In the United States, all radio operator licenses are granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For amateur radio licenses, the FCC relies on Volunteer Examiners (VEs) to conduct testing and certification of applicant qualifications. The Story County Amateur Radio Club (SCARC) VE team conducts the testing, sends the results to the Laurel Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC), who then passes the results to the FCC. There are several other VECs, most notably the ARRL VEC. The main advantage of the Laurel VEC is that there is no cost to the applicant for taking any exam.
Testing Dates, Times, and Location
Our testing sessions are held at the Danfoss room on the second floor of the Ames Public Library at 515 Douglas Ave, Ames, IA 50010 (map).
- Sunday, January 28, 2024 1:30pm at the Ames Library (pre-register)
- Sunday, April 21, 2024 1:30pm at the Ames Library (pre-register)
- Sunday, July 21, 2024 1:30pm at the Ames Library (pre-register)
- Sunday, October 20, 2024 1:30pm at the Ames Library (pre-register)
All applicants must have a Federal Registration Number (FRN)
Exam candidates are required to register in the FCC CORES system and receive a Federal Registration Number (FRN). The FRN is needed to pre-register and required to take the exam. Bring the FRN with you on exam day. The FCC CORES User Account and Registration page is https://apps.fcc.gov/cores.
All applicants must pre-register
Pre-registration at https://hamstudy.org/sessions/amesia is required! Due to space limitations, our exam sessions are limited to 12 applicants. Pre-registration ends by midnight two days before the session (i.e. for a Sunday session, registration will end on midnight Friday). We will be cancelling any sessions that do not have anyone pre-registered.
Please email us if you have special needs or need to cancel your registration.
For the exam session, you should bring your FRN from the FCC (see above), a legal photo ID for you (e.g. driver license, passport, state issued photo id). In addition, if you already have an amateur radio license and are applying for an upgrade, bring an official copy of your current, signed, amateur radio operator’s license. Also bring the original and a copy of any document(s) that you want to use for element credit like the Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE). Note that children without a photo ID may take a test if they can prove their identity to the satisfaction of the session VEs.
You may also bring a pencil or two and a calculator (non-programmable, if possible). Phones and other electronic devices are prohibited during testing. Please leave them off and untouched during examination or we have to terminate your examination per FCC rule. After taking the exam please remain at the testing site until your paper work has been signed and you received the Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) if you passed the examination.
When you passed the examination and qualified for a licence, the FCC will email a link with payment instructions. You will have 10 calendar days to pay the $35 application fee by the FCC. The FCC will email your license once the fee is paid and the FCC processed your application. You do not have to wait for the emails to pay the fee or check if the license is granted. You can pay and see granted license in the CORES system.
If you are upgrading you may use your new privileges that very same day. If operating on frequencies permitted by your new license you will need to add “slash AG” (for a new General) or “slash AE” (for a new Extra) until your new license appears in the FCC database. The FCC does not charge a fee for upgrades.
Please be aware that the following information about you will be made publicly available on the FCC's website:
- Your name
- Your mailing address (P.O. Boxes are acceptable addresses)
- Your license call sign and license class
- Your FCC registration number
- Felony conviction status
- Various transaction dates, administrative review statuses, etc. in regards to your license.