How long does it take for the FCC to process vanity callsign applications?

My application shows as Pending in license manager but oddly does not show up at all in Application Search.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello, and welcome to this site! Perhaps someone who has just had their license processed during this coronapocalypse (if any) will see this and answer you. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2020 at 19:56

2 Answers 2

  1. If you submit your application online on a federal workday (Monday to Friday, except holidays), even after hours, it is considered received that day. If you submit your application on a weekend or a holiday, it will be considered received on the next federal workday.

  2. There is a waiting period of 17 days, during which applications aren't processed. This allows time for mailed-in applications to be processed (yes, they're still allowed).

  3. If the 18th day (inclusive) is a federal workday, your application will be queued for processing that night. Otherwise, it will be queued for processing on the night of the next federal workday.

  4. The results of your application will be posted early in the morning of the following day (regardless of whether it is a federal workday).

Because the receipt date and the processing date must both be federal workdays, and be separated by 17 days, it works out that processing will only happen on Monday (if the receipt date was Wednesday through Friday), Thursday (if the receipt date was Monday), or Friday (if the receipt date was Tuesday), and the results will show on Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday mornings.

Normally, this works out to an 18-20 day wait, but holidays may increase it to 21. I don't think any two federal holidays are perfectly spaced to create the perfect storm of a 24-day wait.

Most information in this answer sourced from AE7Q.


The FCC waits 18 days before rendering a judgement re a vanity request. Who knows why that would be the case in the 21st century, but that's what they do. The Feds take their own sweet time about everything they do.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 18 federal workdays or 18 calendar days? $\endgroup$
    – user16809
    Apr 11, 2020 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ I believe it is 18 calendar days. At least, that's my recollection from when I was waiting impatiently for mine to go through. $\endgroup$
    – Nat Mote
    Apr 12, 2020 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ I just looked up your call and see that your grant date is exacly 18 days after your "receipt date". Good news, I have less than a week to wait assuming nobody else applied for the same call! Also interesting is that as of this writing your application for a new call is not visible in application search but the address change is $\endgroup$
    – user16809
    Apr 13, 2020 at 0:52
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ While the US Federal government is easily criticized, a small bit of research often provides a reason for their actions. There are often several people applying for the same vanity call. The FCC does not simply issue it to the first applicant. The 14 day waiting period allows time for other to apply including those applying by mail. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Apr 13, 2020 at 14:41

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