If I take my license exam in California, but my residence is in New York, would my call sign still reflect the New York location?

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    $\begingroup$ I added the united-states tag because while this question sounds like a general question, the answer is country-specific $\endgroup$
    – Scott Earle
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


When you fill out the paperwork at the time of taking the test you specify your permanent home address for your license. Thus, if you take the test in California but use a NY address then you will be assigned a call sign appropriate for your license level for New York which uses the 2 zone.

Licenses like for a Technician license are issued usually as a 2x3 call sign and the suffix usually is assigned in alphabetic order. So, for example, you could be issued something like a KG2XYZ call sign. I am not sure about the 'G' part of the prefix or where the suffix falls but there are web sites where you can find out what that is because they list the most recently issued licenses for each zone number.

If you want though, after licensed you can request a Vanity call sign and it can be any available and legal US call sign you choose. A friend I know here in the state of Washington requested a Vanity callsign in the 0 zone because the suffix he wanted was his three kids first name initials. So he is a zero-callsign in Washington state (zone 7).

If you apply for a more advanced license, you can possibly get a 1x3 call sign or maybe even a 2x2 call sign.

In case you are unaware, the different call signs are known by how many letters are before the zone number and how many after. So, a 1x3 call sign is like mine, K7PEH. A friend of mine has a 2x2, or KE7FB. And, another friend of mine is a 1x2, W7IZ. A 2x3 is something like KD7ZVB or whatever.

  • $\begingroup$ thank you for the detailed explanation. It helps answer several questions about call signs. $\endgroup$
    – user7822
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 3:44
  • $\begingroup$ 1x2 call signs and 2x1 call signs are available to Extra class license holders who are willing to invest time and effort learning how the vanity system works, and what call signs are soon to be available. $\endgroup$
    – rclocher3
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ Might be worth stating explicitly that you are not required to get a new call sign when you move even if you did not apply for a vanity call sign. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin Reid AG6YO
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ Don't have time just now to look up more detailed references, but I remember looking into this when I got my license. I don't think there's any requirement for a "permanent home address" — the region is assigned based on an address "where the grantee can receive mail delivery" to use the wording of Part 97 : Sec. 97.23. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ On use of "permanent home address" I think I merely meant an address to receive mail delivery. The phrase "permanent home address" used to be commonly used (maybe decades ago) as your regular home address which was always the only one that people received mail usually. Today, the phrase has likely gone out of vogue. Us old timers sometimes have a different language. $\endgroup$
    – K7PEH
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 13:57

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Here is the map of the call zones. The number/letters listed show the call signs issued for an address listed in that location: IE in Idaho you might be issued KK7ZSZ and in Hawaii you might be issued AH7HA. Your callsign is allocated based on where you live, not where you took the test. I know of people who took the test in South Korea (!) and got K6, W7 and N3 callsigns.


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