Is there any sort of familial transfer process that could get that call assigned to me in California?
There are 3 types of vanity call sign requests:
Primary station preference list
Close relative of former holder
Former primary station holder
For your case you can apply for "Close relative of former holder".
Generally, vanity calls can not be assigned outside specific call areas but there seems to be an exception when the request type is "By Close Relative of Former Holder Now Deceased".
Request Types: By Close Relative of Former Holder Now Deceased
your primary station, you may request a call sign that was previously
assigned to the primary, secondary, repeater, auxiliary link, control
or space station of your now-deceased spouse, child, grandchild,
stepchild, parent, grandparent, stepparent, brother, sister,
stepbrother, stepsister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or in-law. An
"in-law" is limited to a parent, stepparent, sibling, or step-sibling
of a licensee's spouse; the spouse of a licensee's sibling,
step-sibling, child, or stepchild; or the spouse of a licensee’s
spouse’s sibling or step-sibling. When so requesting for your primary
- You may request the former call sign of a close relative now
deceased even though it has been unassigned for less than two years.
Upon the death of the holder, a call sign is assignable immediately to
an otherwise eligible primary station of a close relative once it has
been cancelled from the database.
- You must be an Amateur Extra Class
operator to request a Group A call sign.
- You must be an Amateur Extra
or Advanced Class operator to request a Group B call sign.
- You must be
an Amateur Extra, Advanced, General, Technician Plus, or Technician
Class operator to request a Group C call sign.
- You must be an Amateur
Extra, Advanced, General, Technician Plus, Technician or Novice class
operator to request a Group D call sign.
- Your mailing address does not
have to be in a Region designated in the sequential system for the
call sign requested. A call sign requested by a close relative of
former holder now deceased may be in any Region.
- You must show your
relationship to the deceased person exactly as listed in the
instruction, i.e., "child", "niece" or "in-law".
More answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.
On a separate note, normally vanity calls can not be assigned outside call areas. Normal, in which you were neither a relative of the deceased previous owner of the call nor actual previous owner of the call, applications fall under the "Primary station preference list" category.
Q: My mailing address is in (one of the 48 contiguous states). May I request a Group A call sign designated in Amateur Station Call Sign Systems for Navassa Island?
A. No. You do not have an address on Navassa Island where you can receive mail delivery by the United States Postal Service ("USPS"). As a operating aid for ?the amateur service community, certain places such as Navassa Island are designated small blocks of unique call signs. In the Memorandum Opinion and Order, 10 FCC Rcd 11135 (1995), the FCC decided to limit the assignability of call signs designated for these places to preclude the possibility of the call signs becoming quickly depleted. Therefore, Amateur Station Call Sign Systems provides that for Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean and Pacific Insular Areas, only licensees having a mailing addresses where mail delivery by the USPS can be received in the specific state, commonwealth or island can request a call sign designated for that specific state, commonwealth or island.
72 es GL in the application!