Information for amateur radio licensees

23 March 2017

Each year, Ofcom provides information to the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) on radio amateurs’ call signs and mailing addresses for publication in an annual callbook. The purpose of the callbook is to help amateur radio users communicate with each other.

This year, due to an administrative error, a small minority of users’ main station addresses were provided to the RSGB instead of their mailing addresses. This information was published as part of the RSGB Yearbook 2017. We have written individually to all those whose information has been published in error.

We take the management of people's information very seriously, and would like to apologise for this mistake. The cause of the problem has been identified and resolved, so that it cannot happen again.

The RSGB has removed all unsold copies of the Yearbook and is working with us to replace those that have already been issued.

What action should I take?

If the wrong information address information was published about you, you should have been contacted individually by us.

If you have purchased a copy of the RSGB Yearbook 2017 and the RSGB holds a record of purchase, it will be replaced automatically for you. We ask that you destroy your old copy.

If you have purchased a copy of the RSGB Yearbook 2017 but the RSGB holds no record of the purchase, the RSGB will be happy to replace it. You should send back the front cover using the pre-addressed label which can be downloaded from www.rsgb.org/yearbookreturns. When you have received the replacement, please destroy your old copy.

Should you wish to speak to us, please contact us on 020 7981 3131.

Amateur Radio Licence Class Current fees

Via online applications

Via postal applications if aged under 75 years

Via postal applications if aged 75 years or over

Foundation

No fee

£20

No fee

Intermediate

No fee

£20

No fee

Full

No fee

£20

No fee

Full (Club)

No fee

£20

No fee

Full (Temporary Reciprocal)

Not available

£20

No fee

Callsigns are issued in the following formats:

Updated 13/5/08

Foundation licence

M3 + 3 Letters
M6 + 3 Letters

Intermediate licence

2E0 + 3 letters
2E1 + 3 letters

Full licence callsigns

G1 + 3 letters
G2 + 2 letters
G2 + 3 letters
G3 + 2 letters
G3 + 3 letters
G4 + 2 letters
G4 + 3 letters
G5 + 2 letters
G6 + 2 letters
G6 + 3 letters
G7 + 3 letters
G8 + 2 letters
G8 + 3 letters
G0 + 3 letters
M0 + 3 letters
M1 + 3 letters
M5 + 3 letters

You can  apply for and issue a Special Event NoV via our Online Licensing System.

Applying for Special Event Station Notice of Variations Online

To apply the  following NoVs you will need to complete and application form and send it  Spectrum Licensing via post or emails.

  • Special,  Special Event Station NoV
  • Permanent  Special Event Station NoV

OfW287 Application for a Notice of  Variation (NoV) for a Special Event Call sign PDF, 35.9 KB

  • Special research permit

OfW306 Application for an Amateur  Radio special research permit  PDF, 28.9  KB

Special event stations in 2016  PDF, 26.7 KB

Arrangements for special event stations to mark the centenary of the cub scouts  and events in the Great War

Variation for a special contest callsign

The RSGB processes applications for Special contest callsigns for Ofcom, although it remains Ofcom's decision on whether or not to grant a variation.

Amateur Radio (Full) licence

Most licence variations authorise the licensee to do something that is not expressly covered in the licence (for example to use an additional call sign, such as a Special Event Station callsign) or to relax a limitation in the licence (for example installing equipment for general unsupervised use by other licensees, such as repeaters and beacons). We limit their availability to Full licensees only. This is for two reasons:

First, Full licensees have demonstrated the highest levels of competence. This reduces the risk of mistakes and consequently of causing inadvertent harmful interference due to inexperience or limited technical ability.

Second, we are keen to see standards and levels of competence maintained at the highest possible levels across the hobby.  If some privileges are available only to holders of the Amateur Radio (Full) licence, we hope that this will provide an incentive for those who hold a Foundation or Intermediate licence to progress to the highest level.  Higher overall levels of competence, we believe, will reduce the risk of inadvertent harmful interference to other users.

Amateur Radio (Intermediate) licensees

In the past, the spectrum regulator exercised its discretion and, exceptionally, permitted the variation of some Intermediate licences. We are phasing that out, as we wish to re-establish the position where variations are available to Full licensees only. This is for the reasons given above.

The sole exception is variations for Simplex Gateways. Historically, the spectrum regulator decided that these variations should also be available to Intermediate licensees. We shall maintain this extraordinary privilege.

Apart from Simplex Gateways, therefore, we shall not grant new variations to Intermediate licensees and existing variations will not be renewed when they expire. This will restore the normal position where only Full licensees enjoy these privileges. This typically involves variations for repeaters and beacons.

General exceptions

Where a variation is made generally available, for example to enable licensees to participate in a national celebration (such as the 2012 Games) the variation may not be restricted to holders of the Amateur Radio (Full) licence.  We shall publish details of availability with each such variation.

Product name

No. of licences

Amateur Club Radio Licence

1478

Amateur Foundation Radio Licence

21791

Amateur Full Radio Licence

52075

Amateur Intermediate Radio Licence

9348

Amateur Temporary Reciprocal) Radio Licence

2

Grand Total

84694

Frequently asked questions

Yes. We may authorise amateurs to operate in the UK if the administration that issued the overseas amateur radio licence is a signatory to European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) Recommendations T/R 61-01 or T/R 61-02 or if the UK has a bilateral agreement with the administration to cover the mutual recognition of amateur radio licences.

CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01

This recommendation puts in place arrangements to allow qualifying licensed amateurs from other participating states to establish and use amateur radio apparatus in the UK for up to three months without further authorisation from us. Visiting amateurs should use their overseas call sign, prefixed by M/. A UK call sign is not issued.

If you wish to apply for a license under this arrangement, you should submit a paper-based application for an Amateur Radio Examinations Certificate. In this case we will consider issuing a Reciprocal License valid indefinitely.

CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-02

This recommendation puts in place arrangements to allow qualifying licensed amateurs from other participating states to establish and use amateur radio apparatus in the UK for periods in excess of three months, subject to being issued with an individual licence and call sign by us.

Other administrations

If the administration that issued your licence is not a signatory to CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-02 but has a bilateral agreement with the UK for the reciprocal establishment of amateur stations, then you should submit a paper-based application to Spectrum Licensing, with evidence of your overseas licence and any examination pass certificate. In this case, we shall consider issuing a Temporary Reciprocal Licence. This will be normally be valid for six months and will be subject to renewal.

In accordance with the CEPT Recommendations T/R 61-01 and T/R 61-02 (which equates to the HAREC), only the UK Amateur FULL Radio Licence is recognised as a CEPT Class 1 licence, and as such is the only level of licence which can be operated in countries that are signatories to the aforementioned recommendations.

Ofcom is not responsible for Licensing outside of the U.K and therefore cannot guarantee to be in possession of current licensing criteria for overseas authorities. The onus therefore lays on the licensee to enquire with the appropriate authority within the country they wish to visit. Although, the United Kingdom represent Overseas Territories at the International Telecommunication Union, each are responsible for their own administration. We would therefore recommend that individuals approach the licensing authority in the country of destination for further clarification.

A licence remains valid unless we notify the licensee that the licence has been formally revoked. If we wish to revoke a licence, we must follow a prescribed process. This is set down in legislation (Schedule 1 to the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006, as amended). We must formally notify you of our proposal to revoke your licence and allow you to make representations about that proposal, within a set period of time. That notification will include reasons for the proposal. At the end of the period for representations, we have a month to reach our decision though we may not need that long. We must notify you of our decision within a week of making it. If we decide to revoke your licence, only then will it be revoked and it remains valid until then. If you use your station after your licence has been revoked you commit an offence. On conviction, you risk a fine, imprisonment and the forfeiture of your station.

If we have issued a reciprocal licence against a bilateral (or similar) agreement with a country that has not signed up to the CEPT recommendation, it is a (Temporary Reciprocal) licence. Licensees will not receive a UK call sign, they will use their own callsign issued to them by the licensing authority of their own country. The licence is only valid for a period of six months.

To apply for a (Temporary Reciprocal) licence you will need to complete a paper application form PDF, 450.8 KB . Please note paper applications incur a £20 administration fee.

If you choose to apply online, it can take up to 5 working days for Ofcom to receive your candidate number from the Radio Society of Great Britain.

To apply for a Club licence, the applicant must be a full licence holder and be supported by 2 other nominated full licence holders. You can now apply for Club licences online, provided you have registered with our online licensing service.

If the individual club licensee has died in the last five years, the other two members who countersigned the application (or, if either or both of them have died or moved on, two duly appointed officers of the club) should write to us jointly and let us know, so that we can cancel that licence. If the notification is accompanied by a fresh application, we shall endeavour to issue the same call sign to the club to ensure continuity.

If the individual Club licensee has become estranged from the other members of the club in the past five years, then the other members must apply for a fresh licence. That will probably entail issuing a fresh call sign.

If you want to amend the details of your individual licence (Foundation, Intermediate, Full, or Full (Club), perhaps to notify us of a new address or telephone number, you can do so using our online licensing service.

If you want to amend any detail of a Full (Temporary Reciprocal) licence the you hold, you must complete and sign the Of346a amendment form PDF, 391.1 KB and either post it to us or scan it and email it to spectrum.licensing@ofcom.org.uk

No.

The current Ofcom policy, based on our international obligations, is that a call sign, once issued, remains with a station for the life of that station.

Licences are valid indefinitely, unless surrendered by the licensee or revoked by Ofcom. It is the responsibility of the licensee to confirm to us that your details (name, address and so on) remain valid.

To validate your licence, you will need to log in to the Online Licensing System.  An on screen prompt will appear asking you to check and update or confirm your details, to do this use the Verify my details button.

No.

If you wish to become licensed once more, you will need to apply again. A fee of £20.00 is payable, to contribute to the recovery of administration costs.

When applying, you will need to provide a copy* of any documents which prove that you previously held the call sign. This could either be:

- An old licence / validation document;
- A City & Guilds Institute certificate
- If you were a member of the Radio Society of Great Britain then proof of entry in a RSGB call book would also be sufficient.

*Please do not send original documents

The licences have the same status as the previous licences. Ofcom has taken steps to notify other regulators in Europe through arrangements such as CEPT. Ofcom is aware of other countries adopting or proposing to move to electronic licensing.