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I am a 15 year old ham, and just got my Extra class. I was really bummed when I figured out I needed to be 18 to be a Volunteer Examiner administer. Why do they make that rule?

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    $\begingroup$ The obvious answer is that you have to smoke while administering the exams. $\endgroup$ – W5VO Feb 3 '14 at 5:00
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    $\begingroup$ What is the age in your legal jurisdiction at which you are allowed to sign binding legal documents (without ones parents involvement)? Do VE's have to sign off on test results or procedures? That may have something to do with the answer to your question, but IANAL. $\endgroup$ – hotpaw2 Feb 3 '14 at 5:23
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    $\begingroup$ I guess from your question history and the reference to Extra class license that you are asking about the USA. Really, though, please strive to make such things explicit in the question, in tags or the question text; it makes life easier for everybody, particularly those who are not intimitely familiar with the US licensing system and requirements. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 3 '14 at 8:12
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    $\begingroup$ Also, please avoid creating short tag names; see e.g. Tags: “Handheld”, “HT”, or both?, Should we use short or long tags for regional/country tags? and to a somewhat lesser extent What should our general opinion be on jargon?. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 3 '14 at 8:18
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Congress sets the rules the FCC has to follow, and the rule in particular requiring an age limit is Title 47, Volume 5, Part 97, Subpart F:

§ 97.509 Administering VE requirements.
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(b) Each administering VE must:
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(2) Be at least 18 years of age;

It would take an act of Congress to change this rule. I haven't discovered the reason for this rule, but if you look through the amendments to Part 97 over time you may be able to discover which congress made the change, and reading the congressional record may indicate why.

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    $\begingroup$ You presume congress needs a reason to make rules (or not make them, as is sometimes the problem). $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Feb 3 '14 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps because 18 years is the "age of majority" in the US. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_majority $\endgroup$ – Ron J. KD2EQS Apr 30 '14 at 13:18
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The licence is a legal document.. A binding contract. A person has to be 18 to sign a binding legal contract. Very valid reasons.

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  • $\begingroup$ The license is issued by the FCC, not the VE. The VE(s) simply administer the exam and certify the results. $\endgroup$ – Ron J. KD2EQS Apr 30 '14 at 13:13

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