Announcing a new FCC.gov. Tell us what you think and help shape the future
Federal Communications Commission Logo - Click here to go to the FCC home page

Amateur Radio Service

 

Vanity Call Signs

Request Types: By List

Provide a list of up to 25 call signs in the order of your preference. The first assignable call sign on your list will be assigned to your station. When so requesting for your primary or club station:
  • The call sign must have been unassigned for at least two years. If, however, a license is canceled due to the death of the licensee more than two years earlier, the call sign remains unavailable for thirty days following the staff action canceling the license.
  • If you are an Amateur Extra Class operator, each call sign must be in Group A, B, C or D.
  • If you are an Advanced Class operator, each call sign must be in Group B, C or D.
  • If you are a General, Technician Plus, or Technician Class operator, each call sign must be in Group C or D.
  • If you are a Novice Class operator, each call sign must be in Group D.
  • Each call sign must be one designated for the region of your mailing address as follows:
    • One of the contiguous 48 states
      Regions 1 to 10
    • Alaska
      Regions 1 to 11
    • American Samoa
      Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 8
    • Commonwealth of Northern Marianna Islands
      Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 0
    • Guam
      Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 2
    • Hawaii
      Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 6 or 7
    • Puerto Rico
      Regions 1 to 10, or Region 12 having numeral 3 or 4
    • Virgin Islands
      Regions 1 to 10, or Region 12 having numeral 2
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I have never held another call sign and I have no deceased close relatives that were hams. Under which provision am I eligible for a vanity call sign?
A. The provision available to you is request-by-list.
Q: The call sign I want to request hasn't been reached in the sequential call sign system. Is it available under the vanity call sign system?
A. Yes
Q: Can I use the "wildcard" (examples: "W9**" or "*9**") to request a call sign with a format having a single letter prefix and a two letter suffix (examples: "K9AA", "N9AZ", "W9ZZ")?
A. No. The exact prefix, numeral, and suffix must be given for each call sign, otherwise your application will be dismissed. List up to 25 call signs in order of your preference.
Q: My spouse and I are both hams. We want to obtain call signs having the same suffix. Will that occur if we were to file our applications stapled together?
A. Probably not. The information on each application is entered separately into the autogrant system.
Q: What if I obtain my vanity call sign first, and then my wife applies listing 25 call signs having the same suffix as mine?
A. That should increase your chances.
Q: I am an Amateur Extra Class operator and my mailing address is in (one of the 48 contiguous states). What are the formats and prefixes of the call signs that I may request?
A. Under the request-by-list provision, an Amateur Extra Class operator at your mailing address can request Group A, B, C or D call signs as designated in Amateur Station Call Sign Systems for stations having mailing addresses in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10.
Q: I am an Advanced Class operator and my mailing address is on Guam. From which call sign groups can I request a vanity call sign?
A. Under the request-by-list provision, an Advanced Class operator at your mailing address can request Group B, C or D call signs, as designated in Amateur Station Call Sign Systems for stations having mailing addresses on Guam. You can also request Group B, C or D call signs, as designated in Amateur Station Call Sign Systems for stations having mailing addresses in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10.
Q: My mailing address is in (one of the 48 contiguous states). May I request a Group A call sign designated in Amateur Station Call Sign Systems for Navassa Island?
A. No. You do not have an address on Navassa Island where you can receive mail delivery by the United States Postal Service ("USPS"). As a operating aid for the amateur service community, certain places such as Navassa Island are designated small blocks of unique call signs. In the Memorandum Opinion and Order, 10 FCC Rcd 11135 (1995), the FCC decided to limit the assignability of call signs designated for these places to preclude the possibility of the call signs becoming quickly depleted. Therefore, Amateur Station Call Sign Systems provides that for Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean and Pacific Insular Areas, only licensees having a mailing addresses where mail delivery by the USPS can be received in the specific state, commonwealth or island can request a call sign designated for that specific state, commonwealth or island.
Q: Which areas do not currently receive mail delivery by the USPS?
A. There is no mail delivery by the USPS to Desecheo and Navassa Islands in the Caribbean Insular Area. In the State of Hawaii, there is no mail delivery by the USPS to Kure Atoll. In the Pacific Insular Area, there is no mail delivery by the USPS to Baker, Howland, Jarvis, Johnston, Midway, Palmyra and Wake (including Peale and Wilkes) Islands and to Kingman Reef.
Q: My mailing address is in Honolulu, Hawaii. May I request a Group A call sign from those designated for Kure Atoll?
A. No. You do not have a mailing address in Kure Atoll where you can receive mail delivery by USPS.
Q: Why are blocks of call signs designated for places where there is no mail delivery by USPS?
A. The States of Hawaii and Alaska and other geographic locations in the Caribbean and Pacific Insular Areas where the amateur service is regulated by the Commission are considered to be "countries" by the amateur service community for operating award purposes. As an operating convenience, therefore, a station whose licensee has a mailing address in one of these locations can be assigned a call sign having a prefix denoting the "country". Although it is not currently possible to obtain a USPS mailing address for certain of these "countries," small blocks of call signs are still provided for the convenience to amateur operators who, while operating their stations from such locations, use them in self-assigned indicators to help call their unique location to the attention of other amateur operators.
Q: I am in the military overseas. My mailing address is APO New York, NY. My operator class is General. What call sign format and prefix may I request?
A. Your USPS address is in New York, NY. As a General Class operator, you can request Group C or D call signs, as designated in Amateur Station Call Sign Systems for stations having mailing addresses in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10.
 
Return to Top Arrow Return To Top
Last reviewed/updated on
3/21/2011
Request Types: By List
Primary or Club Station