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Old 24-03-2007, 05:41   #1
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FCC New On line processing System

With the new revisions to the rules for communications the FCC now has an on line system for filing almost possible forms a cruiser might require. If you are required to file with the FCC much of the written documentation around the Internet about the process is now totally wrong!

The On line system starts here:

FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS): ULS Home

The form you need is called the "605". It used to be a pretty complicated form (still is) but it now can be prepared on line. The better part is you can start the form, then save it on line for 30 days as you work through the details (there are many).

To file on line you first need to register yourself and obtain an FRN ID. This is to tie all your paperwork to you. For some reason you still need to enter all the same information on the 605 but they will want an FRN ID. You want to do that on line before you start. You can also download the PDF versions of the forms and still do it on paper if you want. IT helps to download the full forms as they have instructions and this is the Federal Government so you need to read them. They don't do things like you would think.

You can register all your equipment if you plan to go offshore. Your VHF, EPIRB, and HF. You'll also get a new MMSI number for your DSC gear. Ham licenses are a separate application since you have to have test results, but all the rest can be combined in a single 605. There is no form 753 (HF/SSB Limited operators permit) any more. It is now all part of form 605.

Now for the part that amazed me the most. You fill it all out and submit it. The next step is paying (you knew there would be money didn't you). That can also be done on line via a credit card. Last but not least you can monitor the progress of the application. Mine took only a few days! You will find the results soonest on line then the real paper versions come later in the mail.

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Old 04-04-2007, 16:17   #2
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I am trying to complete all the licensing I will need for an upcoming year of cruising. I want to add SSB to the basic VHF radio on board and we will also carry an EPIRB and have an MMSI number for our boat.

Last year I established my FRN registration number with the FCC. I have been studying for the general exam. When I went back to the FCC website to see about completing the online application that you describe, I discovered that I have already been given a "Restricted Operator License" with a call sign. Is that all I need for the SSB/EPRIB?etc.?


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Old 04-04-2007, 17:03   #3
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If you get the paper in the mail you know it's real. After it was all said and done $160.00. The SSB was only ever about the payment of the fee. There never was a test. They just bundled it all in one application of the Form 605. They eliminated the form for SSB. If you can go on line and have all the information, you can complete the 605 in about 20 minutes and a credit card with a piece of paper in less than a week. I even got an amendment completed and the update came in three days later.

The phone support is pretty good too. We are even talking about the US Federal Government here. The FCC seems to be getting the idea that the dumb stuff does not need to be hard. My neighbor across the street owns a radio station but he hasn't quite reached the point where it's easy yet.

If you can it, it is worth getting the General HAM license. That is just two exams that are possible to pass. The last advanced HAM certification does mean you have to do some serious work to pass, but at least the General HAM license will get you access to all the bands that matter on a boat. Actually just the SSB bands is the biggest part of what you need. It's easy enough to get the technician HAM level though.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 04-04-2007, 20:31   #4
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Good job, Paul

You listed the "mechanics" very well. I recently got my ship rado station "license"/authorization that way, all on line and everything worked smoothly. I especially like the provision for making changes to the authorization, like when adding an EPIRB along with vessel and personnell particulars.
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Old 08-04-2007, 05:19   #5
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We are planning on a cruise to the USA this fall. Do we need to apply for license(s) for our VHF? We have our license for Canada - will it suffice?
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Old 08-04-2007, 07:34   #6
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Westie, yes. Your license is good on a Canadian registered boat wherever you go.

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Old 08-04-2007, 09:25   #7
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Just to add a point... the Restricted Operator's Certificate is all that's required to operate a marine VHF in Canada. You do not need a station license (although you can get one through Transport Canada).

OTOH, if I'm not mistaken, you still need a station license (as well as the ROC, maybe?) to operate a VHF radio in the U.S. A Canadian station license is fine, but you do need one.

All this enormously detailed info comes courtesy of the Canadian Power Squadron radio course, which is still fresh in my mind 'cause I just took it in January.


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