Amateur Radio Licensing in The United States - Current License Classes

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Current License Classes

Amateur radio licenses in the United States are issued and renewed without charge, although the private individuals who administer the examinations may recoup their expenses by charging a fee. Licenses currently remain valid for 10 years from the date of issuance.

  • The entry-level license, known as Technician Class, is awarded after an applicant successfully completes a 35-question multiple choice written examination. The license grants full operating privileges on all amateur bands above 30 MHz and limited privileges in portions of the high frequency (HF) bands.
  • The next level, known as General Class, requires passage of the Technician test, as well as a 35-question multiple-choice General exam. General class licensees are granted privileges on portions of all amateur bands, and have access to over 83% of all amateur HF bandwidth. However some band segments often used for long distance contacts are not included.
  • The top US license class is Amateur Extra Class. This license requires the same tests as General plus a 50-question multiple-choice theory exam. Those with Amateur Extra licenses are granted all privileges on all US amateur bands.

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