Becoming a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator

Yes, you can do this!

For many, the idea of obtaining an amateur radio license may appear to be a daunting endevour. However, know that anyone with a desire to do so, can obtain an amateur radio license. The hobby isn't just for "technical" people. Indeed, amateur radio is comprised of people representing a diverse cross section of humanity. There are people from all walks of life, worldwide, who are licensed amateur radio operators. Children as young as 5 and adults well into their 90s have passed the test, and now hold a valid amateur radio license. Contrary to a common sterotype, there is no such thing as a "typical" Amateur Radio operator. Amateur radio is a hobby open to all.

You are NEVER too young, too old, or otherwise lacking the ability to obtain an Amateur Radio License!

So put your fears aside and read on, because passing your test and obtaining your license has never been easier!

Remember, we are here to help you in your quest! Helping others getting into and enjoying the hobby is a fundamental element of what the Haualapai Radio Club is about.

The Process

Getting your amateur radio license these days is far more streamlined than in past decades. Of interest to many prospective amateurs, the Morse Code requirement has been eliminated for all classes of licenses. Morse Code, or simply CW, as it is more commonly referred to, nevertheless remains a very popular operational mode. Indeed, many members of HARC are avid CW operators.

Also of importance to prospective amateurs, is the ease of taking the test. The current Technician Class test, for example, is only 35 (multiple choice) questions with a focus on rules, very basic theory, and practical aspects of amateur radio and related electronics.

Changes from the Past

There once was a time when the only class license that could be administered outside of a designated FCC facility was the, now grandfathered, Novice Class. Today all classes of amateur license testing can be administered by a Volunteer Examiner, or "VE".

Another positive change is when an indivdual, for whatever reason, failed an examination, they had to wait 30 days before being eligible to retest. Today one may retake the test as many times as necessary without any waiting period, even in the same testing session. Also note, those who successfully pass the examination for a given class license, may immediately test for the next class of license. It is not unheard, for example, for a highly motivated individual to go from "nothing to Extra" in a single testing session.

Among the many support resources we offer to prospective amateurs, Hualapia ARC maintains a pool of volunteer examiners and provides monthly test sessions.

Amateur Radio License Stucture

As you read through the following, a helpful visual reference to amateur radio bands and license class priviledges can be found here. The link is to a pdf file which can be downloaded, if desired, simply by right clicking on the link with your mouse, and then selecting "Save Link As".


The Technican class is the entry level license, yet still provides a lot of operating priviledges. All amateur operating priviledges from 6 Meters (50 MHz) and higher. Technician class licensee is also able to operate using Data, and SSB modes on frequency segments in the 10 meter band. For those who have an interest in CW, segments of the 80, 40, 15, and 10 meter bands, offer Technician class operators the ability to "work the world".


The General class is the middle tier of amateur license. It includes all the priviledges of the Technician class, while adding substancial priviledges in the 2200, 630, 160, 60, 30, 17, and the 12 meter bands.

Amateur Extra

The Amateur Extra class is the highest tier of amateur license. In addition to retaining all the priviledges of the Technician and General classes, the Amateur Extra receives all remaining priviledges afforded to amateur radio. Obtaining the Amateur Extra Class license is not simply a demonstration of accomplishment. It offers the licensee full access to all that amateur radio has to offer. No legal amateur frequency or mode is off limits to the Amateur Extra Class licensee.

Preparing for your test

There are numerous books and other resources, including online, which propspective amateurs can reference in preparing for the license test. Many focus on the specific class license for which one intends to test. There are also online practice tests, comprised of the actual test questions, which allow you to check your progress as you prepare for your Technician, General, or Amateur Extra test.

One example of study guides, authored by Gordon West, WB6NOA, have been very popular with those preparing to test. Gordon's Technician Class guide can be found here on Amazon. There are, again, numerous other sources of study material and online sample tests one might consider taking advantage of while preparing for the exam.

In addition to the aforementioned resources, The Hualapai Amateur Radio Club will convene a class for the Technician license when there are at least 3 participants. Additionally, many club members are happy to mentor prospective amateurs in their quest to get licensed. So no matter what resources you choose, attend one of the club meetings and ask any questions you have.

See the "Links to Resources", at the bottom of this page for links to resources to help you study for your exam.

Before You Take Your Test

In addition to study preparation before the test. You must register for a FRN Number from the FCC before your test. License applications cannot be processed without an FRN number. FRN registration is available online, there is no fee, and your FRN number will be provided (while online) upon successful completion of the application.

Persons convicted of a felony should click on this link for information on how to petition the FCC to obtain eligibity to be granted an Amateur Radio License.

Persons with a felony conviction can obtain a FRN number, and even take and pass an exam. However, until such time that the FCC receives and grants an applicant's petition for eligibility they, the FCC, will not grant a license application. To be clear, this is not due to any requirement or rules put in place by volunteer examiners.

When You're Ready to Take the Test

The Hualapai Amateur Radio Club provides license test sessions for all license classes. Test sessions are held at 10:00AM, on the third Saturday of each month. Due to the Covid-19 situation, the testing location will be provided when contact the club's VEC coordinator (information below).

Exam sessions are conducted by volunteers working under the direction of the FCC and a Volunteer Exam Coordinator (VEC).

The fee for each test session is $15.00. You may take multiple exams for the same fee the same day. For example, you can take the exams for Technician and General back-to-back for the same $15 fee.

Note: As of April 19 2022, the FCC is once again charging a license fee ($35.00) for the 10 year license term, paid online directly to the FCC. However, the $35.00 FCC fee does not apply to license upgrades.

Walk-ins are welcome, however, it it extremely helpful to the volunteer examiners to know how many to expect, as there are several documents required for each test taken. There are identification requirements as well which must be met in order to take an exam. Please ensure that you have all required documents prior to your arrival at the testing location.

When you are ready to take your test, if you have questions, and/or you have special needs requirements in order to take your exam, please contact Alyce or Tom Ingle at (425) 231-9173 for further information.

Links to Resources

Listed below are the links to some resources that you may find helpful in studying for your exam. Some are free, others are not. NOTE: Hualapai Amateur Radio Club does not receive any compensation for these links. The presence of these links does not constitute a recommendation or endourcement for the resource linked or producted/service provided by the owner of the linked resource. These links are simply provided as a resource to aid you in obtaining your amateur radio license.