• Classes And Exams (C)

    From Daryl Stout@HURRICAN to All on Sat Jan 7 00:05:00 2017

    NOTE: On the license application form, you'll be REQUIRED to provide your Social Security number (SSN), if you're not already licensed. If you've previously signed up at the FCC ULS website, or if you're already licensed,
    an FCC Federal Registration Number (FRN) is used INSTEAD of your SSN on the application. This is also the case if the previously lapsed license had an
    FRN, you'll use that instead. Otherwise, if the previously lapsed license
    did NOT have an FRN, the examinee must use their SSN instead.

    If the FCC already has a Social Security Number on file for the examinee,
    and they submit it again, their license application will be bounced back.

    If you don't want to provide your SSN on the form, you can go to the
    FCC ULS website at http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls where you can get
    information, then sign up to obtain a FRN. You will be REQUIRED to
    provide your SSN on the FCC ULS website to obtain an FRN.

    If the VE Team can NOT verify or validate your identity...if you do NOT provide either your SSN or an FRN at the test session, or if you don't
    have proper payment prepared (noted below)...you will NOT be allowed to
    take the license exam(s). In this case, if you have signed up and
    pre-paid, your test fee will be refunded.

    Note that the VE Team does NOT keep the Social Security number data;
    it's sent off to the appropriate VEC, who sends it to the FCC, who will
    issue a Federal Registration Number (FRN), with the amateur radio license.

    Providing the Social Security Number is PROTECTED by the Privacy Act of
    1974, and is REQUIRED by the Debt Collection Act of 1996. In the latter
    case, if you have an outstanding government debt, you likely will be
    required to make payment arrangements, before processing of your amateur
    radio license will commence.

    3) The ORIGINAL and a PHOTOCOPY of any applicable Certificate Of any
    Successful Completion Of Examination (CSCE), which are valid for 365
    days after initial issuance for upgrading. If you take a test on
    July 1 of a non-leap year, the CSCE expires at midnight on June 30
    of the following year. However, if you take a test on July 1, of a
    leap year, the CSCE expires at midnight on June 29 of the following

    An amateur radio operator who had previously passed the 5 words per
    minute (wpm) Morse Code test does NOT need to keep the CSCE showing
    that they passed Element 1, since the FCC removed the Morse Code
    requirement for any U.S. amateur radio licensee as of Feb. 23, 2007.
    Further details on CSCE's are later in this bulletin.

    Once you have a current license that matches what is on the CSCE, you
    can either keep the CSCE as a "novelty", or you may discard it. The
    photocopy of the CSCE will be sent off with the exam materials, but
    you MUST bring the ORIGINAL of the CSCE to obtain proper exam credit.
    This applies if you have taken, and passed another amateur radio
    license exam in the time before the current exam session...yet, the
    results of that previous session have not yet shown up in the FCC ULS

    4) Cash, or a check payable to the appropriate Volunteer Examination
    team for the appropriate amount. It's currently $15 for ARRL VE Test
    Sessions (payable to ARRL/VEC), and it'll remain that way through
    2017. The fee may increase in future years, and the exam fee may be
    different for VEC groups other than the ARRL/VEC.

    5) A calculator, with ALL MEMORY FORMULAS CLEARED. You will be REQUIRED
    to prove to the VE Team that this is the case...and the VE Team will
    personally inspect the calculator to verify such!!

    WARNING!! Cheating in ANY form, will NOT be tolerated. This includes
    bringing a calculator without the formulas cleared, crib notes, using electronic devices (cellphone, iPhone, iPad, Smartphone, Android, etc.).

    The exams are different colors for each license class (noted below),
    and each exam booklet has at least five different sets of questions.

    Some ARRL/VEC VE Teams use the "Exam Maker" software to create a large number, and wide range of tests with possible questions, for even more questions. At MINIMUM, there could be 36 different exams for each license class...with or without graphics/schematic diagrams.

    So, trying to "copy answers" off of someone elses answer sheet will do
    you no good.

    In fact, if it is determined that an examinee is cheating, their exam
    will be TERMINATED, marked as FAILED, and the examinee will be ordered
    to leave the premises immediately! Please do NOT put yourself, or the VE
    Team into an embarassing situation. Cheating on a test could affect your ability to test at a future exam. This includes trying to "bribe" the VE
    Team" into certifying your exam falsely.

