I have studied for and am ready to take my amateur radio license test but there are currently no licensed instructors available in my region to administer the test. Can I start acquiring ham radio equipment without being licensed?

radio apparatus means a device or combination of devices intended for, or capable of being used for, radiocommunication;

4(1)(b) of the Radiocomunication Act essentially says that possession of radio apparatus is prohibited unless allowed by the act or a regulation


4 (1) No person shall, except under and in accordance with a radio authorization, install, operate or possess radio apparatus, other than

(a) radio apparatus exempted by or under regulations made under paragraph 6(1)(m); or

3(a)(ii) of the Radiocommunication Regulations essentially says a licensed amateur is authorized to possess amateur radio equipment


It was the case, once, that countries of the British Commonwealth required a license for private ownership of a radio or television receiver, not just equipment for transmitting. As radio broadcasting developed during war times in Europe, I believe this was meant to register potential points of espionage and as a source of funding for the BBC and the administrative organs of state. This is no longer the case, though it is still a widely held belief and misunderstood "tradition." I was confronted with this challenge and threatened with dire consequences when delivering ham radio equipment to a hurricane-ravaged Commonwealth country just three years ago. It made particularly little sense since unlicensed persons were authorized to possess and operate ham equipment in the ham bands in the case of dire emergencies such as they were then experiencing.

In response, I lodged a return challenge: is a ham who allows one's license to expire breaking the law by continuing to own the equipment he or she lawfully purchased for private use? The local authorities conceded it was no longer the law, though still held as a tradition, in part to deprive smugglers of a useful communication medium.

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