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List of FCC Licenses
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FCC Examination
RESTRICTED RADIOTELEPHONE OPERATOR PERMIT

Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit (RP) holders are authorized to operate most aircraft and aeronautical ground stations aboard pleasure craft (other than those carrying more than six passengers for hire on the Great lakes or bays or tidewaters or in the open sea) when operator licensing is required. RP holders may also operate, repair and maintain any kind of AM, FM, TV or international broadcast station. They may act as chief engineer or chief operator of a broadcast station. RPs are issued for the holder's lifetime.

An RP is issued without examination. To qualify you must:
    (a) be either a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States or hold an aircraft pilot certificate valid in the United States or hold an FCC radio station license in your own name (*see limitation on validity below);

    (b) be able to speak and hear;

    (c) be able to keep at least a rough written log; and

    (d) be familiar with provisions of applicable treaties, laws and rules which govern the radio station you will operate.

To apply for an RP, you need to complete FCC Form 605.
To obtain FCC forms, call (202) 418-3676.


No RP is needed to operate the following:
    (a) a voluntarily equipped ship or aircraft station (including a CAP station) which operates only on VHF frequencies and does not make foreign voyages or flights;

    (b) an aeronautical ground or coast station which operates only on VHF frequencies;

    (c) on-board stations;

    (d) a marine utility station unless it is taken aboard a vessel which makes a foreign voyage;

    (e) a survival craft station when using telephony or an Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon (EPIRB) station;

    (f) a ship radar station if:
      (i) the operating frequency is determined by a fixed tuned device;
      (ii) the radar is capable of being operated by only external controls;

    (g) shore radar, shore radiolocation, maritime support or shore radio-navigation stations.

* If you are a non-resident alien you must hold one of the following three documents to be eligible for an RP:
    (a) a valid United States pilot certificate issued by the Federal Aviation administration; or

    (b) a foreign aircraft pilot certificate which is valid in the United States on the basis of reciprocal agreements with foreign governments; or

    (c) a valid radio station license issued by the FCC in your own name. (An RP issued on this basis will authorize you to operate only your own station.)


FCC
MARINE RADIO OPERATOR PERMIT

Marine Radio Operator Permits (MROPs) are required to operate radiotelephone stations aboard vessels:
  • Weighing more that 300 gross tons.
  • That carry more than six passengers for hire in the open sea OR any coastal/tidewater area of the United States.
  • Aboard certain vessels that sail the Great Lakes.
  • AND to operate certain aviation radiotelephone stations and certain coast radiotelephone stations.
    MROPs DO NOT authorize the operation of any AM, FM or TV broadcast stations.
You must meet the following 3 requirements to be eligible for an MROP:
  1. be a legal resident of (eligible for employment in) the United States; and

  2. be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English; and

  3. pass the Written Element 1 examination.
    Written Element 1 covers basic radio law and operating procedures with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. 24 questions concerning provisions of laws, treaties, regulations, and operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelephone stations. The minimum passing score is 75% (18 questions answered correctly).

MROPs are valid for a five year term. They may be renewed from anytime in the last year of the license term to five years following expiration. An expired MROP is not valid for any radio operations.

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FCC
GENERAL RADIOTELEPHONE OPERATOR LICENSE

General Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL) is required to adjust maintain, or internally repair FCC licensed radiotelephone transmitters in the aviation, maritime and international fixed public radio services. It conveys all of the operating authority of the MROP.

It is required to operate the following:
  • any maritime land radio station or compulsorily equipped ship radiotelephone station operating with more than 1500 watts of peak envelope power;

  • voluntarily equipped ship and aeronautical (including aircraft) stations with more than 1000 watts of peak envelope power.


To be eligible for a GROL you must:
  1. be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States;

  2. be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English; and

  3. pass the Written Examination for Element 1 (or provide proof of a current Marine Radio Operator Permit) and Written Element 3.

