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Old 26-05-2013, 16:07   #1
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Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

It has just recently come to my attention that it is illegal for you to use marine radio outside of the US without a radio operators license. I have been going up to Canada for some time now, and did not know this. Has anybody been cited for this? Has anyone had to pay fines, etc because they were using the VHF in foreign waters?
I am going to get my RRO now ASAP, as well as my station license, but I would like to hear others experience concerning this regulation.
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Old 26-05-2013, 16:37   #2
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Thumbs up Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

Newt,

Excellent question....

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Old 26-05-2013, 16:43   #3
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

I've been using my VHF frequently in the Bahamas since 1975, but I have always complied with the local use of of channels and protocol. No, I've never had any 'authoritiies question my use.
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Old 26-05-2013, 17:03   #4
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

Canada does not require a station license for VHF on a pleasure craft, last I heard.
They do like it if you do have an radio operators certificate, and that is a requirement to operate VHF in Canadian waters......again last I heard.
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Old 26-05-2013, 17:39   #5
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

I have had a radio operator's license since forever, and I don't believe anyone has ever asked about it ever, anywhere. Once in a great while I have had the Coast Guard or some other official ask for my ship's radio call sign, which is a different matter.
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Old 26-05-2013, 17:45   #6
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How does one even get a license?
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Old 26-05-2013, 17:48   #7
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

A license is required to operate a VHF radio in Australia.

My understanding is that under international treaties Australia is required to allow visiting yachts to operate under licenses issued in their home countries.

While it may appear that the United States does not have VHF licenses my understanding is there is a "generic" license. Probably required under international treaties.

It would probably be possible to get a copy if one knew where to ask. I doubt if it would be required but if one likes to dot every "i" and cross every "t" then nice to have.

Following correct VHF procedures should keep everyone happy.
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Old 26-05-2013, 17:52   #8
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

FWIW Boracay,

While Americans are not required to have an operators license to use a VHF in US territorial waters, one is required if going foreign. I don't know if this is ever checked by any authority in the world... I know that mine has never been out of the nav station since I got it!

Seems that the powers that be are more concerned with flares, PFDs and potties.

Cheers,

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Old 26-05-2013, 18:06   #9
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

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Originally Posted by MBLittle View Post
How does one even get a license?
In the USA, you go to the FCC website and apply on-line. Here's where you start: FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS): ULS Home

You want an Operator's License, and possibly a Ship Station License.

Fair warning: The site is difficult to navigate or generally figure out. Take a look and feel free to ask questions here.
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Old 26-05-2013, 18:09   #10
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

Never a problem, sometimes a customs station will ask for your station ID. I always just repeat the boat name. It is the same license you "need" for an SSB. Believe it runs about $140 every 5 years from FCC.
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Old 26-05-2013, 20:27   #11
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

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Never a problem, sometimes a customs station will ask for your station ID. I always just repeat the boat name. It is the same license you "need" for an SSB. Believe it runs about $140 every 5 years from FCC.
Since I am going through this process, I can update you. It is 170 USD for every 10 years. I find it fascinating that no one ever reinforces this rule, yet there it is. I am getting a station ID because it is needed for an AIS that goes international. And I want to get just one MMSI # and have all my electronics attached to it. They will be- VHF, AIS, ERIB and SSB. The boat will be set for life or until another regulation hits it
Apparently, my call sign with be part of my MMSI number. Does anyone know how many digits I need to call out?
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Old 26-05-2013, 20:37   #12
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

Nope.
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Old 26-05-2013, 20:57   #13
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Re: Have you ever be cited for using VHF?

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Since I am going through this process, I can update you. It is 170 USD for every 10 years. I find it fascinating that no one ever reinforces this rule, yet there it is. I am getting a station ID because it is needed for an AIS that goes international. And I want to get just one MMSI # and have all my electronics attached to it. They will be- VHF, AIS, ERIB and SSB. The boat will be set for life or until another regulation hits it
Apparently, my call sign with be part of my MMSI number. Does anyone know how many digits I need to call out?
Radio call sign for the ship will be seven characters long. Its not the same as the mmsi#. Least it's not on mine.
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Old 27-05-2013, 02:13   #14
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RR is good but if your vessel is over 65ft then I believe you are required to have a MROP. Call signs are 7 characters. MMSI# are 9.
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Old 27-05-2013, 02:51   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
FWIW Boracay,

While Americans are not required to have an operators license to use a VHF in US territorial waters, one is required if going foreign. I don't know if this is ever checked by any authority in the world... I know that mine has never been out of the nav station since I got it!

Seems that the powers that be are more concerned with flares, PFDs and potties.

Cheers,

Jim
In Europe occasionally on a boarding you will be asked for your radio certificates if you have a VHF or other radio. But it's very rare.

Dave
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