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What is the best way to get an amateur radio license in different countries?

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Answers should be for specific countries.

I'm not asking for myself, but rather for anyone in any country who wants to be a ham.

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  • $\begingroup$ I voted to close this as too broad – this aims not to answer a single question, but to build up a database of answers, which is classically not within scope of Stackexchange sites; other formats are better suited, to be honest. Really, a few preliminary notes, and then a table with links (and core facts like "restricted to citizens", "cost", "name of license in local language(s)") would be way better than having 200 answers – and this site doesn't even support tables. $\endgroup$ – Marcus Müller Jan 8 at 23:33
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    $\begingroup$ @MarcusMüller there is a discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Jan 9 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ @MarcusMüller If you read that discussion in Ham Chat, you'll see that Kevin and myself approved this. Scott is also in agreement. There are also two informative links there about the purpose of community wikis, which this is. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Jan 9 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ To be clear, I "approved" in that it would be acceptable to try this format, not that I think it is a good idea or that it is exempt from normal processes by moderator declaration. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Jan 10 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ If you are visiting another country there may be a reciprocal agreement. For example as a US Amateur if I visit Germany there is a CEPT agreement and I don't need to get a German license. If I move to Germany, staying longer than 6 months, then I would need to get a German license. $\endgroup$ – Jim Feb 14 at 18:37
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In the United States, the process of obtaining an amateur radio license is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission, better known as the FCC. The FCC has outsourced the process to several organizations known as Volunteer Examiner Coordinators, or VECs. To get an amateur radio license, you must pass an exam given by a VEC. You can find an upcoming exam in your area here.

There are three license classes in the US: Technician, General, and Amateur Extra. (There are also two more license classes, Novice and Advanced, but new licensees can't qualify for those classes.) Technician is the easiest test to pass, but has the least privileges; Amateur Extra has the hardest test and the most privileges.

Of course, in order to pass the exam, one must know the material. The traditional route to learn is to take a class, and/or read a license manual. Classes and manuals are offered by the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for amateur radio operators, and also W5YI-VEC. You can find upcoming classes here.

Amateur radio clubs are a great resource for getting a license. Many clubs offer license classes and license exams (for a VEC such as the ARRL). You can find an ARRL-affiliated club close to you here.

The question pools for the exams are public, and so there are online practice exams, like this one. The practice exams are a great way to study for the exam.

You don't have to be a citizen, or even live in the US, in order to hold a US license; but you may not be an agent of a foreign government. You must be able to receive domestic US mail, but that territory includes FPO/APO addresses and US territories.


  • You must pass element 2 to get a Technician license.
  • You must take and pass elements 2 and 3 to get a General license.
  • You must take and pass elements 2, 3 and 4 to get an Amateur Extra license.

You can take all three tests the same night, but most testing teams require you take an pass them in order. If you fail element 2, then you would not get a license even if you pass the other.

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    $\begingroup$ You must take a pass element 2 to get a technicians license. You must take and pass element 2 and 3 to get a general license. You must take a pass element 2,3 and 4 to get an amateur extra license. You can take all three tests the same night, but most testing teams require you take an pass them in order. If you fail element 2, then you would not get a license even if you pass the other. $\endgroup$ – Jim Jan 9 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ Hi Jim, this is a community wiki answer, which means that I don't own it; please feel free to edit it. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Jan 9 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ As @rclocher3 stated, please feel free to edit the question and add your comment to it. Comments should not be answers. Please see the commenting infornation and guidelines. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Jan 11 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ Copied comment from @Jim into answer. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Feb 13 at 20:47
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In Germany the DARC , the german Radio Club offers preparation courses for interested persons. The BNetzA, a subsidiary of the federal ministry for economics, offers license tests, which consist of a written and and a personal exam. After successful completion, a license is issued. Just as in most other jurisdictions, there is a “full “ CEPT and a novice license. A class A (full) allows up to 750 W on all ham bands. Because of international regulatory approval, the license is also valid in dozens of other countries.

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In Brazil it is LABRE.

In all countries it is always the amateur radio association of that country. You can find them as members of the International Amateur Radio Union.

Every country then has its own rules of course, but that is best figured out by talking with the local amateur radio association.

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in FRANCE on must pass a radio operator certificate which includes a technical part and a legislative part. Only when you have passed this exam can ask the administration for a call sign. Since January 2019 there is no more emission tax.

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