Find Your New Ticket

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Find your Brand-New First Ham License BEFORE it goes online at QRZ!


The inspiration for this page came from looking up a friend's name in QRZ and on the FCC database, to see if I could find his new license.  There are a few pitfalls to avoid in your search, especially with the FCC License Search.  These instructions will walk you straight through the process!

It is common to use the term "ticket" to refer to an amateur license.

Using the FCC Name Search to find your new ticket

Page Rewritten July 31, 2008

This set of instructions applies to you, regardless of where in the United States you live.

Visit the FCC License Search page.  Once at the FCC page, you see a License Search widget which displays with the choice, "By Callsign." There are two other settings, "By FRN," which stands for FCC Registration Number, and "Licensee Name."  Select "Licensee Name."

There is a special search specifically for Amateur, linked just above the search widget, and if you choose to use this, look below the Amateur heading, for the Licensee heading, and just fill in the name field as instructed below.

The simplest entry is just your last name and a comma.  The comma is optional, but it will limit the search to just people with your last name, and not include people with a name that begins with your name, e.g., Hill and Hilliard.

If yours is a common name, I highly recommend that you type in the Last Name, a comma, space and then your First Name:
Washington, George

Keep in mind the syntax:  Last name, COMMA, SPACE, First name.

The simple search may return other radio services besides Amateur and Amateur Vanity, while the special Amateur Search mentioned above only will return amateur results.  For many, the simple search will be very adequate.  The FCC will issue one callsign after the next in sequential order to new licensees.  The Radio Code for this is HA.  Vanity callsign issues will carry the Radio Code HV.

I Found It!  My License Is Here!

Supposing you do see an amateur license with your name on it:  Click on the callsign and you will find licensee details.  On the left column, third and fourth items down, you have the Grant Date and the Effective Date.  Once in awhile, the FCC will issue a license today, but it does not go into effect until tomorrow, so you want to be sure the license is effective, and that it has your name, address, city, state and ZIP on it. Once you verify this, you are free to go on the air on or after the Effective Date.  You know your callsign, and you can expect the paper license to arrive maybe a week or two later in the mail.

The FCC Search is one step ahead of the QRZ search.  The last callsign issued on Thursday, July 24, 2008 in the seventh call area was not posted on QRZ.COM until the following Monday, so you WILL BE the first to know of your new license grant by searching the FCC database!.

QRZ Name Search Instructions

To perform a search of QRZ for your new license, just click on the QRZ Name Search link.  Just insert your name, either first, last or last, first..  Leave the box ticked to indicate use of the simple search.  The search will will match words or partial words in the name, address or city.

If your name is unique, you may find 0 entries that match your search.  This indicates that you are not yet listed, so try again tomorrow.

If yours is a common name, or your name is a syllable found in many words, you may have to add your street address and maybe your city to the search to cut down the number of matches.  There is no need to use any punctuation in your search. Callsign Lookup Service

There is another callsign lookup web site besides QRZ, one where you can get an advance look at your new paper license document before you get it in the mail.

Once you have determined your callsign from the FCC, do a search for it at <a href="">WM7D dot Net</a>.  (On this page you can also do a callsign or name search.  Instructions are available on the site.)

After you see your listing on WM7D, go down and pop the link for More Detail, then pop the link for FCC License Reference Copy.  There you see your paper license imaged.

Going on EchoLink


EchoLink is amateur radio operation from your computer over the Internet.  A license is required to use it because it is possible to tie into a radio link or repeater link.  You are urged to operate from your computer using the very same protocol you would use when operating from your radio, including station identification.  You never know when your conversation is going to be linked by someone to a radio.

Geting Verified

You now have your ticket, and you can now download the EchoLink software at <a href=""></a>.  You will need to enter your callsign and an email address before you can download the software, but that will get you registered on the system.

You can't do anything with it until you verify yourself as the licensee.  Best way to do this is to wait for your paper license to come, scan a copy of it and email it in, or photocopy it and mail it in.  They cannot accept a copy of your license as obtained from WM7D dot Net, however, because anyone can send in a copy of that and claim to be you.

Just like with a check drawn on your bank account, the FCC license form has some background markings that will show alterations, and these background markings almost always come through a photocopier or scanner.