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  • Do I Need a License to Use one of these Radios?

    All radio spectrum is legislated or controlled. The FCC requires licenses to operate on some bands, and lets other frequency bands run unlicensed.

    Radio Services Which Require a License

    Some of the licensed radio services include:

    Acronym Full Name URL
    HAM Amateur http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/amateur/
    GMRS General Mobile Radio Service http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/personal/generalmobile/

    Radio Services Which Do Not Require a License

    Some of the unlicensed radio services include:

    Acronym Full Name URL
    CB Citizens Band http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/personal/cb/
    FRS Family Radio Service http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/personal/family/
    MURS Multi-Use Radio Service http://www.provide.net/~prsg/murs_faq.htm

    While unlicensed, there are still restrictions placed on usage and equipment.

    Obtaining Your Radio License

    The process of gaining your Technicians License for the Amateur HAM bands is:

    1. Not difficult
    2. Educational

    I recommend becoming licensed because it will increase your enjoyment of amateur radio.

    For more information on obtaining your radio license, visit the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) at http://www.arrl.org/hamradio.htmlor go directly to the FCC’s Univeral Licensing System at http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/amateur/.


    In most cases, you do not need to be licensed to operate a scanner. Some juristictions place restrictions on scanner usage. “Mobile” usage (i.e., while in a vehicle) is prohibited in some areas. Check you local laws. Also, it is generally illegal to utilize a scanner “in the commision of a crime”.

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