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Old 12-02-2015, 01:02   #1
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Ship radio license - call sign

i am getting my stuff ready for a long distance trip on my 28 ft southern cross ...i want to go to canada this summer from new york..and believe i need a radio license...how do i do this and how expensive is it...do you guys have one, and is it something they've asked to see proof of?

thx.
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Old 12-02-2015, 05:17   #2
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

While I believe it is probably a technicality and nobody from Canada, Mexico or the Bahamas might ask for it, I went ahead and did it because that is the only way to get a MMSI assignment that is good internationally.

Good news is that it is good for 10 years and arrived within a few days of filling out the application online with the FCC. Bad news is that it costs over $200.00!

You'll need to fill out the two forms indicated and follow the instructions here: FCC: Wireless Services: Ship Radio Stations: Licensing

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Old 12-02-2015, 05:47   #3
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

I just did this three days ago. The licenses are already approved but I haven't yet received the hard copies. I found Milltech Marine's (no affiliation except as a satisfied customer) instructions - scroll down to "How do I obtain an FCC-issued MMSI?" - more straightforward than the FCC instructions. In addition to the SA license you will need to repeat step three of the Milltech instructions and also apply for an RR - restricted radiotelephone operator license for yourself. It was $215 for the SA license, which is good for 10 years and $65 for the RR license, which is good for life.

I've heard varying reports on whether these requirements are enforced in foreign ports, and as much as it's no fun to have to fork over $285, it's a small price to pay to avoid potential hassles - the worst of which could be fines and/or boat impoundment.
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Old 12-02-2015, 18:50   #4
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

what is the difference between the two? what are they for? i'm trying to get an understanding of what i'm dealing with but it's really not clear..

SA vs. RR.??
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Old 12-02-2015, 19:16   #5
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

The SA is the ships license it is a license for the equipment. The RR is a license for the operator of said equipment. In reality it is just a revenue source or tax if you like. Technically you need both.


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Old 12-02-2015, 19:31   #6
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

I sailed to Nova Scotia about 10 years ago from Ct. I didn't have at the time a station's license or operators license. which is required technically even for VHF. If budget is tight and you don't need MMSI number I don't think you have any concerns. I sailed to Bermuda a number of years ago in a 30 ft boat and was asked for my license number. When I said " what's that" they ignored the negative answer.
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Old 13-02-2015, 01:09   #7
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

apart from my cruising permit and my radio licenses. will i need anything else to enter and return from canada to the US? I have customs experience in the caribbean but not us/canada wise. i'm curious about checking out and checking in..

the idea being nyc to halifax!
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Old 13-02-2015, 01:54   #8
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

We have visited about 30 some countries, but not Canada, and have had to show our license only 1 time. We have both VHF and HF.
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Old 13-02-2015, 08:58   #9
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

You need your Radio licence and current paper charts for the areas you intend to travel in, electronic chartplotters do not qualify to replace paper charts. Not sure but there may be other requirements with your radio licence if your stay is more than 30 days it may be wise to ask at check in.

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Old 13-02-2015, 09:04   #10
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

Never had to show my radio licences on my own boat but we have done on other boats I sailed on. f you get stopped by customs inspections it is one f the things they can ask for. Fines are heavy if you don't have one. The other time was in the Solent UK (on school boat). a raidio developed a fault and was causing interference. We got boarded by the coastguard who wanted to see all documentation. Having unlicenced equipment on-board that was interfering with navigation would have landed us in serious problems, as it was just needed to replace the radio. Would imagine several places along the east coast would be the same
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Old 13-02-2015, 09:23   #11
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

A slightly different twist- have always sailed locally in US waters so only obtained MMSI. Now planning trip to Bahamas. Do I need to be assigned a new MMSI in addition to license, or is it transferable?
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Old 13-02-2015, 09:27   #12
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

What is considered HF?




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Old 13-02-2015, 10:49   #13
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

Quote:
Originally Posted by sowwaninii View Post
A slightly different twist- have always sailed locally in US waters so only obtained MMSI. Now planning trip to Bahamas. Do I need to be assigned a new MMSI in addition to license, or is it transferable?
My understanding was that I would need to get a new MMSI if I got the free one online then later got the one from FCC for out of country... so I paid somewhere around $265 and filed through FCC. I felt confused during the application since the process seems to be aimed at commercial ships, airplanes, and radio stations, but stuck with it and got call letters and MMSI in the mail after about a week. I can't remember the detail type, but since one of my radios is a handheld, I got a license that can be used on other boats too. I'm gonna say it is an "SA".
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Old 13-02-2015, 10:52   #14
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

You won't need a license to have a VHF radio on board.

You won't need a license to listen to the VHF radio.

American boats in American waters do not need a license to transmit on VHF.

Canadian boats in Canadian waters need an operators permit to transmit on VHF.

American boats in Canadian waters need to spend almost 300 dollars to get two pieces of paper to legally transmit on the VHF.

My off the wall estimate--less than 10% spend the money.
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Old 13-02-2015, 10:54   #15
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Re: ship radio license - call sign

Do u need a RR license for everyone aboard to use the radio? Or is ONE enough for all?


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