    Again, if it takes you a dozen or more tries to pass an exam...even if
    just barely...you have as much right to be on the air as someone who made
    a perfect score the first time. In short, you might as well "take the
    test legally". If you pass the test "just barely", it's the same as if
    you made a perfect score. If you fail the test "just barely", it's the
    same as if you missed every question on the test.

    You are basically ready to take the license exam, or you are not.

    Original License Documents and Identification Required

    The VE team is REQUIRED to personally VERIFY THE IDENTITY of EVERY
    CANDIDATE wishing to test. This is why you need to have the ORIGINAL of
    your photo ID, ham radio license, and/or CSCE, if applicable. If the VE
    team suspects that ANY of these have been ALTERED or FORGED, they will
    make copies of such documents, and report them to the proper authorities.

    In the case of an altered/forged state government issued ID, ham radio license or CSCE, you could face heavy fines and prison time; (fines for unauthorized operation range from $7500 to $10,000, if not more).

    Believe me, it's NOT worth the risk. If the FCC determines you have a "character issue", you could be stripped of your amateur radio license
    FOR LIFE...or DENIED one in the first place.

    The PHOTOCOPY of the license and CSCE's will be sent off with the license application and exam data...the ORIGINAL ID documents will be RETURNED to
    their respective owners IMMEDIATELY after the VE Team has verified their identities.

    Some, BUT NOT ALL, exam sites will have the capability to make the
    photocopy of the identification and license documents for you, but it's
    wise to check with the contact person for the exam session, to see if
    that is the case.

    While your name, address, callsign, and license class, are public domain
    on the FCC ULS, QRZ, or other callsign data websites...other personal data (such as date of birth, home phone, email address, Social Security Number, etc.) are kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. On the QRZ website, one must actually
    be "logged in" to view an email, if the person has entered the data.

    As noted above, your FRN takes the place of your Social Security Number
    on your amateur radio license...and your SSN (or your exam score...let
    alone how many times it took you to pass the exam(s)) will NOT show up on
    any of the callsign database servers.

    Prior Exam Credit and Upgrading Examples

    Once you pass an exam element, and have either the ORIGINAL of your
    license and/or valid CSCE to prove such, you won't have to take that
    element again; as long as your license is unexpired, or is within the 2
    year grace period of renewal after expiration.

    As noted above, neither Novice or Advanced Class licenses are issued
    anymore, as of April 15, 2000...and, Morse Code is NO LONGER REQUIRED for
    any U.S. amateur radio license exam, as of Feb. 23, 2007. Novice and
    Advanced class licensees may continue to use their privileges, as long
    as their licenses aren't expired. However, they have different "exam
    credit" toward upgrading, as noted below:

    Item presented for license exam credit: Elements: ======================================= =========

    Novice license (unexpired or expired) NONE

    Technician license March 21, 1987 or later (expired >2 years) NONE
    Technician license March 21, 1987 or later (expired <2 years) 2 ONLY Technician license March 21, 1987 or later (unexpired) 2 ONLY Technician license March 20, 1987 or before (expired >2 years) 3 ONLY Technician license March 20, 1987 or before (expired <2 years) 2 and 3 Technician license March 20, 1987 or before (unexpired) 2 and 3

    General or Advanced license (expired >2 years) 3 ONLY
    General or Advanced license (unexpired, or expired <2 years) 2 and 3

    Amateur Extra (expired >2 years) 3 and 4
    Amateur Extra (unexpired, or expired <2 years) 2, 3, and 4

    Certificate Of Successful Completion Of Examination (CSCE) See Note

    Note: A CSCE for "element credit" by itself, without any kind of ham radio license is NOT valid for "on the air operations". You MUST already have
    been issued a valid FCC Ham Radio license to legally "get on the air". If
    you have been issued a CSCE within the last 365 days for the indicated
    license element credit, you have credit for that element as well.

    You MUST pass, or otherwise have credit for, all lower amateur radio
    license classes to upgrade to a higher license class. If you are missing
    one of these lower class elements, in effect, you have NO LICENSE.

