FCC announces $35 fee for Amateur Radio licenses and vanity callsign applications

The FCC has announced its decision regarding the imposition of a $50 fee for new and renewed licenses and vanity callsigns.  According to an announcement from the ARRL dated December 30th, 2020, after reviewing the comments received from the ARRL and other parties, the Commission agreed that a $50 fee was too high since much of the process is already automated. Therefore, the fee for these applications will be set at $35, with administrative changes (address, etc.) being free. They also discussed their rationale and reasons for rejecting other arguments raised in the comments.

“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.

The effective date of the fee schedule has not been established, but it will be announced at least 30 days in advance. The FCC has directed the Office of Managing Director, in consultation with relevant offices and bureaus, to draft a notice for publication in the Federal Register announcing when rule change(s) will become effective, “once the relevant databases, guides, and internal procedures have been updated.”

The full text can be found at FCC Reduces Proposed Amateur Radio Application Fee to $35

Thanks to Glenn, K9OK, for breaking this news on the EN52 6m Net (50.180 MHz, 02:00 UTC) Wednesday night.