Never operated before? Has it been a while? New to Canada?

I have looked on the www.callsign.ca database and there are no examiners in my area. How can I take my Amateur Exam?

Contact the ARSC to discuss what options are available in this situation.

I have moved to Canada from another country, where I held an Amateur Radio Licence, how do I get the equivalency in Canada?

There are no equivalencies given for holders of Amateur licences from other countries. The only way to get your Canadian call sign is to take the Canadian Basic qualification exam and pass with a mark of 70%.

I am not a Canadian citizen, but I have a residence here. I have no amateur certificate from my country of origin. Can I get a Canadian certificate?

Any one with a Canadian address is eligible for the Canadian certificate. There are no restrictions based on race, age or sex.

I am an Amateur Radio Operator visiting Canada from another country. While in Canada can I use my call sign from my home station from my home country?

In order to you use the call sign of your home station in Canada you must contact Industry Canada at the ARSC and provide documentation of your CEPT certificate. A Letter of Authority will be extended to applicants who qualify that allows them to operate in Canada. It also instructs the amateur to add the prefix of the geographical location they will be in. So, an amateur of United Kingdom with the call sign G**** applies to operate in Winnipeg Manitoba the prefix they use while visiting is VE4 and so will use the call sign VE4G****

I am the holder of a professional certificate, can I get the equivalent Amateur Radio Operator’s Certificate?

Persons holding any of the following certificates listed below may be issued an authorization to operate in the amateur radio service with the same operating privilieges as the holder of an Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with Basic, Morse and Advanced qualifications:

Radiocommunication Operator General Certificate (Maritime)

Radio Operator’s First Class Certificate

Radio Operator’s Second Class Certificate

Persons holding any of the following Canadian certificates may be issued an authorization to operate in the amateur radio service with the same operating privileges as the holder of an Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with the Basic qualification:

Radiotelephone Operator’s General Certificate (Aeronautical)

Radiotelephone Operator’s General Certificate (Maritime)

Radiotelephone Operator’s General Certificate (Land)

First-Class Radioelectronic Certificate

I have my radio operator’s license, but I have not had a call sign for several years. How do I go about getting a call sign again?

The application at www.callsign.ca has an option at the top to “Reinstate a Certificate”. Choose this option and fill in the form. Choose your top three call sign choices and send it to the ARSC. If you had a licence previously you will be in the database and we will be able to issue a new call sign, free of charge.

I am interested in becoming an amateur radio operator. How do I go about it?

In order to become an amateur radio operator, one must pass the Basic exam with a mark of 70% or greater. It is recommended that you visit www.callsign.ca and read RBR 4, RIC 3, and RIC 9 under the section “Documentation” before taking the exam. You can also find an examiner in your area. Also visit the exam generator at http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/insmt-gst.nsf/en/h_sf05378e.html , to take practice exams.

Call sign inquiries

Is the call sign database accessible to the public?

Yes, the public can access the database at the Amateur Radio Service Centre

I applied for a special call sign that I used before in another contest, but my request was denied. Why?

A special event call sign can only be used once in a twelve month period, and only for one event.

How do I know if my event qualifies for a special call sign?

Please see RIC-9 for details on special call signs.

Why do I have to wait to apply for a two-letter call sign?

In certain areas there is high traffic of amateur operators. In these areas there are far less two-letter call signs available. For this reason certain areas require that an individual has been an amateur for at least five years before they are eligible to obtain a two-letter call sign. These provinces are: Nova Scotia; Quebec; Ontario; Manitoba; Saskatchewan; Alberta; British Columbia; and Newfoundland. The regions where there is no five year designation are: North West Territories; New Brunswick; Labrador; Nunavut; Yukon; Prince Edward Island. No matter where you live in Canada, you may not hold more than ONE two-letter call sign. Clubs may not apply for a two-letter call sign.

I would like an additional call sign. Am I allowed to have more than one call sign?

