The background, I got a US Tech+ license back in the 1990's when I was in middle school. At the time I did it for the novelty of getting licensed in something and not a bit to imitate my brother. Since I wasn't using the license at the time I let it lapse in the 2000's. Now I am thinking of relicensing to either Tech or General. The question though is could I petition the FCC to let me have my old call sign or would I have to just get a new one? I checked out the FCC website and couldn't find any relevant information in the publications or FAQs.
Once you are re-licensed and obtain a new automatically generated call sign, you may request your old call sign as a "vanity call sign". If it isn't presently assigned to anyone else, you'll be given it. You'll have to pay the fees for the vanity call sign, though, there's no other way for you to re-license under the old call sign after the two year waiting period.