenses have "always" been free, and they don't see why they shouldn't be free forever.

    2) The $35 fee is "up front". It's actually less than a penny a day, but a lot of folks don't think that way.

    3) Many don't see what they're getting from FCC for the money. Enforcement only happens in extreme cases and often takes forever. The VECs and QPC are the work of unpaid volunteers. FCC doesn't even send you a paper license unless you specifically request it. Will any of that change after the fees are imposed?

    4) There's fear that $35 is just the beginning.
     
    WA7AXT, WA8MEA, W4DAX and 7 others like this.
  10. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If FCC hasn't yet begun collecting the fees, there's still time to get a 10 year license term renewal for free, even if you're not in the 90 day window.

    I wonder if anyone has actually done it.
     
    KO4ESA and M1WML like this.

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