FCC fees for amateur radio - updates on implementation

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

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  1. KD5BVX

    KD5BVX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll say it again - without the FCC regulating the spectrum from 0 to whatever, it would be a crap show. Delusional to think we don't need the FCC keeping things in check.

    The Official Observers / Volunteer Monitors serve as the check on the airwaves and, if doing their job, are to warn and then report violators to the FCC. Those wanting the FCC to be more heavy-handed need to talk to the OOs/VMs they know to have violations, if they really are such, passed along. But, new modes aren't violations so wanting the FCC to put an end to the hobby (i.e. to end innovation and experimentation that is a basic tenant of the hobby) is shortsighted at best.
    N0CEL, M1WML, N1DQQ and 2 others like this.
  2. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That is not what the fees are about. The fees have nothing to do with amateur enforcement. This point has been covered thoroughly in all of the previous threads about the fees in the past year or two.

    The fees are not being implemented to generate new money for any additional FCC work. These fees are intended to offset what the FCC already costs, doing what they are already doing.

    Basically, someone (Congress) decided that licensed spectrum users (hams, among others) should be paying for administrative costs, and there has been no exception or exemption carved out for amateur radio, as there was in the past.
    KC1ILH, WG7X, M1WML and 7 others like this.
  3. W8WJW

    W8WJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wouldn't mind paying a fee if the FCC would mail us an unfolded, 8" x 10" "US Mint currency-quality" copy of our Radio License, suitable for framing, instead of the "print your own" crap. In Ohio, to renew your amateur radio plate, you have to provide a current valid copy of your station license EVERY YEAR, and couldn't renew over their website, unless that's changed because of the pandemic? So, if your license is revoked, eventually within 10 years you won't be able to get your license plate back.
    Unrelated question: half the states have eliminated the front license plate requirement (pros/cons), but wondering, if you lived in two different states, and have your OLD Ham Plate from your old state, would you be allowed to use it as your Front Plate in a state that doesn't require a front plate anymore? The license (callsign) would be the same, it would just be a different state, but only the plate number would match your rear plate, the front would still have your old state (Idaho) in front and your current state (Michigan) in back?
    M1WML and KO4ESA like this.
  4. AD7SK

    AD7SK Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is no one answer that applies across all 50 states. What is okay in one state [wide tires that extend past the body of the vehicle], may well be an equipment violation in another state [okay in Arizona and illegal in Iowa]. There are two conflicting legal theories at work - "Negative Rights" - essentially everything is legal unless the government has a statute or ordinance expressly prohibiting it and the alternate theory of "Positive Rights" - only what the government allows in statute or ordinance is legal and all other acts may be illegal. A State vehicle code based on "positive rights" would be large and taken to the extreme - massive. It would spell out the max and min height, length, width, weight, etc of a vehicle; what can be displayed on it such as lights; and license plate would fall under this concept of law since the government mandates a license plate for taxation, registration, and identification purposes.

    In states that have only one plate, someone might put a "novelty plate" on the front - sports team, military affiliation, a personal statement, etc. The problem comes in when taking a state issued instrument [a license plate from another state] and putting it on your vehicle in a new state of residence. That would be considered a fictitious license plate here and subject to prosecution and seizure of the plate. The "legal twist" here is that the plate ID is your call sign on both plates... because you now live in another state now, it could be still be legally argued to be a fictitious plate since it is no longer valid in the state of issuance or a judge who sides with "negative rights" could side with the argument that there is no criminal intent to deceive since your call sign correctly IDs you and that the rear plate meets the taxation, registration, and identification purposes of the current state or residence.

    Keep in mind that the latter view is highly subjective to interpretation and police officers, prosecutors, and judges tend to base traffic law on "positive rights"; i.e. the statute allows for red taillights on your auto, but not taillights with a blue crystal in them [the old Blue Dot taillights popular in the 50's] that emit any non-red color.

    I was a cop for years, studied legal theory for one of my degree programs, and know the system. Highway Patrol/State Troopers enjoy enforcement of vehicle equipment statutes and ordinances, so be wary.

    Personally, I wouldn't do it because getting stopped can be inconvenient, getting invited to Court is not fun, and can be expensive.
    M1WML and KO4ESA like this.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you mean FCC-issued Amateur Radio licenses, you remember a past that never was.

    The license term was never 4 years. From late 1945 until about 1984 it was 5 years for renewable licenses.

    The most the license fee was in those days was $9. Special call signs cost $20 to $25.

    License fees for US amateur licenses ended Jan 1, 1977.

    See post #19 in this thread for a full history.

    73 de Jim, N2EY

    Novice 1967 (free)
    Technician and Advanced 1968 ($4 each)
    Extra 1970 ($9)
    KC1ILH, M1WML and KO4ESA like this.
  6. K9CTB

    K9CTB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not sure I buy that, and I'm not sure the "previously covered" rhetoric answers that question. Compared to the revenue generated by wholesale spectrum auctions, the monies generated by a few amateur license fees collected at 30 bucks a pop is nothing. The requirements to enforce part 97 is relatively small as well. "Future FCC work" would not get very much mileage on amateur fees. Just an observation.
    M1WML and KO4ESA like this.
  7. AD7SK

    AD7SK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I "buy" it and here's why. Government runs on taxes, fees, tariffs, and other revenue streams. All levels of government find it difficult to implement fees, due to push back by citizens who are disinclined to pay fees for services they had gotten for "free" prior. Governments look for opportunities such as what exists today, to implement fees and employ more employees to grow the bureaucracy.

    Once an agency eliminates a revenue stream, no matter how small, it is much more difficult to bring it back at previous levels. If the fee is elevated to an even higher cost, it becomes even more of a battle. In my estimation, the FCC is doing this to reclaim those fees and have the potential for more fee-based income in the future.
    M1WML and KO4ESA like this.
  8. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateurs are still exempt from "regulatory fees" but we are not exempt from "application fees", and never have been, AFAIK.
    M1WML and KO4ESA like this.
  9. K0GYO

    K0GYO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The FCC is more than Amateur Radio. There is a whole lot of government usage that the FCC deals with. They can gt their funds from the already collected taxes. Cut the Study of Shrimp on a Treadmill and programs like that.
    KC1ILH, M1WML and KO4ESA like this.
  10. K9GLS

    K9GLS Guest

    $4, $9... The part of left off is the conversion to today's dollar value. Let me help:
    New or renewed license: $9 ($60.09 in 2019 dollars)
    Modified license: $4 ($26.71)
    Special callsign: $25 ($166.92)
    KR3DX, M1WML and KO4ESA like this.

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