Based on another question here, I think it is legal, but I would like it directly from the people who know. Thank you for your time.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hello, and welcome to ham.stackexchange.com! $\endgroup$
    – user14945
    Jun 4, 2020 at 2:08
  • $\begingroup$ Here's what I found searching for control operator, which is what the licensed amateur supervising is known as. This may or may not be a duplicate question. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2020 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Mike if you think it would improve the answer, the definition of "control operator" can certainly be edited in $\endgroup$
    – user14945
    Jun 4, 2020 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


Yep, according to FCC part 97.115...as long as the licenced control operator is present and supervising. There is at least one exception though - the third-party operator cannot have previously had a license revoked.

Here is section 115:

§ 97.115 Third party communications.

(a) An amateur station may transmit messages for a third party to:

(1) Any station within the jurisdiction of the United States.

(2) Any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government when transmitting emergency or disaster relief communications and any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has made arrangements with the United States to allow amateur stations to be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of third parties.

No station shall transmit messages for a third party to any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has not made such an arrangement. This prohibition does not apply to a message for any third party who is eligible to be a control operator of the station.

(b) The third party may participate in stating the message where:

(1) The control operator is present at the control point and is continuously monitoring and supervising the third party’s participation; and

(2) The third party is not a prior amateur service licensee whose license was revoked or not renewed after hearing and re-licensing has not taken place; suspended for less than the balance of the license term and the suspension is still in effect; suspended for the balance of the license term and re-licensing has not taken place; or surrendered for cancellation following notice of revocation, suspension or monetary forfeiture proceedings. The third party may not be the subject of a cease and desist order which relates to amateur service operation and which is still in effect.

(c) No station may transmit third party communications while being automatically controlled except a station transmitting a RTTY or data emission.

(d) At the end of an exchange of international third party communications, the station must also transmit in the station identification procedure the call sign of the station with which a third party message was exchanged.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I'm looking at section b2. It basically says that a person cannot be a third party if their license was not revoked. Does this include an individual who has had a license but allowed it to expire? Can a person like that be a third party who is under supervision? $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2020 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ They way I read it, a former licensee with an expired ticket is ok for third party - the exclusion is based on revocation/suspension without reinstatement. $\endgroup$
    – user14945
    Jun 4, 2020 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds good, thank you. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2020 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ Also, third party traffic rules apply, which means that you can't make contacts with countries with which we do not have a third party agreement. (I think it's a very short list.) $\endgroup$
    – user10489
    Jun 4, 2020 at 5:31
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    $\begingroup$ The third party does not need a currently valid license. The third party, however, must not have a license that was revoked due to previous misbehavior that directly caused it to be revoked. I.e. third party traffic is not a free ride for past violators. This has nothing to do with expired licenses, but REVOKED licenses. You can still renew an expired license. You can't renew a revoked license without another hearing. $\endgroup$
    – user10489
    Jun 5, 2020 at 5:14

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