Upgrading pre March 21, 1987 Tech

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by N5PNZ, Jun 23, 2017.

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  1. N5PNZ

    N5PNZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I upgraded to Tech in Sep of 1985 and have the proof needed, While I have had 2 different call signs since (moving to different call regions), my license has never expired. I would like to do my upgrade, but I'm being told two different stories.

    1st- I'm told that I will have to take element 2 but am credited for element 3.

    2nd- I'm also told that I get credit for both elements 2 and 3 since my license never lapsed. My research seems to confirm this one.

    I would rather spend my time studying for the Extra exam if this is the case

    Which is correct?
  2. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi David,

    The 2nd response is correct. See 47 CFR 97.505.

    Make sure you check with the VE team chief/session manager as to exactly what documentation they will require you to bring, including copies to be attached to your NCVEC Form 605.

    Good luck on your Extra exam!

    N6QIC likes this.
  3. N5PNZ

    N5PNZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Bruce. I have copies of all my old licenses except for my Novice one.
    May need the luck on the Extra....math formulas are my downfall...lol
  4. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the second situation, you get credit for element 2 because you have a current, or within the grace period, technician license. It doesn't matter whether or not your first license lapsed. You also get credit for element 3, since you passed that years ago.

    For example, if you were licensed as a tech in 1985, and your license was allowed to expire in 1995, and then you got relicensed as a tech in 2003, with a totally different callsign, you still get credit for element 2 and 3 if your license is now current, or within the grace period of expiration. It has nothing to do with your original license being lapsed or not lapsed. It has to do with taking the test prior to March 21, 1987. The FCC basically gives a lifetime element 3 credit to techs (pre 1987), generals, and advanced class licensees who have let their tickets expire. Extras are also granted this lifetime credit for elements 3 and 4. But anyone who comes in with a totally expired ticket has to pass element 2, before they can be granted a new license for their previous class.
  5. N5PNZ

    N5PNZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is the way I read I read it also. There was one local that insisted that I had to take element 2. The local VEC is out of town, but I should be able to coordinate with him next week. They don't have another session available til middle of next month. Thanks for the verification.
  6. N6QIC

    N6QIC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    FCC Rule 97.505(a) offers partial credit to pre-1987 Technician licenses. If an applicant held a "Technician" prior to 3/21/1987, and has proof, the FCC will afford credit for the General (Element 3) written exam only. The FCC does not require the applicant to have been continuously licensed. At VE exam sessions it is the applicant (not the VEs or coordinating VEC) who is responsible for supplying the evidence of holding valid grandfather credit.

    The section titled "Valid Forms of Exam Element Credit for Pre-1987 Technician Licenses" explains how to verify the Technician grandfather credit status of someone eligible for such credit under Section 97.505 of FCC Rules.

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  7. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You get credit for element 2 because you have a valid technician license. You get credit for element 3 because you had a technician license issued prior to 1987. Therefore, with presented proof of that old license, you have credit for element 2 and 3, which is what is required for a general license. You have had that qualification since April 15, 2000, and could have done a paper upgrade to general at any time since that date, for over 17 years now.
  8. N5PNZ

    N5PNZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Such as it is I am now pending Extra upgrade. Yes I could have done the General many years ago but during that time I was very inactive. Just some occasional 2 meter activity. I haven't had an operational HF (except for 10 meters) since 1997 when my Icom 720A went down for the second time. There wasn't much urgency to upgrade. I hope to remedy the HF situation as soon as I can get my old Drake TR3 back operational.

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