Friday, November 14, 2014

ARRL to FCC: Keep the Paper Coming, Please

W8PAL paper license, circa 1935.
The ARRL has asked the FCC to continue routinely sending paper licenses to new amateurs, even as it begins to phase them out overall. The FCC has indicated that it plans to stop routinely issuing printed license documents to Wireless Service licensees (including hams), unless they are specifically requested. For the FCC's purposes, your listing on the Universal Licensing System (ULS) database is your official license document. According to the ARRL Letter, the League pointed out in its comments that requiring individuals to go online to either download or request a printed license may be a roadblock to some applicants, and pointed out that official license documents are still required for such things as taking upgrade exams or applying for call sign license plates. The ARRL proposed sending a printed license to newly-licensed hams, along with instructions on selecting a preferred method for future renewals and upgrades.