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Old 11-09-2014, 19:05   #1
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FCC Ship's License application

I have just completed (I think) an utterly confusing application for FCC license. A little history: once upon a time, I had a ship's license but it expired several years ago. Now I plan to sail to Canada, so, at least in theory, I need a license again. I cannot renew the expired license without a waiver, so I'm applying for a new license (and a new call sign). They are charging me a "PASM fee" of $65 and a "PASR fee" of $150. I have absolutely no clue what these fees are for, but they certainly seem excessive... And I have no clue whether I filled out the form correctly, or whether I did the right thing to apply for a new license rather than request a waiver (of what?) and try to renew the old license, but I think the waiver request comes with its own additional fees!

Excuse my ranting....
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Old 11-09-2014, 19:24   #2
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

it is for sure a very confusing web site. don't lose your login and all those other codes and numbers!
does it still work only in IE or did they fix it so it works in other browsers?
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Old 11-09-2014, 19:30   #3
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

I just filed for a ships license and mmsi as well the cost was 165.00 I already has a gmdss operators license that is good for life so I was in the system. These call signs can be transferred but once they expire you have to reapply.
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Old 11-09-2014, 19:40   #4
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

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Originally Posted by dohenyboy View Post
does it still work only in IE or did they fix it so it works in other browsers?
It appears to work in Firefox
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Old 11-09-2014, 19:42   #5
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

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I just filed for a ships license and mmsi as well the cost was 165.00
I'm curious--did they break down the fees for you? That's a lot less than what I paid...
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Old 11-09-2014, 19:44   #6
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

The website is hideous, but keep track of the Federal Registration Number, the FRN. It is the key to everything. The station license fee is the big one, $165, for 10 years. To operate a SSB, you need both the station license and a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator license. The latter is free and good for life. You can also update the station license without any charge as you add more equipment, e.g., radar, EPIRB, AIS, etc.

I do not believe the call signs can be changed. When I sold my old boat, I wanted to keep the call sign because it was an easy one to remember, but the FCC said no, and I had to get a new one (and new station license).
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Old 11-09-2014, 20:02   #7
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

I did my application for MMSI last year and paid $160.

I guess I still need to apply for a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator license. I'm in no hurry for it though.
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Old 11-09-2014, 20:05   #8
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

ziggy-
According to some of the FCC's web pages, yes, you can apply for a waiver and get an expired license reinstated. But the FCC's human help will quickly explain to you, that application and process is "one size fits all" and ships' station licenses are NOT eligible for any waiver. Once they lapse, they are gone.

Which makes no sense, there's a limited pool of digits to assign and absolutely nothing for them to lose by, say, charging a 10% penalty and reinstating the old license. They're just not interested, and not required, to make any accommodation.

When in doubt, call the toll-free number at the FCC's licensing division, they don't bite (much) and they're usually good at explaining things.
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Old 23-04-2015, 14:29   #9
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

Just completed this (using Rhapsody's helpful screenshots on his blog) and I can confirm that the fee total is now $215 (for a radio station license with FCC MMSI). That's more than my radio cost! (a Standard Horizon HX870 with DSC)

The breakdown is $65 for PASM which is the application fee, and $150 for PASR which is the regulatory fee. They increased from $60 + $100 when Rhapsody filed his a couple years ago.

Oh well, just the cost of doing business with the government.
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Old 24-04-2015, 16:40   #10
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

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Originally Posted by Tessellate View Post
Just completed this (using Rhapsody's helpful screenshots on his blog) and I can confirm that the fee total is now $215 (for a radio station license with FCC MMSI). That's more than my radio cost! (a Standard Horizon HX870 with DSC)

The breakdown is $65 for PASM which is the application fee, and $150 for PASR which is the regulatory fee. They increased from $60 + $100 when Rhapsody filed his a couple years ago.

Oh well, just the cost of doing business with the government.
Good to know the screenshots were helpful. It's getting pretty expensive to do anything these days.
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Old 24-04-2015, 16:54   #11
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

Actually, I vaguely recall it was under Ronald "Raygun" that the FCC was ordered to set their fee schedule based on the actual costs of each service. So in theory, over the ten years that a license is good for, it costs them some $22 per year to administer that one license, including the application process and all, averaged out. And in theory, that's all documented someplace on the public record.


But if you ask the FCC to show you the numbers behind any license service? All of a sudden, the outstanding customer service and competence at the FCC seems to get lost. "Ah, yes, sure, someone will get back to you." (Not in this lifetime.)


I'm pretty sure that since computers and databases have replaced reams of file cards? The FCC license that first cost me $75 for ten years, sure as ***t can't cost three times as much to administer today.
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Old 22-04-2016, 10:04   #12
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

I just completed the applications for the ships license and the RR permit. What a headache.
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Old 22-04-2016, 11:24   #13
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

Maybe I'm steppin' in somethin' here, but I go to Canada almost every summer for several weeks and have never been asked for a ship's license...
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Old 22-04-2016, 11:53   #14
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

Hey....I drive 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year and have never been asked for my drivers license, either :-)

Just because you're not asked doesn't mean you don't need it.

If you have even a VHF radio, you need the ships license AND an operators permit.

Yes, the price is steep. Outrageously so, IMHO. But there you are...it is what it is.

Bill
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Old 23-04-2016, 11:14   #15
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Re: FCC Ship's License application

We had our Radio Station Authorization and my Restricted Radio Operator's Permit checked by US Customs and Immigrations when we checked back into the US from the Bahamas in Charleston, SC in 2013. The officer simply pointed at the HF feed line to the backstay and asked what my call letters were. He had no interest in my Amateur Radio License. I have not had my radio paperwork checked either before or since.

(I have had the Restricted Radio Operator's Permit since 8-28-81. If my memory serves, they were free back then.)

Irish Eyes to the Bahamas
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