FCC Adopts Reduced Amateur Radio Application Fee

On December 23, 2020, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a reduced Amateur Radio application fee of $35. This new fee is part of the application fee schedule published in Report and Order FCC 20-184 (R&O).

This application fee “will not take effect until the requisite notice has been provided to Congress, the FCC’s information technology systems and internal procedures have been updated, and the Commission publishes notice(s) in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of such rules.” 1

The Amateur Radio Service has been included in the Personal License category of Wireless Licensing Fees. This fee category—and the FCC rationale for not exempting the Amateur Radio Service—is discussed in section III.B.1.b on page 11 of the R&O.

The Personal License category encompasses:

  • Amateur Radio Service licenses
  • Ship licenses
  • Aircraft licenses
  • Commercial Radio Operator licenses
  • General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licenses

All licenses in the Personal License category are subject to a $35 fee for these types of applications:

  • New license
  • Special temporary authority
  • Rule waiver
  • Renewal

The Amateur Radio Service is also subject to a $35 fee for Vanity Call Sign applications. 2

On December 30, 2020, ARRL News reported:

The FCC has agreed with ARRL and other commenters that its proposed $50 fee for certain amateur radio applications was “too high to account for the minimal staff involvement in these applications.” In a Report and Order (R&O), released on December 29, the FCC scaled back to $35 the fee for a new license application, a special temporary authority (STA) request, a rule waiver request, a license renewal application, and a vanity call sign application. All fees are per application. There will be no fee for administrative updates, such as a change of mailing or email address. 3

The KB6NU Ham Radio Blog has also reported on this development.


  1. p 67, “Report and Order FCC 20-184”, Federal Communications Commission, accessed December 31 2020, https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-184A1.pdf ↩︎

  2. pp 15–16, “Report and Order FCC 20-184”, Federal Communications Commission, accessed December 31 2020, https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-184A1.pdf ↩︎

  3. “FCC Reduces Proposed Amateur Radio Application Fee to $35”, ARRL the national association for Amateur Radio, accessed December 31 2020, http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-reduces-proposed-amateur-radio-application-fee-to-35. ↩︎