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Old 07-10-2016, 15:53   #1
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Requirements for using radio in Canada waters

Ok, so I just bought a VHF radio with DSC and discovered that I need to get a MMSI registration from the FCC. That got me thinking about what I might need if I want to use the radio in Canada waters.

I've done some research, but am now confused. Can someone tell me what registration/license is required to be able to use the radio?

I think that the only thing I need is called a Ship Station License. Is that correct?
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Old 07-10-2016, 16:11   #2
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Re: Requirements for using radio in Canada waters

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Originally Posted by dmksails View Post
Ok, so I just bought a VHF radio with DSC and discovered that I need to get a MMSI registration from the FCC. That got me thinking about what I might need if I want to use the radio in Canada waters.

I've done some research, but am now confused. Can someone tell me what registration/license is required to be able to use the radio?

I think that the only thing I need is called a Ship Station License. Is that correct?
Almost. You do need a ship station license, and you also need an operators permit (the Restricted one is what most folks go for). Both can be had for the paltry sum of about $160, if I remember correctly. They've changed the fee a few times, so not certain of current amount. No exam required, just fill out the forms on the FCC website.

The station license is good for 10 years. The operators permit is good for life.

Basically, the U.S. is the only country which has allowed VHF operation by boats without any license, in a misguided effort to help out small boat operators (like fishermen in skiffs). However, under international rules VHF operation requires an operators permit AND a ship station license.

When you fill out the form, be sure to check ALL the listed equipment -- satellite, EPIRB, SSB, VHF, radar, etc. -- even if you don't have them yet. Otherwise, you'd have to re-apply and pay the fee all over again if you add something.

Bill
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Old 10-10-2016, 21:39   #3
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Re: Requirements for using radio in Canada waters

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmksails View Post
Ok, so I just bought a VHF radio with DSC and discovered that I need to get a MMSI registration from the FCC. That got me thinking about what I might need if I want to use the radio in Canada waters.

I've done some research, but am now confused. Can someone tell me what registration/license is required to be able to use the radio?

I think that the only thing I need is called a Ship Station License. Is that correct?
Some radio info from the Gov't of Canada.

If you're crossing the border, a station licence is required.

An operator's licence is required in Canada (it was like a one-evening course and CDN$75)... but I don't know of anyone Canadian or otherwise who was ever questioned or prosecuted for not having one. I believe there's also an allowance for visiting boats that they don't have to comply if they're in Canada for less than 40 days, or something like that.

Bottom line - know the radio etiquette and channel usage, and use the VHF efficiently and courteously (eg not like a CB, or like 11-year-olds with their first walkie-talkies), and I don't expect you'll ever have a problem.
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