top of page
banner how to get a licenxe .png



Why get a ham radio operator License?

Ham (amateur) radio operators often provide essential alternative communications for many agencies and organizations during emergencies that result in loss of normal communications. Hams are known for their public service spirit and commitment. Once licensed there are many other aspects of Ham radio that you can explore, such as ham radio clubs, local non-profit organizations as well as disaster emergency groups that would welcome your help.

Why is a license necessary?

The use of radio equipment and frequencies necessary for emergency communications by ham radio operator is governed by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). FCC rules require an appropriate Ham license to use these. The entry level FCC license is the Technician Class, and it will allow you to operate radios that are well suited to emergency and public service while you learn the skills and knowledge to advance to higher license grades if you desire.

How do I get a ham radio operator License?

Getting your Technician class ham license is easier than you might think. You will need to:

1. Obtain an FCC Registration Number (FRN) FCC Registration System You MUST have an FRN number to take the FCC examination.
2. Study for the Technician Class examination, a 35-question exam. The questions and answers are available to study online, and many people are able to pass with only a few hours of study.
3. Sign up for and attend a local ham radio VE (Volunteer Examiner) session to take the test.
4. Complete a $35.00 License Fee payment to the FCC. After successfully passing your test, and the FCC receives the examination information, it will email a link with payment instructions to each successful candidate, who then will have 10 calendar days from the date of the email to pay. Once you successfully complete the payment, you will be issued a ham call sign and you are ready to get on the air.

Designers Looking at the Computer

Resources for getting your Ham license (see QR codes for links below):

Study Syllabus: Click in the green “Technician Syllabus” button. This is a great intro and question review source.
Practice Exams: Free amateur Radio Practice Tests with Flash Cards Study questions and take practice exams online.

Marin amateur Radio Society: Exams | Marin amateur Radio Society 

Information for study and one of several places to sign up for and take your exam.

American Radio Relay League: ARRL | Licensing, Education & Training | Getting on the Air, Getting Your Technician License (, Find an amateur Radio License Exam in Your Area (

Local Ham Operators: Hams who enjoy helping new Hams are known as “Elmers” within the ham radio hobby. Some local hams who are available to “Elmer” you in getting your license. Don’t hesitate to contact them if you have questions:

Jim Saltzgaber, KM6WWY,




1 Obtain an FCC Registration Number (FRN) FCC Registration System


bottom of page