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End of an Era- Paperless Licenses




 
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W3LSN
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« on: January 29, 2015, 11:40:36 AM »

The FCC now says the era of the paperless "ticket" has arrived  --- unless you really want one ---



FCC "Paperless" Amateur Radio License Policy Goes into
Effect on February 17


Starting February 17, the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper
license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. The
Commission has maintained for some time now that the official
Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that
exists in its Universal Licensing System (ULS), although the FCC has
continued to print and mail hard copy licenses. In mid-December the
FCC adopted final procedures to provide access to official
electronic authorizations, as it had proposed in WT Docket 14-161 as
part of its "process reform" initiatives.

Under the new procedures, licensees will access their current
official authorization ("Active" status only) via the ULS License
Manager. The FCC will continue to provide paper license documents to
all licensees who notify the Commission that they prefer to receive
one. Licensees also will be able to print out an official
authorization - as well as an unofficial "reference copy" - from the
ULS License Manager.

"We find this electronic process will improve efficiency by
simplifying access to official authorizations in ULS, shortening the
time period between grant of an application and access to the
official authorization, and reducing regulatory costs," the FCC
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) said. According to the WTB,
the new procedures will save at least $304,000 a year, including the
cost of staff resources.

In comments filed November 5, the ARRL had strongly recommended that
the FCC "give serious consideration to continuing a default
provision for sending an initial paper license document to new
licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, along with detailed, simple
instructions for how to make the elections set forth in the notice
relative to future modified or renewed licenses."

The FCC said that applicants or licensees who include a valid e-mail
address under "Applicant Information" in the ULS will receive an
official electronic authorization via e-mail. New license applicants
who do not provide a FCC Registration Number at the examination
point will receive a printed license as well as an FRN and a
temporary password to access the Commission Registration System
(CORES).

The ARRL and other Amateur Radio commenters also worried that unless
a license document is printed on distinctive paper stock, its
authenticity could be questioned in such situations as obtaining
vanity call sign license plates. To address this, the FCC said the
watermark "Official Copy" will be printed on each page of an
official authorization that a licensee prints out from the ULS. The
WTB recently stopped using distinctive paper stock to produce hard
copy licenses and has been printing these on "standard, white
recycled paper." The Bureau noted that the distinctive paper stock
it had used was six times more expensive than the plain recycled
paper it now uses.

The ULS License Manager now includes settings that allow licensees
to notify the WTB that they prefer to receive official
authorizations on paper. Once the final procedures go into effect
designating electronic access as the default, licensees can change
the ULS License Manager setting so that the Bureau will print and
mail a license document. Licensees also may contact FCC Support via
the web at, http://esupport.fcc.gov/index.htm?job=contact_fcc_support , or via
telephone or mail to request paper licenses.

The FCC rejected as "outside the scope of this proceeding" an ARRL
argument that Section 97.23 of the Amateur Service rules be amended
to replace "licensee mailing address" with other alternatives,
including e-mail, for use in Commission correspondence. The rule,
which requires that any licensee mailing address be in an area where
the licensee has US Postal Service access, has precluded FCC
issuance of location-specific call signs in such areas as Navassa
Island (KP1) and some Pacific islands.
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W1ITT
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 12:41:02 PM »

I think the League saw the handwriting on the wall with this matter.  But, in the tradition of lemons to lemonade, they are willing, for "only" $12 for members, and $15 for non-members to print up a certificate of sorts that one can frame and hang on the wall.
 The AE7Q site,     http://ae7q.com/misc/Generate.php    will let you print out a copy that is more reminiscent of the ones that used to come from the Commission,  more pleasing to my eye, and you can do it for the cost of printer ink and a sheet of paper.  I still have my original Novice ticket from the sixties and remember, as does most everyone else, how cool it was to be getting my license straight from the FCC.  Come to think of it, the word "cool" was just beginning to catch on at that time, along with "neato".
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W3LSN
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 02:04:02 PM »

There are some people who might want to pay for a nice diploma style certificate.  The actual FCC licenses have looked very cheap since they went to the universal format for all ham and commercial operator licenses many years ago.  I still have my original Novice ticket from the 70's which must have been typed by some clerk on an IBM Selectric typewriter.   I also still have a commercial license laser printed on diploma stock where the clerk simply XXXX-ed out a mistake and typed in the correct text after it.

73,
Jim
WA2AJM/3
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WD8BIL
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2015, 02:13:03 PM »

Here in Ohio we are required to provide the license every year to renew our call letter license plates!
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W3LSN
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2015, 02:27:28 PM »

Here in Ohio we are required to provide the license every year to renew our call letter license plates!