An amateur may hold as many three letter call signs as they wish. It costs $60 to obtain additional call signs after they receive their original call sign. See www.callsign.ca for the application. An amateur may not apply for an additional two-letter call sign if they already hold a two-letter call sign. A club may also have as many call signs as they wish. It also costs $60 for each additional call sign requested. The form is the same as that used for individuals. RIC-9 3.0 for schedule

New and Old Regulations and Policies

How can I find out if I should have been grand fathered to a new qualification?

The following is a time line to regulatory changes and the effect to existing Amateurs:

July 2005: Any Amateur who held a Basic Certificate from before April 2 2002 were grand fathered to a Basic with Honours Certificate.

March 2000: VE9 becomes the exclusive prefix to New Brunswick. All residents of New Brunswick who held VE1/VA1 call signs are grand fathered these call signs. March 2000: Publishing of RIC-9 introduces a new policy for two letter call signs, capping the number of two letter call signs for individuals to one, and disallowing clubs from holding any two letter call signs. All individuals with more than one two letter and clubs with any two letter call signs were grand fathered these call signs. March 1993: All Amateurs who held an Amateur and Advanced Certificate were Grand fathered to Basic, 12 wpm and Advanced.

March 1993: All Amateurs who held an Amateur Digital Radio Operator’s Certificate were Grand fathered to Basic and Advanced Certificate.

October 1990: All Amateurs who held an Amateur Certificate or an Amateur and Advanced Certificate were grand fathered to Basic, 12 wpm and Advanced.

Are there countries that I am prohibited to contact or communicate with?

No, if you are a licenced operator you may communicate with any person / country.

Can I operate my amateur station while visiting the United States?

Canadian amateurs operating in the USA have the same privileges as they have in Canada, limited by USA band edges and mode restrictions in accordance with FCC Part 97 Rules. Canadian citizens holding a Canadian licence may operate in USA without having to obtain a permit, but they must maintain a Canadian address in order to keep their call sign.

What is the procedure after an Amateur has died?

When an amateur dies Industry Canada must be notified of the death by either a copy of the death certificate or an obituary. Once the documentation is sent Industry Canada places the call sign on hold for One Year from the date of passing, during this period of time an immediate family member may obtain the call sign by submitting an application and payment of the $60 fee. If no person from the immediate family obtains the call sign after the One year is due the call sign is released and available to the public.

*NOTE: Close family friends etc. are not eligible to obtain the call sign during the year that the call sign is on hold for Next of Kin. If the family does not want the call sign they can write to industry Canada with permission to release the call sign early. Then if the friend of the family is the first to submit the application for that particular call sign it is awarded to them. Once a call sign is released it is First Come – First Served, so even if a family releases a call early with intention of allowing a family friend to obtain it, if it is not the first application received Industry Canada is not responsible

I am going to be moving to somewhere outside of Canada and will no longer have a valid Canadian address. How does this effect my Amateur status?

According to RIC-9 call signs are assigned based on your geographical area in Canada. If you do not have a valid address in Canada your call sign will have to be released. You will still have your licence for amateur radio and if you come back to operate in Canada you will not have to take the exams over; you will need to pay the fee in order to obtain a new call sign in that event.

What advantages are there to having my Basic with Honours?

An amateur that has there Basic with Honours (demonstrated by a plus (+) beside their surname) is able to operate on the same amateur frequencies as those available to an amateur with their Advanced qualifications.

I took my Basic exam after the cut off for the grandfathering of Basic with Honours, but I did get over 80% on the exam, and should have a (+) next to my last name. How can I notify Industry Canada and the ARSC to make this change?

If you believe that you should have the (+), contact the examiner who administered your exam and have them send your application to our office again. If it is found that the (+) is missing, it will be added.

I have a plus (+) beside my name on the database. What does this mean?

A plus (+) beside the surname of an amateur means that the individual has achieved a mark of 80% or greater on their Basic exam. If an individual than proceeds to take their Advanced or Morse code exams the plus is removed.