      Written Element 1 Examination covers basic radio law and operating procedures with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. 24 questions concerning provisions of laws, treaties, regulations, and operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelephone stations. The minimum passing score is 75% (18 questions answered correctly).

      Written Element 3 Examination comprised of 100 questions concerning electronic fundamentals and techniques required to adjust, repair, and maintain radio transmitters and receivers at stations licensed by the FCC in the aviation, maritime, and international fixed public radio services. Categories covered are: operating procedures, radio wave propagation, radio practice, electrical principles, circuit components, practical circuits, signals and emissions and antennas and feed lines. The minimum passing score is 75% (75 questions answered correctly).

The GROL is issued for the lifetime of the holder.

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FCC
SHIP RADAR ENDORSEMENT

The Ship Radar Endorsement may be placed only on General Radiotelephone Operator Licenses or on First or Second class radiotelegraph operator's certificates. Only persons whose commercial radio operator license bears this endorsement may repair, maintain or internally adjust ship radar equipment.

To be eligible for this endorsement, you must:
  1. hold (or qualify for) a First or Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate or a General Radiotelephone Operator License, and;

  2. Pass the Written Element 8 examination. Ship radar techniques. 50 questions concerning specialized theory and practice applicable to the proper installation, servicing and maintenance of ship radar equipment in general use for marine navigational purposes. The minimum passing score is 75% (38 questions answered correctly).

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FCC
THIRD CLASS RADIOTELEGRAPH OPERATOR'S CERTIFICATE

The Third Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate authorized operation of certain coast radiotelegraph stations. It also confers the operating authority of both the Restricted Radiotelephone Operator permit and the Marine Radio Operator Permit.

To be eligible for this license, you must:
  1. be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States.

  2. be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English;

  3. pass Morse code examinations for telegraphy Elements 1 and 2 (or provide proof of a current Amateur Extra Class operator license) at 16 code groups per minute and 20 words per minute plain language (receive and transmit by hand); and

  4. pass written examination for Element 1 (or provide proof of a current Marine Radio Operator Permit) and written Element 5.
      Written Element 1. Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. 24 questions concerning provisions of laws, treaties, regulations, and operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelephone stations. The minimum passing score is 75% (18 questions answered correctly.)

      Written Element 5. Radiotelegraph operating practice. 50 questions concerning radio operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelegraph stations primarily other than in the maritime mobile services of public correspondence. The minimum passing score is 75% (38 questions answered correctly).

      Telegraphy Elements 1 and 2. The examinee must send correctly by hand and receive correctly by ear text in the international Morse code at not less than 16 code groups per minute and 20 words per minute, using all the letters of the alphabet, numerals 0-9, period, comma, question mark, slant mark, and prosigns AR, BT and SK.
      Note to Amateur Extra Class operators (licensed before April 15, 2000) receive credit for Telegraphy Element 1 (16 Code Groups per minute) and Telegraphy Element 2 (20 Plain Language words per minute) without examination toward the Third (T-3)and Second Class (T-2) Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate.
      A photocopy of the Amateur Extra Class license must be attached to the FCC Form 605 Commercial Radio application to receive the examination credit.
      Extra Class operators who have only passed the 5 wpm telegraphy examination do not receive any exam credit towards a commercial radio telegraph license.
Third Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates are valid for a five year term. They may be renewed from anytime in the last year of their term up to five years following expiration. An expired certificate is not valid for any radio operations.

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FCC
SECOND CLASS RADIOTELEGRAPH OPERATOR'S CERTIFICATE

A Second class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate authorized the holder to operate, repair and maintain ship and coast radiotelegraph stations in the maritime services. It also confers all of the operating authority of the Third Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate and the General Radiotelephone Operator License.

To be eligible for this license, you must:
  1. be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States;

  2. be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English;

  3. pass Morse code examinations for telegraphy Elements 1 and 2 (or provide proof of a current Amateur Extra Class operator license) at 16 code groups per minute and 20 words per minute plain language (receive and transmit by hand); and

  4. pass written examination for Element 1 (or provide proof of a current Marine Radio Operator Permit) and written Elements 5 and 6.

