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Uninvolved Party Canceled Licenses Of My SK Family Members

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KV4BL, Feb 19, 2019.

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  1. KV4BL

    KV4BL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi! I am experiencing fresh additional grief from the loss of my Mother (KG4GQA) and step-Father (NA4EM) within the last three years. I should have, but just wasn't up to notifying QRZ of their SK status. On occasions when I would look up a call sign, I would periodically view Mom's or Tony's QRZ page as kind of a nostalgic or sentimental thing. I have had some health issues and hadn't been on QRZ in a while. The other day, a friend who was browing QRZ found that a recent SK from my town had his license cancelled, and as such, was no longer listed on QRZ. As we talked on the phone, we looked up three other fairly recent SK's and found the licenses of all were "cancelled" on the FCC site and likewise no longer on QRZ. There were two common denominators for these deleted/cancelled licenses. One, they were from this same town and two, they belonged to the local club. Asking on the local club's net, my suspicions were confirmed that a jerk who holds a position of great self importance within the club had taken it upon himself to send copies of obituaries for several deceased members and former members to the FCC, causing their licenses to be cancelled. He had no cause, no reason, and no call to do this, basically erasing off of QRZ and other sites, a record that these people existed and were hams. These licenses, all having a few years remaining before they expired, were hurting nothing and no one in their existing status. I wonder if for fun, the guy visits cemeteries with sandpaper or a grinder and erases names and dates off of tombstones, also.

    Anyhow, my purpose in this post is two-fold. One, if you are inclined to do something stupid and unnecessary like this, don't. You may cause someone else unnecessary heartache and grief.
    Two, is there any way QRZ can restore their pages under SK status, even though their licenses have now been cancelled?

    Thanks and 73,
    Ray KV4BL
  2. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry to hear of your loss.

    Your license is automatically cancelled at death, whether or not the FCC is notified. It is "null and void" at that time, I guess someone just decided to let the FCC know, which is perfectly legal. There were not "a few years remaining" on those licenses.

    § 97.31 Cancellation on account of the
    licensee’s death.
    (a) A person may request cancellation
    of an operator/primary station license
    grant on account of the licensee’s
    death by submitting a signed request
    that includes a death certificate, obituary,
    or Social Security Death Index
    data that shows the person named in
    the operator/primary station license
    grant has died. Such a request may be
    submitted as a pleading associated
    with the deceased licensee’s license.
    See § 1.45 of this chapter. In addition,
    the Commission may cancel an operator/
    primary station license grant if it
    becomes aware of the grantee’s death
    through other means. No action will be
    taken during the last thirty days of the
    post-expiration grace period (see
    § 97.21(b)) on a request to cancel a license
    due to the licensee’s death.
    (b) A license that is canceled due to
    the licensee’s death is canceled as of
    the date of the licensee’s death.
    KF5RRF, K4AGO, NY7Q and 5 others like this.
  3. K0RGR

    K0RGR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sadly, you need to take steps to protect a loved-one's callsign when they pass. This is particularly true if they held a 'desirable' call, 1X2, 2X1 2X2, as there are 'callsign harvesters' afoot looking to free up those calls.

    If you look up the callsign 'W6VPV', you will see that it belongs to a memorial radio club to my dad, W6VPV. As long as there are en0ugh hams in the family to keep the club legal, that one is out of circulation. You need to meet the requirements for a club station, though.
    KV4BL likes this.
  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    First, I'm sorry for your loss.

    The thing is this... 47 CFR 97.31 does not limit who can petition FCC for cancellation of a license of someone who is deceased. Such notification can come from people outside the family of the deceased.

    While the circumstances of the cancellation may seem distasteful, the truth is that the FCC has an interest in canceling licenses upon the death of the licensee. That's the reason the 97.31 rule exists -- to allow FCC to be notified of the passing of a licensee, so that the associated license(s) can be canceled. It's really no different than any other government function that updates records upon the death of someone in their jurisdiction.

    For reasons that I don't understand, some people see it as a duty to free up callsigns assigned to SKs, for the vanity system or other reasons. The rule does not create a duty to notify FCC upon anyone, but it does provide a mechanism for doing so.

    That's just the truth of the matter.
    K4AGO, WB5THT and KV4BL like this.
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    I am sorry for your loss. However, technically, it is a violation of Federal regulations not to cancel an operator's license when the holder is deceased. It is an even greater violation when someone renews the license of a deceased party.

    Cancelling the license of a deceased person is often something that is overlooked by the family and it is not uncommon for a local club to undertake that function. You wanted to keep those call signs active. Unfortunately, there are only 2 relatively easy ways to do this.

    The first is to establish an amateur radio club and then obtain the call for that organization. The other is to drop your present call and get one of those calls as a vanity. Since you are a close relative, there would be no problems in doing so.

    Glen, K9STH
    WB5THT and KY1K like this.
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    No, it is not. I wish people would stop spreading this falsehood. 97.31 does not require anyone to request cancellation of a deceased relative's AR license. Please see the rule, quoted by @K7JEM, above.
    That's because they have no duty to do so.
    K4AGO, AI7PM, KV4BL and 1 other person like this.
  7. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The truth is, "anyone" can submit for cancellation of a SK license. You don't even have to be a ham to do it. The mechanism is there so that licenses of deceased individuals can be cancelled, since they are no longer valid at death.
    K4AGO, WB5THT, KV4BL and 1 other person like this.
  8. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, this is exactly right.

    It doesn't help the disappointment of the OP, but the truth is that government agencies have a valid interest in providing mechanisms to be notified of the passing of people who do business with them. FCC doesn't require anybody to notify them, but they allow anybody with proper documentation to notify them, which supports their interest to know of the passing of a licensee.

    I do believe that some individuals take such activities to the level of "busybody," but that's their business, and when done with legitimate documentation, is perfectly compliant with the rules.
    K4AGO, KV4BL and K7JEM like this.
  9. KV4BL

    KV4BL Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are correct, KK5JY! I was eventually going to to notify QRZ of their SK status, but figured I had a while before it was necessary. I never dreamed some self-important club functionary would take this upon themselves.
  10. KV4BL

    KV4BL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank You!!!!
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