FAQs Prospective Students

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) are provided to help answer prospective student’s questions on the technician ham radio class.

What is the Technician Class amateur radio license?

The Technician license is the introductory amateur radio license. There are a total of three license types: Technician Class, General Class, and Amateur Extra. Each license type, beyond the entry level Technician Class, provides additional operating frequency privileges.

What can I do with the Technician amateur radio license?

The Technician license allows you to operate an amateur radio station on all amateur radio frequencies above 30 MHz. The Technician frequency privileges include the popular 2 meter band where most local and area communication occurs. An amateur with the Technician license can use voice repeaters using a mobile or hand-held radio to communication with other hams in the area or around the world via internet connections or amateur radio satellites. Many hams use their technician license to participate as severe weather storm spotters or to provide emergency communications support.

I want to upgrade to General Class. Do I have to have a Technician Class license first?

You do not have to hold a Technician Class license before becoming a General Class licensee but you DO have to take the Technician Class exam prior to taking the General Class exam. In other words, you can attend a VE test session for the first time, pass the Technician Class exam, then pass the General Class exam, and a week or so later you’ll be a General Class licensee – you’ll never be a Technician Class licensee. Because the General Class license builds on the Technician Class foundation, we strongly recommend those with no prior ham radio experience (perhaps an expired license) take our Technician Class course. With a little extra study you’ll find that taking both exams sequentially is pretty doable.

Do I have to know Morse code to get my amateur radio license?

Morse code is not required for any license class. It is a lot of fun though and opens up a lot of frequency spectrum reserved for CW-only operations.

Are there any age requirements to get an amateur radio license?

No, anyone can obtain an amateur radio license as long as they pass the license exam.

Mandatory before the exam:

FCC Registration Number (FRN): Examinees are required by the FCC to submit your FRN with your license application form. New license applicants must create an FCC user account and register their Social Security Number (SSN) in the FCC Commission Registration System (CORES) before attending exam sessions. Registrants will be assigned an FRN which will be used in all license transactions with the FCC. For instructions on how to register your SSN and receive an FRN from the FCC, visit the CORES Registration page and the FCC’s Registration instructions page. Per FCC rules, a valid email address is also mandatory on the application form.

Here is a checklist of items you will need to bring:

  • Two forms of identification (one must have a picture).
  • A copy of your two IDs.
  • A copy of your current license or CSCE (if you are upgrading to General or Amateur Extra).
  • Pen and Pencil.

Calculator if desired (Use of calculators in cell phones is prohibited).