    Once the CSCE is older than 365 days, it is WORTHLESS. In a non-leap
    year, a CSCE issued on July 1, expires at 12 midnight local time on June
    30 of the following year. Using a leap year example, the expiration of
    the CSCE is 12 midnight local time, June 29, of the following year.

    If you fail to bring the ORIGINAL of your current license, and the
    ORIGINAL of applicable CSCE's, you may be REQUIRED to take those elements AGAIN...even though you already have taken and passed them before.

    If your current amateur radio license reflects the same type of license
    class noted on the CSCE, you can either discard the CSCE, or keep it as
    a novelty.

    The Exam Session

    Test materials, answer sheets, scratch paper, pens, pencils, and copies
    of NCVEC Form 605 will be provided at the session. If you have questions
    on how to fill out the form(s), the VE Team will gladly instruct you on
    this. The NCVEC form 605 is ONLY to be used at a VE Test Session by the
    VE Team. If you submit the form to the FCC, it will be returned to you
    WITHOUT ACTION...making your effort A WASTE OF TIME, and postage.

    As noted, when you arrive at the exam session, you basically are either
    ready to take the exam, or you are not. It is advised that you bring a
    set of earplugs, if you are distracted by noise.

    If you have a medical disability, or require special procedures to
    complete your exam, please notify the VE Team as far in advance of
    the test session as possible, so accomodations can be made for your
    disability. MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION MAY BE REQUIRED if your disability is
    not obvious.

    These can be exams without graphics, or the VE reading the questions
    and available answers to the examinee....who tells the VE which answer
    to mark. The VE is NOT permitted to make any vocal inflections, or give
    any other "help" or "coaching" to the examinee.

    As noted above, those who have disabilities can contact Handi-Hams (www.handiham.org on the Internet), as they assist people with disabilities
    to learn material to obtain their amateur radio license, and helping with
    the exam itself.

    Be sure to use the restroom BEFORE you begin the test. Nature "tends
    to call" at the most inopportune times...so, if you "get the urge to go"
    during the test...BEFORE GOING TO THE RESTROOM...you MUST turn in your
    test, whether or not you've finished it. Basically, "if you can't hold
    it", you will have to turn your test in BEFORE leaving the room...and
    will have to START OVER with a NEW TEST (and pay a new fee) when you return...if you FAILED the test you were working on...whether you
    finished it or not.


    Posted by VPost v1.7.081019
  • From Daryl Stout@HURRICAN to All on Tue Oct 13 00:06:41 2020

    Volunteer Examiners

    Years ago, to take an amateur radio license exam, you had to usually
    travel a long distance to an FCC Field Office. The Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) program and groups were created in 1982. Volunteer
    Examiners (VE's), accredited by the respective VEC, began testing in 1984,
    and have been administering ham radio license exams ever since. Now, in
    most cases, there is a license exam available in your area...or nearby...on either a weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or even an "on demand"

    The amount of advance notice required will vary with each VE Team, but
    for teams that I work with in central Arkansas, please give at least 24
    to 48 hours notice, so a VE Team, and a location can be obtained, that
    will be suitable to the examinee, and the VE Team. The best time to do an
    exam is on evenings or most likely on weekends...usually on a Saturday.

    Any Amateur Radio Operator holding a valid General, Advanced, or
    Amateur Extra Class license, is eligible to apply to be a VE...as long
    as they are at least 18 years of age, their license has never been
    suspended or revoked, and there is not a question about the amateur
    radio operators "integrity" as a Volunteer Examiner.

    Speaking of which, integrity of the exam sessions is a huge part, as
    the VE's basically are putting their own licenses on the line. According
    to Part 97 of the FCC Rules...if a VE team, or individual VE, administers
    or certifies an exam by fraudulent means, they could lose BOTH their VE accreditation, and their ham radio licenses FOR LIFE...and the examinee
    may have to re-take the exam elements in question...either before another
    VE Team, or before the FCC itself, as noted later in this bulletin.

    The VE team is to TERMINATE the test session of any examinee, who is
    caught CHEATING, or if they fail to comply with the instructions of the
    VE team. Should this occur, the exam will be marked as FAILED, and the
    cheater will be ordered to leave the premises. This could also affect
    their ability in the future to attempt to test at another license exam.

