Are you a ham radio operator with an expiring license? Don’t worry, renewing your license is easier than you might think!
With the Universal Licensing System (ULS) and FCC License Manager System, you can renew your ham license online in just a few simple steps.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of renewing your ham license online, whether it’s within 90 days of expiration or up to two years after it has expired.
So, let’s get started and ensure that you can continue to enjoy your hobby without any interruptions!
How To Renew Ham License Online?
To renew your ham license online, you have two options: the Universal Licensing System (ULS) and the FCC License Manager System. Here’s how to use each system:
Understanding The Universal Licensing System (ULS)
The Universal Licensing System (ULS) is a web-based system that allows you to manage your FCC licenses, including renewing your ham license. You can renew your license through the ULS at any time within 90 days of the expiration date for the license and up to two years after the license expires.
To renew your ham license through the ULS, follow these steps:
1. Log in to ULS Online Filing with your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password or FRN and FCC Username Password. If you don’t have an FCC account, you’ll need to set one up.
2. On the left-side of the screen, click Renew Licenses.
3. Select the licenses and click Add.
4. Click Continue to navigate through the application.
5. Sign your application and click Submit Application. By typing your first and last name in the name fields, you have signed your Application.
6. From the ULS Confirmation screen, we recommend you print a copy of your application and/or the Confirmation screen itself from your web browser.
Note that the address and contact information you have entered in CORES registration will not be automatically associated with your licenses. To change the address or other contact information on your license, you must update your information in ULS.
It’s important to note that you can only renew a license 90 days before it expires or within two years after it expires. If it has been more than two years since your license expired, you will need to retake the exam and apply for a new license.
Renewing your ham license through the ULS is a simple and convenient process that can be completed from the comfort of your own home. So, make sure to mark your calendar and renew your ham license on time to avoid any lapse in your operating privileges.
Creating An FCC License Manager System Account
To renew your ham license using the FCC License Manager System, you will need to create an FCC account. Follow these steps to create an account:
1. Go to the FCC License Manager System website at https://www.fcc.gov/universal-licensing-system.
2. Click on “Register” in the top right corner of the page.
3. Follow the prompts to enter your personal information, including your name, address, and email address.
4. Create a username and password for your FCC account.
5. Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive an email from the FCC with a link to activate your account. Click on the link to activate your account.
6. Once your account is activated, you can log in to the FCC License Manager System using your username and password.
Once you have created an FCC account, you can use the License Manager System to renew your ham license up to 90 days before it expires or within two years after it expires. Simply log in to your account, select “Renew Licenses,” and follow the prompts to renew your license and make a payment of $35 for the new 10-year term.
Renewing Your Ham License Within 90 Days Of Expiration
If your ham license is set to expire within the next 90 days, you can renew it online through the Universal Licensing System (ULS). To get started, go to the ULS Home and select Online Filing. From there, follow these steps:
1. Choose the Renew link in the right-hand menu called Work on this License from your License At A Glance page. If your license is eligible for renewal, the Renew link will appear.
2. Review the licensee information displayed on the Select Updates page. If any of the data is missing or out of date, update it by clicking on the box to the left of the Licensee Information heading and selecting it.
3. Answer the questions on the Applicant Questions page.
4. Review and update all of your licensee information on the Licensee Information page.
5. Review the information you have entered on the Summary page. If you need to make additional changes, click the Edit button next to the section you wish to edit.
6. When you’re ready to submit your update, choose the Continue to Certify button.
7. After reading the certification, enter your first and last names in the boxes at the bottom of the page and sign the application. Then choose the Submit Application button.
8. From the ULS Confirmation screen, print a copy of your application and/or the Confirmation screen itself from your web browser.
By following these steps, you can easily renew your ham license online through the ULS within 90 days of its expiration date.
Renewing Your Ham License Up To Two Years After Expiration
If your ham license has already expired, don’t worry! You can still renew it up to two years after the expiration date. However, keep in mind that you cannot renew your license earlier than 90 days before the expiration date.
To renew your ham license using the ULS, go to the ULS Home and select Online Filing. From your License At A Glance page, choose the Renew link in the right-hand menu called Work on this License. If your license is within the renewal period of 90 days before the expiration date until the expiration date, or within the 2-year grace period allowed thereafter, the Renew link will appear. If your license is not eligible for renewal, the link will not appear.