They say the FCC ULS would still let you print out an "official copy" with a special watermark. You can still make a request for a printed copy to be mailed to you, so it's really a non-issue.

73,
Jim
WA2AJM/3
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w1vtp
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2015, 05:15:14 PM »

Renewed my license just recently.  Looks like I'm the last of the oldie but goldie types.  It was due in April but what the heck.  Renewed it anyway

Bet this is the last time I get to renew it since I'm 77 going on 78.

I'm hoping my "crusty old man" status will add to my years tho'   Grin

Al
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KL7OF
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2015, 06:53:12 PM »

I have my original novice license and it was typed with x'ed out mistakes and corrections....Those days are long gone...
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W3GMS
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2015, 07:10:14 PM »

At one time the Amateur License was a proud piece of paper work! 

Here is the license for W3AOA (sk) from 1929.

Joe-GMS


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W1ITT
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2015, 07:56:56 PM »

It's interesting that the design of the Department of Commerce radio license style continued into the 1980s.  My last First Class Radiotelephone license, before they demoted us all to the yucky yellow General Radiotelephone ticket, follows that format, with the substitution of Federal Communications Commission for the Commerce Department.
When I sent it in for renewal and change to the yellow thing, I politely requested that when they stamped it "cancelled"  they would do so faintly and on the back side.  Previous renewals had come back with a big inky stamp..right on the front.  In my case, the secretary was kind enough to be gentle with mine and it looks as good as the day it was issued.  We worked hard for those tickets, and that classic format carried an air of authority and achievement.  That Department of Commerce amateur ticket is the essence of buzzardliness.
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KA0HCP
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2015, 08:05:26 PM »

Licenseless Licenses.   I can't wait for Radioless Radio!  It will be even more convenient.  Wink
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W3LSN
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2015, 08:21:47 PM »

It's interesting that the design of the Department of Commerce radio license style continued into the 1980s.  My last First Class Radiotelephone license, before they demoted us all to the yucky yellow General Radiotelephone ticket, follows that format, with the substitution of Federal Communications Commission for the Commerce Department.
When I sent it in for renewal and change to the yellow thing, I politely requested that when they stamped it "cancelled"  they would do so faintly and on the back side.  Previous renewals had come back with a big inky stamp..right on the front.  In my case, the secretary was kind enough to be gentle with mine and it looks as good as the day it was issued.  We worked hard for those tickets, and that classic format carried an air of authority and achievement.  That Department of Commerce amateur ticket is the essence of buzzardliness.

I have quite a collection of cancelled licenses myself.  I think they stopped requiring expiring commercial licenses to be returned for cancellation around the same time that they went to the new format of wallet and certificate size licenses printed on the same sheet. That must have been sometime in the 1990's, but I didn't take particular note.

I once knew a real old buzzard who had been issued an "Amateur Extra First Class" license by the Commerce Department.  It was mentioned in the FCC rules until at least the 1980's as being the good for morse code credit for any commercial radiotelegraph license.  I think it was written out of the FCC rules in the late 80's when the FCC realized all those former ticket holders were probably dead.

73,
Jim
WA2AJM/3
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KA2DZT
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2015, 08:34:01 PM »

At one time the Amateur License was a proud piece of paper work! 

Here is the license for W3AOA (sk) from 1929.

Joe-GMS

Joe,

That license is real oldie, but I don't see any assignment of call letters.  Am I missing something??

Fred
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W3LSN
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2015, 08:38:08 PM »

At one time the Amateur License was a proud piece of paper work!  

Here is the license for W3AOA (sk) from 1929.

Joe-GMS

Joe,

That license is real oldie, but I don't see any assignment of call letters.  Am I missing something??

Fred

The FCC used to issue station and operator licenses separately.  For half a century or so they have been issued together on the same form, but they are still technically two licenses.   Many times you still see the FCC cancelling a station license, but suspending the operator license in enforcement actions.

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flintstone mop
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2015, 06:27:25 AM »

Renewed my license just recently.  Looks like I'm the last of the oldie but goldie types.  It was due in April but what the heck.  Renewed it anyway

Bet this is the last time I get to renew it since I'm 77 going on 78.

I'm hoping my "crusty old man" status will add to my years tho'   Grin

Al

We're not going to let you get out of this that easy Al. There could be another renewal coming.

Fred
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Fred KC4MOP
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2015, 09:27:09 AM »

I can't read my license now.   The print came off in my wallet and it is now on the plastic holder.
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W3GMS
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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2015, 09:29:04 AM »

Digging through my memorabilia, I found the 1922 operator and station license for my friend Jack Williamson 3GC later assigned W3GC.  