    A prospective VE must go through the accreditation process. For the
    ARRL/VEC, it's an OPEN BOOK TEST, that you take at your leisure. When
    done, you return the test sheet to the ARRL for processing...which
    takes 3 to 6 weeks. The prospective VE *MUST* have either a valid
    General, Advanced, or Amateur Extra Class license *IN HAND*, or in the
    FCC database (such as on www.qrz.com) BEFORE applying to become a VE.
    ARRL VE Accreditation is free. There are other VEC groups, and their accreditation processes may be different.

    Once accredited, the following tests may be administered:

    VE/Ham License Class: Amateur Radio Exam That May Be Given:

    Novice NONE -- not eligible to become a VE.

    Technician NONE -- not eligible to become a VE.

    General Technican Class Exam ONLY.

    Advanced Technician or General Class Exam ONLY.

    Amateur Extra ANY exam (Technician, General, or Amateur Extra).

    Note: It is REQUIRED that 3 VE's be at an exam session...preferably 4
    or more...in case the team has to test in one room, and grade in
    another...or if a VE has to step out of the room for a short time. It
    is also preferred that the MAJORITY of the team include a MINIMUM of
    3 Amateur Extra Class licensees. That way, all exams can be given, as
    noted below.

    On June 9, 2014, the FCC issued a "Report And Order" (R&O) in response to
    a previously issued Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which sought
    comments on revising the exam procedures. The following changes to exam sessions took effect on July 21, 2014:

    1) A holder of a General, Advanced, or Amateur Extra Class license which
    is EXPIRED MORE THAN 2 YEARS, can get back into the hobby, by passing
    Element 2 (the Technician Class exam) at a license exam session.

    The examinee will still have to provide proper identification (listed
    elsewhere in this bulletin/message thread), provide proof of the prior
    amateur radio license, provide their Social Social Security Number (if
    a Federal Registration Number is not on the expired license), and pay
    the appropriate test fee.

    Upon passing the Technician Exam, they will be granted a Certificate Of Successful Completion Of Examination (CSCE) for the license they held,
    if it was a General or Extra Class license. However, Advanced Class
    licensees are DOWNGRADED to General, since those licenses are no longer
    issued. In any case, these licensees will be issued a NEW CALLSIGN about
    10 to 14 days after the exam session.

    Once they have their new callsign, they can apply for their old callsign
    under the Vanity Callsign system, but there is a possibility that their
    former callsign will have since been re-assigned to another amateur radio operator, once the original license had lapsed (it had been more than 2
    years since its expiration).

    2) The valid time on a CSCE REMAINS at 365 calender days. The FCC
    DECLINED a proposal for "lifetime CSCE credit". If one receives a CSCE
    on July 1 in a non-leap year, that CSCE expires at 12 midnight local
    time on June 30 of the following year. If the CSCE is issued on July 1
    of a leap year, the CSCE expires at 12 midnight on June 29 of the
    following year. One does NOT need a CSCE to prove they took and passed
    a Morse Code Test...as the Morse Code requirement was ELIMINATED from
    the U.S. Amateur Radio License Requirements as of Feb. 23, 2007.

    3) The number of VE's required to proctor a session REMAINS at 3. The FCC
    noted that the ARRL, the W5YI-VEC, and a large number of commenters were AGAINST reducing the number from 3 to 2...because with 3 examiners, it "increases the rate of accuracy and integrity, and reduces the chances
    of fraud".

    4) Created the capability for "remote exam sessions", with at least
    one certified VE present, with the capability of monitoring, grading,
    and certifying the exams through the internet. This is especially true
    in remote locations, such as Alaska, Anarctica, etc. In these areas,
    examinees are lucky to have an exam session either twice a year, or
    even quarterly. The actual mechanics of the session "will vary from
    session to session, and from location to location"...noting that setting
    such could limit the flexibility of VE's and VEC's. However, the rule for "administering exams responsibility" is in force, whether for remote tests
    or not.

    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (57:57/10)
    ■ Synchronet ■ Eye of The Hurricane BBS - hurrican.synchro.net