License Renewal

See also the FCC's page entitled Common Amateur Filing Task: Renewing A License

Both Amateur Radio and GMRS licenses are good for 10 years. If you allow your license to expire, you may not operate until the FCC you renew it and the FCC issues an updated authorization.

You can renew your license as early as 90 days before expiration. (There's usually no reason to put it off until the last minute; your next expiration date will remain the same regardless of when you file the renewal.) You have a 2-year grace period after your license expires before you lose it entirely.

Renewal must be done via the FCC's website. The process isn't too bad, though admittedly it can be a little confusing when you don't do it often and the FCC changes their processes and websites. (Broken links and other site defects don't help!)

This page will walk you through the procedure as it looked in March 2024.

Tip: You can view a screenshot at full size & quality by right-clicking it and selecting "Open image in new tab".

Find ULS, their Universal Licensing System:

Click "File Online". This will take you to the License Manager, where you must log in using the FRN (not your username) that the license is under. 

(Don't try to do this after 9PM Pacific time...)

After logging in, you'll see a list of licenses (current and expired) associated with the FRN.

Click "Renew Licenses" in the sidebar and you'll see a list of licenses eligible for renewal:

Add your license to the "Renew" group on the right and click Continue.

Click Continue again.

-- and again.

Verify your contact information, adding an email address if it's not already populated; the FCC now requires email to communicate.

Hopefully not; if so, explain.

Review your information one last time before clicking Continue to Certify.

Enter your name ("Title" isn't needed for a non-organizational license) and submit. A confirmation will be shown.

Until 2022, amateur licenses were free to obtain or renew. That year, the FCC simultaneously reduced the fee for GMRS licenses, and applied a matching fee to ham licenses for both individuals and clubs. Thus, you'll now move from ULS to CORES to pay. Click Continue, and a new tab will open.

You must log in again, this time with your email address (which may manage multiple FRNs) instead of the FRN.

Click the "Manage Existing.../...Fees" link.

...then Financial...

Select your FRN and click the Payments link, and it will show payments due:

Click Make Payment to see the choice of payment methods:

Select the FRN of the person making the payment (usually an easy choice), choose your payment method and click the corresponding button, and be prepared to fill out the usual ecommerce form:

Complete it and click Continue for the confirmation.

Check the authorization and click Continue to see the confirmation.

You should receive your new authorization in a day or two!