      Element 1. Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. 24 questions concerning provisions of laws, treaties, regulations, and operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelephone stations. The minimum passing score is 75% (18 questions answered correctly).

      Written Element 5. Radiotelegraph operating practice. 50 questions concerning radio operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelegraph stations primarily other than in the maritime mobile services of public correspondence. The minimum passing score is 75% (38 questions answered correctly).

      Written Element 6. Advanced radiotelegraph. 100 questions concerning technical, legal and other matters applicable to the operation of all classes of radiotelegraph stations, including operating procedures and practices in the maritime mobile services of public correspondence, and associated matters such as radio navigational aids, message traffic routing and accounting, etc. The minimum passing score is 75% (75 questions answered correctly).

      Telegraphy Elements 1 and 2. The examinee must send correctly by hand and receive correctly by ear text in the international Morse code at not less than 16 code groups per minute and 20 words per minute, using all the letters of the alphabet, numerals 0-9, period, comma, question mark, slant mark, and prosigns AR, BT and SK.
      Note to Amateur Extra Class operators (licensed before April 15, 2000) receive credit for Telegraphy Element 1 (16 Code Groups per minute) and Telegraphy Element 2 (20 Plain Language words per minute) without examination toward the Third (T-3)and Second Class (T-2) Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate.
      A photocopy of the Amateur Extra Class license must be attached to the FCC Form 605 Commercial Radio application to receive the examination credit.
      Extra Class operators who have only passed the 5 wpm telegraphy examination do not receive any exam credit towards a commercial radio telegraph license.
Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates are valid for a five year term. They can be renewed from anytime in the last year of their term through five years following expiration. An expired certificate is not valid for an radio operations.

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FCC
FIRST CLASS RADIOTELEGRAPH OPERATOR'S CERTIFICATE

A First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate is required only for those who serve as the chief radio operator on a U.S. passenger ship. It also conveys all of the operating authority of a Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate.

To be eligible for this license, you must:
  1. be at least 21 years old;

  2. have at least one year of experience in sending and receiving public correspondence by radiotelegraph at ship station, coast stations, or both;

  3. be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States;

  4. be able to receive and transmit spoken message in English;

  5. pass Morse code examinations for Telegraphy Elements 3 and 4 at 20 code groups per minute;

  6. pass written examination for Element 1 (or provide proof of a current Marine Radio Operator Permit) and written Elements 5 and 6.

      Element 1. Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. 24 questions concerning provisions of laws, treaties, regulations, and operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelephone stations. The minimum passing score is 75% (18 questions answered correctly).

      Written Element 5. Radiotelegraph operating practice. 50 questions concerning radio operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelegraph stations primarily other than in the maritime mobile services of public correspondence. The minimum passing score is 75% (38 questions answered correctly).

      Written Element 6. Advanced radiotelegraph. 100 questions concerning technical, legal and other matters applicable to the operation of all classes of radiotelegraph stations, including operating procedures and practices in the maritime mobile services of public correspondence, and associated matters such as radio navigational aids, message traffic routing and accounting, etc. The minimum passing score is 75% (75 questions answered correctly).

      Telegraphy Elements 3 and 4. A telegraphy examination must prove that the examinee has the ability to send correctly by hand and to receive correctly by ear text in the international Morse code at not less than the prescribed speed, using all the letters of the alphabet, numerals 0-9, period, comma, question mark, slant mark, and prosigns AR, BT and SK.
First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates are valid for a five year term. They can be renewed from anytime in the last year of their term up to five years following expiration. An expired certificate is not valid for any radio operations.

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Questions? Need to Register? Call our helpful staff at 888-722-2440 (9-5 Eastern)

About GMDSS - The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System
The GMDSS radiocommunication safety system for ships has replaced the former ship-to-ship safety system, which relied on a manual Morse code system on 500 kHz and voice radiotelephony on Channel 16 and 2182 hKz. GMDSS is an automated ship-to-shore system which uses satellites and digital technology.