On the Select Updates page, review the licensee information displayed beneath the table of license information. If any of the data is missing or out of date, you must update it. Click on the box to the left of the Licensee Information heading to insert a checkbox and select it. When ready, click Continue.
Answer the questions on the Applicant Questions page and click Continue when ready. On the Licensee Information page, review and update all of your licensee information. Make any corrections that are necessary.
On the Summary page, review the information you have entered. If you wish to make additional changes, click the Edit button next to the section of your application you wish to edit. You will be able to return to that page of the application. Make the desired change and select the Return to Summary button.
When ready to submit your update to the Commission, choose the Continue to Certify button. After reading the certification, enter your first and last names in the boxes at the bottom of the page. You MUST sign the application. When finished, choose the Submit Application button.
From the ULS Confirmation screen, we recommend you print a copy of your application and/or the Confirmation screen itself from your web browser. Note that the address and contact information you have entered in CORES registration will not be automatically associated with your licenses. To change the address or other contact information on your license, you must update your information in ULS.
Alternatively, you can renew your ham license using FCC’s License Manager System. The easiest way to renew your license is by using this system 90 days or less before your license expires. Point your web browser to https://www.fcc.gov/universal-licensing-system.
Click on Filing -> File Online and then sign in to your FCC account. If you don’t already have an FCC account, you’ll have to set one up. Enter your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password into the appropriate text boxes, then click “SUBMIT.”
On the “My Licenses” page, click the “Renew Licenses” link. You will then be able to select which license you want to renew.
You will be prompted by FCC’s system to make a payment of $35 to renew your license for a new 10-year term. The FCC began collecting license fees on April 19, 2022, in accordance with federal law set by Congress. You will have 10 days to make payment to FCC before it removes your renewal application.
Remember that if your ham license has been expired for a period exceeding 2 years and one day, you must first take and pass the Technician (element 2) exam. Once that exam is passed, you must then demonstrate proof of having held a license of a “higher” class, such as a General, Conditional, Advanced or Amateur Extra Class.
Common Mistakes To Avoid During The Renewal Process
Renewing your ham license online can be a smooth and easy process, but there are some common mistakes that can cause delays or even result in the denial of your renewal application. Here are some things to avoid:
1. Forgetting to update your information: Before you renew your license, make sure that all of your personal information is up-to-date in the FCC’s database. This includes your mailing address, email address, and phone number. If any of this information has changed since you last renewed your license, update it first before submitting your renewal application.
2. Waiting until the last minute: Don’t wait until the day before your license expires to renew it. The FCC recommends that you file your renewal application at least 90 days before your license expiration date. This gives the FCC enough time to process your application and issue a new license before your old one expires.
3. Using a third-party service: While there are many companies that offer to renew your ham license for you, these services often charge a fee and may not provide any additional benefits over renewing directly with the FCC. Additionally, some of these services may require access to your personal information, which could put you at risk for identity theft.
4. Failing to pay the renewal fee: While renewing your ham license is free, there are some fees associated with certain types of licenses, such as vanity call signs. Make sure you understand all of the fees associated with your license type and pay them in full when submitting your renewal application.
5. Not keeping a copy of your renewal confirmation: Once you submit your renewal application, make sure to keep a copy of the confirmation page or email that you receive from the FCC. This will serve as proof that you have renewed your license in case there are any issues or delays in processing your application.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your ham license renewal process goes smoothly and you can continue enjoying all the benefits of amateur radio without interruption.
What To Do If Your License Has Been Expired For More Than Two Years
If your ham license has been expired for more than two years, you will need to apply for a new license instead of renewing your old one. This means you will need to retake the exam and go through the application process again.
To apply for a new ham license, you can follow the same steps as if you were applying for the first time. You will need to study for and pass the exam, fill out an application, and submit it to the FCC.
To find a ham radio exam session near you, you can visit the ARRL website or contact your local ham radio club. Once you have passed the exam, you can fill out an application using the FCC’s online system or by mail.
Keep in mind that applying for a new license may take longer than renewing an existing one, so it’s important to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time before your old license expires. Additionally, make sure to update any contact information associated with your new license in both the ULS and CORES registration systems.