What is this $35 application fee?

As of April 19th 2022, the FCC has implemented a $35 application fee due to the RAY BAUM (Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act) act passed by congress in 2018 that required the FCC to restructure its payments.

In amateur radio, this application fee applies to those obtaining a new license, renewals, vanity callsign requests, rule waiver application and certain modifications.

Those who are licensed and are upgrading to either General or Extra do not have to pay the FCC application fee.

Please note that the FCC Application Fee and Examination fees are not the same!! Thankfully the PVVET/Laurel doesn’t charge an exam fee.

The current the fee is $35USD and must be paid to the FCC. VE teams will not accept FCC application fees. Those who are obtaining a new license will be given instructions at the exam session about FCC application payment.

How can I get an offical copy of my license from the FCC?

The FCC stopped automatically printing and mailing official licenses in 2015. However, you can request for a paper copy from the FCC for any future upgrades or modifications.

If you don’t have a GMRS/Amateur Radio license, during the registration process, you had to create an account with the FCC. You would need to login using your FRN (Or username after March 1st 2019) and password and change “Set Paper Authorization Preferences” to yes.

If you already have a FRN, you will need to login (if you never logged in, you will need to do a password reset to obtain one) and do the above.

Please note the FCC no longer mails out licenses printed on their special type of paper. You will receive just a plain white photocopy of your license. The FCC will also not mail out a license until you’ve obtained, upgraded, renewed or changed your callsign.

When will my license show up?

Typically the PVVET will submit its session electronically after the examination. Upon VEC (Laurel) approval, the information will be sent to the FCC (electronically) for processing.  This process can take a few hours up to a couple days depending on when the exam was administered (weekend applications will not be processed until the following Monday). This is assuming the FCC’s EBF is up and running.

Those who are already licensed and have upgraded at the exam, soon as application is processed by the FCC, you should see it updated so you no longer have to use /AG or /AE after your call.

For those who are obtaining a new license (didn’t have a license prior to the exam), you’ll receive an e-mail from the FCC about the $35 application fee that must be paid to the FCC within 10 days. You should have been provided with instructions prior to leaving the exam.

Once your callsign appears in the FCC’s ULS, you are legally allowed to use it on the air.

It’s strongly suggested that you print and sign at least 2 copies of your license. If you wish to upgrade, you must bring a signed copy of your license that will be given to the team.

I upgraded to general/extra, when could I use those frequencies?

If you’ve already been issued a license and have upgraded at an exam session, soon as you get the signed CSCE, you will be allowed to use the frequencies allowed by your license immediately.

If you upgraded to general class (element 3), you will have to sign with “/AG” or “Temporary AG” or “Stroke AG” when you are on frequencies reserved for general and above. For example you would say, “This is KC1XXX temporary AG”

If you upgraded to extra class (element 4), you will have to sign with “/AE” or “Temporary AE” or “Stroke AE” when you are on frequencies reserved for extra class operators. For example you would say, “This is KC1XXX temporary AE”

Once the FCC ULS has updated with your new license class, you no longer have to add the temporary AG or AE suffix to your callsign. You also don’t have to add the temporary AG or AE on frequencies that you were allowed to operate on with your previous license.

If you did not have a license and passed your element 2 along with element 3 and/or 4, you can not transmit until your callsign is issued in the FCC’s ULS.  Once your license has been issued and appears in the FCC’s ULS, you do not have to attach the temp suffix since you were issued either a general or extra class license.

What can I do with my new license?

There so many aspects to amateur radio that it would be impossible to list them all here. The PVVET strongly suggests that you join an area club.

First thing we usually suggest to new hams in the area is to get on the air! You went through all that studying for license, put it to good use. There are many active repeaters in the valley. There are even some that are networked that make a device like a handheld radio communicate around the world using IP (Internet Protocol). There are even some newer digital modes such as DMR, D-STAR and Yaesu System Fusion in operation around the valley.

You can find a list of up-to-date frequencies at the New England Repeater Directory.

Should I join a club?


There are many amateur radio clubs in the pioneer valley. Some of them will offer a free 1 year membership to newly licensed hams. It’s strongly suggested that you join at least 1 club. There may be representatives from area clubs at PVVET examinations who will help you obtain membership.

Check out our clubs page for area clubs


By joining a club, you’ll be able to meet many operators that live in the area. You will also be able to explore the many aspects of amateur radio and what it has to offer. You may learn something new that you can apply to the hobby or your everyday life. The clubs will also be there in a time of need. Have trouble deciding on what antenna to put up or you need a hand putting it up? The club could be there to help. Or you might have a unique skill that could help out your fellow club members.

Clubs also help out the community in a time of need when normal means of communications has been compromised. There is a network of dedicated hams in the pioneer valley who focus on communications in a time need.

I passed! What happens next?


After the examination is completed, the session will be submitted electronically for review. Once the review process is finished, the information will be submitted electronically to the FCC for processing.

You will be provided with a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) before leaving the exam. The CSCE is proof that you’ve passed your examination(s).

If you are obtaining your first (new) license, you will be given instructions since the FCC requires a $35 application fee. When the session is processed by the FCC, you should receive an e-mail with further instructions. Candidates have up to 10 days to pay the application fee.

If you are upgrading to a General or Extra class license, you are legally allowed to immediately use those privileges. However, if you are transmitting on those frequencies, you have to affix /AG for general and /AE for extra to the end of your callsign whenever you are identifying

For example: This is “KF1XYZ Stroke AG”

If by any chance you take another examination before the FCC’s ULS is updated, you will need to bring the CSCE and a copy of the CSCE to the examination. If the ULS has updated, it’s best if you print 2 copies of your license, sign them and bring them to the examination.