Last week I upgraded and renewed my license at the same time. I did this by returning the form through W5YI. The form was complete with authorization of the upgrade by my local VEC.

The problem is that now when I pull a copy of my license from the ULS/FCC site, it still shows my license operator privileges as "Technician" even though the expiration date has been extended (the renewal took effect but the upgrade did not).

Under Special Conditions/Endorsements it says:


As I do qualify for an automatic upgrade from Technician to General (and this has been confirmed and proven and certified by my VEC), I am confused as to why my license class still shows as "Technician" rather than "General".

Is this a mistake, or does it just take more time for the upgrade to kick in?

My VEC said we should check again in a few weeks.

  • $\begingroup$ Why did you renew? Your new license would be automatically "renewed" i.e. granted for 10 years. Were you a tech plus? $\endgroup$
    – Glenn W9IQ
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ I was Tech in 1980 or so and was upgraded to Tech-plus - i had 5wpm code and general class written exam was passed. I was WB3ETS, then N3EMT (tech-plus) the VK3JAX (Australia - general class), then KC0BTM (which said "Technician"/ not tech-plus). I have known for some time that I was eligible for the automatic upgrade to general class, but for various reasons it was always inconvenient. Since I needed to renew, this time I was able to have a VEC present to confirm my eligibility and vouch for my upgrade to General. $\endgroup$
    – user81991
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ Then please see my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Glenn W9IQ
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 0:41

2 Answers 2


Most likely, your upgrade is still pending processing at the FCC. I recently moved from the Midwest (region 0) to South Florida (region 4). I requested two modifications to my Advanced Class license (yes, I have a "grandfathered" Advanced license grant).

Modification 1) Address change to my new address in FL.
Modification 2) Call sign change from W0JMO to W4JMO region 4 (Florida).

I requested both changes on May 17, 2017. My call sign has still not been changed but my license address was changed within 2 days.

I spoke to an FCC representative and was informed that license class changes and call sign changes can take up to 6-8 weeks to process. I am still waiting for the FCC to modify my call sign. The FCC CORES database shows the call sign modification request as PENDING, and the address change as completed. You can also download a copy of your current FCC license.

Register for access to FCC CORES licensing database. https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do

You can view the status of your license modification.

W0JMO - Joe


Here is what the reference to part 97.21a3 means:

"Application for renewal of a Technician Plus Class operator/primary station license will be processed as an application for renewal of a Technician Class operator/primary station license."

So your tech plus license has been renewed as a technician license. Your general class upgrade has not yet been processed. If you do not see your general class in the ULS within the next week, you or your VEC should contact the FCC.

Meanwhile, you may operate as a general class licensee by appending /AG to your call.


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