FCC License
GMDSS RADIO OPERATOR LICENSE

The GMDSS radio operator is an individual qualified to handle radiocommunications aboard ships in compliance with the GMDSS regulations, including basic equipment and antenna adjustments. The GMDSS radio operator need not be a radio officer. The GMDSS Operator License also confers the operating authority of the Marine Radio Operator Permit.

To be eligible for this license, you must:

  1. be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States;

  2. be able to receive and transmit spoken message in English;

  3. pass written examinations for Element 1 (or provide proof of a current Marine Radio Operator Permit) and written Element 7.

      Element 1. Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. 24 questions concerning provisions of laws, treaties, regulations, and operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelephone stations. The minimum passing score is 75% (18 questions answered correctly).

      Element 7. GMDSS radio operating practices. 100 questions concerning GMDSS radio operating procedures and practices sufficient to show detailed practical knowledge of the operation of all GMDSS sub-systems and equipment; ability to send and receive correctly by radio telephone and narrow-band direct-printing telegraphy; detailed knowledge of the regulations applying to radio communications, knowledge of the documents relating to charges for radio communications and knowledge of those provisions of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea which relate to radio; sufficient knowledge of English to be able to express oneself satisfactorily both orally and in writing; knowledge of and ability to perform each function listed in Section 80.1081; and knowledge covering the requirements set forth in IMO Assembly Resolution on Training for Radio Personnel (GMDSS), Annex 3. The minimum passing score is 75% (75 questions answered correctly).

I know which license I need - Where do I go from here?
Questions? Need to Register? Call our helpful staff at 888-722-2440 (9-5 Eastern)

About GMDSS - The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System
The GMDSS radiocommunication safety system for ships has replaced the former ship-to-ship safety system, which relied on a manual Morse code system on 500 kHz and voice radiotelephony on Channel 16 and 2182 hKz. GMDSS is an automated ship-to-shore system which uses satellites and digital technology.

FCC License
GMDSS RADIO MAINTAINER'S LICENSE

GMDSS regulations require that GMDSS ships using at-sea maintenance, and only ships that choose at-sea maintenance, carry a licensed GMDSS radio maintainer. The GMDSS Radio Maintainer's License also confers the operating authority of both the General Radiotelephone Operator License and the Marine Radio Operator Permit.

To be eligible for this license, you must:

  1. be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States;

  2. be able to receive and transmit spoken message in English;

  3. pass written examinations for Element 1 (or provide proof of a current Marine Radio Operator Permit), written Element 3 (or provide proof of a current General Radiotelephone Operator License) and Element 9.

      Element 1. Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. 24 questions concerning provisions of laws, treaties, regulations, and operating procedures and practices generally followed or required in communicating by means of radiotelephone stations. The minimum passing score is 75% (18 questions answered correctly).

      Written Element 3. Examination comprised of 100 questions concerning electronic fundamentals and techniques required to adjust, repair, and maintain radio transmitters and receivers at stations licensed by the FCC in the aviation, maritime, and international fixed public radio services. Caterogies covered are: operating procedures, radio wave propagation, radio practice, electrical principles, circuit components, practical circuits, signals and emissions and antennas and feed lines. The minimum passing score is 75% (75 questions answered correctly).

      Written Element 9. GMDSS radio maintenance practices and procedures. 50 questions concerning the requirements set forth in IMO Assembly on Training for Radio Personnel (GMDSS), Annex 5 and IMO Assembly on Radio Maintenance Guidelines for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System related to Sea Areas A3 and A4. The minimum passing score is 75% (38 questions answered correctly).

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FCC
GMDSS OPERATOR/MAINTAINER LICENSE

Note: In instances where applicant qualifies for a GMDSS Radio Operator License (DO) and a GMDSS Radio Maintainer License (DM), a GMDSS Radio Operator/Maintainer License (DB) will be issued.

I know which license I need - Where do I go from here?
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