If one passed the Extra written test in the late '90s at an ARRL test center but did not get the 20wpm endorsement, yet is an Advanced operator, would they now be upgraded to Extra class or do they need to retest? As I stated, I passed the written in the '90s at an ARRL test center.


§ 97.505 (alternate reference) covers the ways to get credit for an exam element.

When you passed the test in the 90's, you would have earned a "certificate of successful completion of an examination" (CSCE). According to §97.505(b), a CSCE is valid for only 365 days, so unfortunately you'll have to test again.

According to §97.505(a), an unexpired advanced license is valid for credit towards elements 2 and 3, so you will need to pass only element 4 to upgrade to extra. If the license is expired the credit is only for element 3, so you'll also have to pass element 2. You must bring evidence of the license to the VE. If you don't have a copy of the license, you can get it from ULS.

  • $\begingroup$ I hope your reference is correct! However, I don't think they are (unless this FCC rule is recent). I hold an Advanced class license, and have always heard that if I want to upgrade then I have to take the same test as a non-amateur. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Oct 19 '18 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeWaters that's true -- what in my answer makes you think something to the contrary? $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Oct 19 '18 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ added another reference, if you don't believe Cornell $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Oct 19 '18 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, you are 100% correct (again)!!! Thanks, Phil. A lot of hams I know believe differently. Now to find the current question pool for element 4. :-) $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Oct 19 '18 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ arrl.org/extra-question-pool $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Oct 19 '18 at 22:03

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