FCC Seeks Comments on Proposed Amateur Radio Fees
The FCC is proposing to implement fees for Amateur Radio licenses. Currently, there is no charge. The fees have been authorized under "Ray Baum's Act", which was passed by Congress in August.
A $50 fee would be charged for each amateur radio license application if the FCC adopts the rules it has proposed. Included in the FCC’s $50 fee proposal are applications for new licenses, renewals and upgrades to existing licenses, as well as vanity call sign applications. A request for a printed license from the FCC would also cost $50. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees.
These proposed fees are likely to adversely impact Amateur Radio, especially since many Amateurs are seniors living on fixed incomes. As we struggle to attract new operators, especially young people, the proposed fees will also likely be a disincentive. Most importantly, Amateurs provide important public safety services and do so at their own expense -- with no cost to the public.
The full FCC proposal is available here and Section 8 pertains to Amateur Radio.
If you wish to comment on these proposed fees, the FCC is currently taking comments and they can be filed online here. When you open the page, type "20-270" in the first box and it will bring up:
"20-270 | Amendment of the Schedule of Application Fees Set Forth in Sections 1.1102 through 1.1109 of the Commission's Rules"
Click on it to have it automatically fill the first line, then enter your information in the following boxes as indicated, including your comments. All Amateur operators are urged to submit their comments before the closing date.