• Expired License During Shutdown

    From Daryl Stout@618:250/33 to All on Sat Oct 10 00:06:56 2020


    One of the benefits of ARRL Membership is automatic renewing of your ham
    radio license, when it gets within 90 days of expiration. Yet, a large
    majority of hams likely have no idea when their license expires, and some
    are still operating on an expired license!!

    If caught by the FCC, you likely will get a Notice Of Violation and/or
    Monetary Forfeiture, for unlicensed operation. Worse, once your license expires...not only you are PROHIBITED from operating on the air in any mode...you can NO LONGER SERVE as a Volunteer Examiner. And, if you
    serve at a test session with an expired license, and you sign the
    paperwork, it invalidates that test session; and every examinee affected
    will have to test again, either in front of another VE Team, or before
    the FCC. Needless to say, the examinees and VE's will NOT be happy with you...and it puts forth a bad face on ham radio!!

    If this wasn't bad enough, during a government shutdown, the FCC will NOT process ANY callsign changes, new licenses, renewals, upgrades, etc. If
    your license expires during a shutdown, you are QRT (OFF THE AIR). And, if
    it lapses (expires more than 2 years) during a shutdown, you will LOSE
    your license, your callsign, your privileges...and at a MINIMUM, have to
    take the Technician Class license to get back into ham radio, and you'll
    get a brand new callsign. Plus, if you had a "prized callsign" (2x1, 1x2,
    2x2, etc.), you may NOT be able to get it back under the Vanity Callsign System!!

    Now, during a government shutdown...if the 90 day pre-expiration window occurs...or if it expires, and is EARLY in the 2 year grace period...you
    can still file the renewal, and continue operating until the shutdown
    ends, and the FCC reopens. But, those waiting until the FCC reopens will
    only have two (2) days to file the renewal...because after that, their
    license will be considered as EXPIRED, and they will be QRT.

    So, before you hit the <ENTER> key, find your license, and check your expiration date. If you can't find the license, go to one of the callsign servers to look it up...because the FCC ULS is NOT available for searches during a shutdown...even though it's the "official place" for data.

    Besides, if your Drivers License expires, and you aren't aware of it...and
    get pulled over by the police, you'll likely be ticketed and fined, if not arrested and jailed.

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ, UALR Ham Radio Club VE Team Liaison
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