I tested and passed my Technician's test on Thursday, June 4, 2015. Approximately how long will my license take to appear in the FCC database?


3 Answers 3



This depends on the folks that gave you your test (Volunteer Examiners, or VEs), the organization they are working with (ARRL?), and the FCC (if you're in the US). A bottleneck anywhere can make it take up to a couple weeks, but likely you'll have a call sign about a week after the VEs submit your paperwork. Your best bet would be to ask them, though, as they will know if there are local factors.

You can search the FCC license database with your name to see if you've been assigned a call sign. I have no idea how long it will take for them to (presumably) email your license, as they no longer mail out paper licenses like I got, but once you have a call sign you're legal to operate.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't think they email the license at all, I think you just have to search the FCC database, that's all. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ I think I heard the emailed license is new since they dropped the paper ones. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin Reid AG6YO
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 4:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The FCC will send a notification e-mail only. You get the watermarked (Original Copy) PDF file when you log in to your FCC ULS account. Anyone can get a Reference Copy, aptly watermarked, of your license though without logging in the FCC ULS system. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ I got my call sign from the VEC rep (who was present at the exam session -- they commonly aren't) the evening of the business day after the session, and the email from FCC with the link to the printable license the day after that. My call showed in the database the first time I thought to look, a couple days later. Any further delay is due to your VEs and/or VEC. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 11:06

Let's say you pass your ham test on a Monday Morning, The VE who handles submitting info to the FCC submits it the same day online. If it's 12:40 P.M and the VE files it online. It is processed by the FCC's "Automotive" Grant system. There is no one who approves it; It's automatically approved by the system. The License Grants the moment it's filed. The FCC's website Refreshes every hour, and posts your call sign to your FRN accordingly.

It's not a matter of FCC Holidays delays to weekend delays. The speed of your Grant depends on the Speed of the VE to file yours and everyone else's info, if they have passed.

Most of the time, the Trustee will be lazy and just have the paperwork with them in their vehicle to take home to file later on. Normally, You can expect them to file your and everyone else's info online in 1-3 business days, When one finds time to do it.

FCC Statement: It's not a Matter of National Holidays or Weekends that delay the Grant speed. Its the VE who has control! Once Your info is filed online, the Automotive FCC system automatically Grants and posts to your FRN. The FCC data base refreshes every hour, as previously mentioned. If anyone told you it refreshed daily at midnight or 2 A.M or 6 P.M, like i've read online.... that's 100 percent incorrect! The system refreshes every hour!

Here's what you can expect! Ninety percent of the time you will get your license granted 1-4 days after testing depending on the VE's filing speed.

It's "almost" unlikely that the trustee will file your info online by the 5th, 6th, or 7th day, Yet there are some lazy people who think they can do it whenever because they know they have 20 days before people can call the FCC asking questions or complaining.

Ten percent of those who don't get their license by the 7th day or later will most likely receive it by the 14th-20th day after testing

Because..... Let's say you live in California: to Mail a letter to Washington DC would take a couple more days than a letter being sent from, let's say, Texas or Florida.

Also, take note that, If your forms were mailed out by paper... Then the FCC has to Manually Process your info, and this takes a bit more time when they receive stacks of letters to sort threw. If your mail arrives at FCC headquarters, it can be there for days before someone gets to it and processes and posts it on the ULS. There is a big reason why E-Filing Saves the FCC time and money, and for the convenience of the person who passed the exam to get on the air faster.

If you're still waiting and its the 9th-12th day....Expect it no faster than the 14th day, and don't expect it no longer than the 20th day to be posted!

If you don't see your license posted on the FCC's website with your FRN number, Contact them for help as there may be an issue.

Also, i know this may not be helpful but, if you know the VE and they do not like you from past GMRS experience, they will diffidently hold your file or send it by mail to give you a hard time. This happened to a friend of mine.

If you are on the 10th day, i would just go ahead and stop checking online because it's most likely not going to post until the 14th Business day, not including weekends because it's most likely sent by mail, and they can't process on weekends manually.

Also, I would go ahead and use the time your waiting to just start studying for your General License, So you're able to use your Technician license till the General -- it just updates your FRN and license info.

I hope this helps, I have a friend who works the DEPT inside Filing and Amature HM DPT

Good luck

Till Then.... 73'z


The processing times will probably vary. It took 1 month for my call to appear on the FCC website. (My exam was conducted by the Volunteer Examineers from Yokohama, Japan)

If the e-mail address field in your FCC ULS entry or NCVEC QUICK-FORM 605 is filled-up, then an e-mail notification will be sent. The NCVEC QUICK-FORM 605 is the form you fill up prior to taking the exams with your chosen VE.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .