How to Get a FCC License

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency in the United States that regulates interstate communication on radio, TV, wire, satellite and cable. FCC rules and regulations are part of Title 47 of the Federal Code of Regulations, and cover everything from experimental (non-broadcast) radio transmissions to satellite transmissions. Licenses are offered for amateurs, aircraft, general mobiles, restricted and commercial operators and ship operators, among others. License application forms can be filled out online.

Use the Universal Licensing System to apply online. The first step is obtaining an FCC Registration Number (FRN). If you have registered for a license before, you may use your current registration number. If you are unsure if you have an FRN, search the online database for your call signs (see Resources below).

Complete the initial application online. No manual forms are required, but manual forms are available if you need them. Call (888) 225-5322 to request manual forms.

Pay the required fees. For large businesses, the FCC cannot process credit card transactions over $100,000. For amateurs and most small businesses, this is not an issue.


Amateurs must take a test before filing for a license. The FCC recommends that you pre-register for the test. Radio frequency coordinators can help you choose a good radio frequency. See the link below for a list of coordinators.