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I am in rural Alaska and I am very far from anywhere that gives Ham Exams. I got a Ham Radio and I want to operate it and talk to people. However, I read that frequencies are not allowed to be transmitted on by people who don't have a license.

So am I able to transmit on any frequency, or only allowed to receive?

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The Anchorage ARC VEC administers remote amateur radio license examinations to interested people living in the US and Canada who can't attend an in-person test because they're too far away from a location with a sufficient number of examiners. If you can secure a proctor, and access to an internet connection good enough to run a video chat, you can get your license without having to travel an excessive distance.

The FCC opened the possibility of remote testing in 2014 following petitions from the Anchorage ARC VEC and the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators, and Anchorage launched their web-based testing system in October 2019, so you're just in time to participate! As of February 2020 they've expanded the program to eligible candidates anywhere in the US and Canada.

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Sorry, but you're legally not allowed to transmit on amateur radio frequencies without a license. I'd recommend that you work on earning your ham license. Not only would you be legal, but you would also learn how to operate a radio effectively, and how to deal with problems that come up.

You can find a ham club here. Most ham clubs have license classes and "elmers", that is people who are willing to help new folks get set up. Most ham clubs also offer license exams. Maybe you could talk a club into coming to you to hold a special exam session; I think two examiners are required.

If you really are so far in the bush that you can't contact a ham club, then you could order a license study guide (the ARRL and W5YI guides are the most popular), study up, and schedule your next trip into a larger town to coincide with an exam session. Online practice exams are available. Good luck.

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With appropriate equipment (which does not include a ham rig) a non-licensed person in the USA is allowed to transmit in frequency bands which are "licensed by type" -- this includes CB channels 1 to 40, AM or SSB, Family Radio Bands (aka FMRS), and unlicensed business bands (GMR), but only with type certified equipment specific to each band. Use of WiFi, Bluetooth, and satellite internet fall in this category, also.

Anyone may also transmit under Part 15 regulations, which mainly limit output power to a small fraction of a watt. Within that regulation, you may transmit on nearly any frequency -- including commercial broadcast and FM broadcast bands. Generally, this will require either commercially made units like FM microphones (for speakers and performers) or homebrewed equipment -- and the low power limit makes it impractical for communication beyond a few hundred meters.

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  • $\begingroup$ Gmrs requires a license. However the license is a straight purchase from the FCC and covers multiple people on gmrs. think of it as a public version of business band radios which are also type approved. $\endgroup$ – Rowan Hawkins Jan 9 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ World wide you need approval TRANSMIT/Talk on any frequency from the local governing regulator. Some regions have additional regulations on what you can legally LISTEN to as well. This is by locaity, not by citizenship. $\endgroup$ – Rowan Hawkins Jan 9 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ @RowanHawkins Question is specific to Alaska, which is part of the United States (state since 1959, territory several decades before that). $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Jan 9 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but this question will get hits for all of the other locations so I figured I would address it in a comment, not an answer. $\endgroup$ – Rowan Hawkins Jan 11 at 0:42

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