Joe - W3GMS


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N8IE
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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2015, 09:38:07 AM »

Here in Ohio we are required to provide the license every year to renew our call letter license plates!


Sure do, I had to on the 7th. But I always carry my license with me so no big deal.
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Steve - K4HX
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2015, 07:21:45 PM »

Interesting to see the restrictions in that license. He couldn't alter his antenna.

And only 10 WPM of Morris code was required. The modern day CW nuts will lose their minds.


Digging through my memorabilia, I found the 1922 operator and station license for my friend Jack Williamson 3GC later assigned W3GC.  

Joe - W3GMS
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W3GMS
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2015, 07:52:00 PM »

Interesting to see the restrictions in that license. He couldn't alter his antenna.

And only 10 WPM of Morris code was required. The modern day CW nuts will lose their minds.


Digging through my memorabilia, I found the 1922 operator and station license for my friend Jack Williamson 3GC later assigned W3GC.  

Joe - W3GMS


Steve,

I think that was somewhat of a basic license back then and Jack was just getting started in Radio.  We all know that any Ham worth his salt can copy at least 50 WPM  Wink !!

Here is a picture of his first station when that license was granted.  

Joe GMS



* CCI01302015_0000.jpg (1235.87 KB, 2425x3039 - viewed 253 times.)
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W1RC
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2015, 06:20:20 AM »

....The AE7Q site,     http://ae7q.com/misc/Generate.php    will let you print out a copy that is more reminiscent of the ones that used to come from the Commission,  more pleasing to my eye, and you can do it for the cost of printer ink and a sheet of paper.  I still have my original Novice ticket from the sixties and remember, as does most everyone else, how cool it was to be getting my license straight from the FCC.

Very interesting site Norm and thanks for a great resource.  As another poster points out the FCC will send a printed license on requests so it is really a non-issue.  I am all for saving taxpayer dollars whenever possible.

Back when I passed my Amateur Extra test in 1981 the FCC had a very nice certificate available for Extra Class licensees.  You had to request it or you didn't get it.   I sat for my exam on the 16th floor of the Customhouse Building in Downtown Boston Massachusetts and was told that I could get one at no cost but I would have to wait until I received my permanent license to request one.  Then I had to send a photocopy of my new Extra Class license with my request mailed to their office where it would be issued.

A few days later it arrived.   It was signed-stamped my "Uncle Vinny" himself, a legendary figure here in New England.

Looks offical doesn't it?  If you read it you will see that this piece of pretty paper conveys absolutely no operating privileges or authority at all.  But it sure looks nice on my wall.  I am very proud of it since I am not an engineer or technician by education and the Extra Class was tough before "Bash books" and published question (and answer) pools as well as the abolishment of the 20 WPM CW test.

Incidentally, In addition to my amateur license in the USA  I also hold a Canadian license as well.  When you pass the exams you are issued an official certificate of proficiency in radio and later an advanced certificate if you pass those exams later.  Once you pass you never have to sit for those tests again, even if your station license lapses.  You can get another station license just by presenting your certificate and paying the one-time $65.00 fee.  You don't even need to go to their office; Industry Canada has a special amateur radio Web page where all of this and more can be done online.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/025.nsf/eng/h_00001.html

73,

Michael, W1RC
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Tom W2ILA
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« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2015, 07:47:53 AM »

The future is clear. Here is the NPRM
Licensing

The Amateur Service is licensed by rule. An individual license is not required to operate a Ham station and the FCC does not renew formerly issued Amateur Radio Service licenses. A foreign government, a representative of a foreign government, a federal government agency, or a person the FCC issued a cease and desist order to, and the order is still in effect, is not eligible to operate a ham station. An eligible person may operate a Homebrew or commercial station in accordance with the rules regardless of age, and for personal or business use.

None of the Ham channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any station not even 3885. You must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most efficient use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference. If you use an AM station to transmit a message, you cannot talk with another station for more than 5 minutes continuously and then you must wait at least one minute before starting another communication. Exceptions to Maine residents may be granted by The Commissioner

You are not required to transmit a station identification announcement. You are, however, encouraged to identify your Amateur communications by transmitting a previously assigned Ham station call sign that may have been issued on paper; a self-assigned call sign consisting of the letter K followed by your initials and residence zip code; your name; or an organizational description including name and any applicable operator unit number.
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Mort


« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2015, 10:19:51 AM »


  I just got done dealing with the Ohio BMV. To RENEW my
plates on my truck, They said they needed to SEE my
original License. Verification card wasn't good enough.

   The only other time I had to show that was when
my plates were issued. 13 or 14 years ago. Of course
they have been renewed 13 or 14 times without that.
New rule they said.

/Dan
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