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FCC Proposes Eliminating Paper License Renewals by Surface Mail

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K5UJ, Sep 10, 2019.

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  1. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good points.

    It has been mentioned that the commercial licenses are good for life. The amateur radio license is different in that it is an operator license and a station license rolled into one. I believe there is a requirement (as in Federal law) that the station license, be it commercial or amateur, be subject to review/renewal every 'X' number of years. The only way that an amateur license could be made good for life is if it is split into two licenses: operator and station. The operator license could be made life-time; the station license would still be subject to review/renewal. It was done this way many years ago, but it is doubtful the FCC would go back to doing that.

    And not trying to hijack the thread, but I would go with a 5 year expiration on the initial license. I think that would help weed out those who got their first license and then discovered that amateur radio wasn't for them. Subsequent expirations would be 10 years. And to really stir the pot, I am in favor of retesting at renewal time.

    KJ4VTH likes this.
  2. KY4UE

    KY4UE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are thinking that everyone has an internet connection available you would be wrong. There are still those places where that's not the case.. It has nothing to do with age or flatulence, and I find your choice of words unfortunate at best.
    K3XR likes this.
  3. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are places in the USA that don't have electricity or telephones, either. The world has moved on; it's the Internet Age. I don't think that's necessarily such a good thing, but it is what it is, and there are still ways to renew your license without an Internet connection. ;)
    KU4X, K4XJ and WY7BG like this.
  4. WY7BG

    WY7BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am an ISP (I founded the world's first wireless one, in fact), and can say with absolute assurance that there is virtually NO place in the US where one cannot get to an Internet connection sufficient to communicate with the FCC Web site and renew a license. Satellite will do; a cell phone will do; even a dialup modem will do. (The ULS is a trivially simple text-based Web site.) Every Starbucks or McDonalds has WiFi, and every school or library has Internet.

    And if you absolutely insist upon doing it by snail mail, you can still mail ARRL or W5YI and have them do it for you.

    As for the term "old fart:" I use it affectionately. To describe not only others but myself.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    KY6L and KU4X like this.
  5. WA4KFZ

    WA4KFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was thinking more along the lines of someone changing your license status to inactive, downgrading you from Extra to Technician, etc. Imagine trying to untangle those kinds of disasters!
  6. K3JIM

    K3JIM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    How about just letting me print out a decent License that doesn't say "OFFICIAL COPY" diagonally across the paper. Ah for the days of diploma like licenses for Extras.
    K4XJ likes this.
  7. K4XJ

    K4XJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    But you can request a paper one if you least as of now you can.
  8. K4XJ

    K4XJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    So if the FCC went with the lifetime license, then when will they know when someone dies and has a 1 x 2 or 2 x 1 call sign that could be put up in the database for people to bid on? Just think if there was 1000 people with 1 x 2 or 2 x 1 call signs that they got when they were in their 20's and they die just before hitting their 30th birthday...Look at the years them call signs will be locked for almost 2 generations before someone can bid on them...Just a scenario.
    W4RAV likes this.
  9. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good point! Perhaps a solution might be that vanity calls have to be renewed every 10, but sequentially issued is lifetime.
    K4XJ likes this.
  10. W4EAE

    W4EAE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    ULS exists whether you file by paper or not. I would suggest that using ULS is the best protection in the scenario you describe. If you do everything by paper and never create a ULS account, you have no idea what might be going on until it is too late.

    Also, what we are talking about here is a systemic breach. The same thing could happen at your bank, whether you use cards and online banking or not. The same thing could happen at your healthcare provider, your insurance company, etc.

    Whether you use the online interfaces of all the various entities upon which you rely to live your life or not, your entire life is sitting on a network somewhere.
    NE1U, WY7BG, KU4X and 1 other person like this.

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