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How to get your Amateur Radio License

The following Frequently Asked Questions may assist you on your journey toward getting your Amateur Radio License.

How do I get my Amateur Radio license?

In order to get an amateur radio license you must pass an examination. 

What are the license levels?

In the United States there are three classes of amateur radio license:

  1. Technician
  2. General
  3. Amateur Extra

You must past each class in succession to move up to the next level.
The Technician class gives you access to lots of frequencies, however the amount of things you can do in the HF spectrum (below the 10 meters band) is very limited. The General class give you access to many of the HF frequecies and Amateur Extra Class gives you access to all amateur frequencies.

What is on the test?

The exam for the entry-level Technician Class license is 35 questions long, taken from a pool of 428 questions.The covered topics range from rules and operating procedures to basic techniclal radio theory.

Does CARP Offer Amateur Radio Education Classes?

Not at this time.

Where Can I Study/Take Practice Tests Online?

There are many online resources to help you study and also give you the ability to take practice tests in preparation for your exam. While most sites are totally free, some may charge for various features. Here are a few:


If you prefer to learn by reading hard paper books here are a few options for your studies:

How Much Does it Cost to take an Exam?

The current fee for taking an amateur radio license examination is $15.00. This is paid to the VE team at the time of taking the exam.

[NEW] What is the FCC Application Fee?

The new Amateur Radio license application fees took effect on April 19, 2022. The Federal Communications Commission's authority to impose and collect fees is mandated by Congress.

The $35 application fee applies to new, renewal, rule waiver, and modification applications that request a new vanity call sign. The fee is per application.

More details can be found here:  FCC Application Fee Info.

Where can I take an exam?

Upcoming Fresno/Clovis exams are listed below. 

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

In addition, the ARRL website has an online search tool to help you find an exam: ARRL Find an Amateur Radio License Exam in Your Area.

Can I take the exam online?

If you cannot find a local in-person examination site, you can take the license examination online. To search avalalbe testing slots

What is an FRN and do I need it to take an exam?

The FRN, or Federal Registration Number, is your personal identification number with the FCC. The FCC now requires all applicants to have an FRN to take an exam. So, it is recommended to get your FRN ahead of time. The FCC has good infomation on getting your FRN

What do I bring to the test?

  • Government issued photo ID (driver's license, passport, military ID, etc.)
  • If upgrading, proof of any current license (copy of license or CSCE)
  • Good pencil (maybe a few)
  • Basic calculator (optional)
  • Test Fee ($15.00 cash, exact change please)
  • Your FRN