Do I have to have my home address appear on the online amateur database?

You must give a valid address when applying for your first call sign, and keep us up to date on your address as it changes. If you do not want your address to appear online in the various databases, simply indicate that you would like your address to be kept “undisclosed” and we will keep your address from public view.

How do I notify IC of my address change?

There is an online tool so that individuals can change their addresses. Please visit the link in the top right hand corner of this page, “Make Your Changes”. If you are unable to do so then a phone call or an email to the ARSC will also suffice.

I am moving. What are my obligations to Industry Canada and the ARSC?

When you are moving to a new address within the same province notify the ARSC by email or phone to give your new mailing address and phone number. If you are moving out of province and will no longer be retaining an address in the province that your call sign a new call sign will be issued to you for the appropriate address and the old call sign will be released free of charge. If you have addresses in two different provinces you may hold call signs in those two provinces, as long as an address is provided for each province and each call sign.

Other FAQs

How do I get my call sign on my licence plate?

Industry Canada is not responsible for licence plates. Please contact your provincial Ministry of Transportation.

Are cross-band repeaters (VHF-UHF) allowed in Amateur Radio if my equipment is capable of doing it?

Cross-band repeaters are allowed, but again you must have the Advanced qualification in order to operate a repeater and you may only transmit in the designated amateur bands.

Can I use my licenced amateur radio equipment for my business?

No, it is a term of an amateur radio licence that the holder of the radio shall restrict the activities of the station to those radiocommunication services specified by the licence. This means that with an Amateur licence the holder has agreed not to broadcast music, advertisements, any business related items etc.

Do I have to post my Radio Licence next to my radio equipment?

No. However, the holder of a radio authorization shall, at the request of a Radio Inspector, show the radio authorization or a copy thereof to the inspector within 48 hours of the request being made.

If I have an Amateur Radio Operator’s Certificate with Basic Qualification, can I have a repeater?

No, the privilege of operating your own repeater, within the same band, is given only to operators with Advanced Qualifications.

Who do I address cheques to that I send to the ARSC for payment of additional call signs etc.?

All cheques and money orders sent to the ARSC should be paid to the order of: “Receiver General of Canada”.

I just passed my advanced / morse code / updated my qualifications, and I haven’t recieved a new certificate with my new qualifications yet. Why?

The only time the ARSC sends you a certificate is when you pass your Basic for the first time and receive your first call sign, and when additional call signs are obtained. The ARSC does not automatically send you a new certificate each time a new qualification is passed. If you have taken an exam for another qualification and you want a new diploma and certificate you must contact the ARSC and request it.

Travelling as an Amateur Operator

I am travelling south within ITU region II, what licence is required to operate here?

For participatory countries an IARP may be obtained.

I am making a trip by boat to another country. Do I have to use a VE0 call sign when in international water or can I use my home station call sign? A. You may use your home station call sign when in international waters without any problems. Since your call sign reflects your geographical location you

You may use your home station call sign when in international waters without any problems. Since your call sign reflects your geographical location you may wish to obtain a VE0 to show this when broadcasting. To obtain the VE0 use the form found at www.callsign.ca and pay the fee for obtaining additional call signs.

I am going on vacation in Europe, and would like to operate from the various locations that I visit. Am I allowed to do this?

Yes. Canadians can obtain a CEPT licence, issued by RAC that allows them to operate in the countries that have signed the CEPT agreement. Please visit www.rac.ca for more information, and please read RIC-3 for information on CEPT and the participating countries.

Accredited Examiners

How soon do I need to send the results of any exams given to the ARSC?

Within 10 working days.

How do I know when to renew my AE status?

AE status is given by Industry Canada for three years. AE status is up for renewal every three years on the first day of the month of birth; EX: If an AE renews in 2007, and his/her birthday is in July, then his/her status is valid until 2011 July 1st.

To renew, Appendix A from RIC-1 must be filled out and sent to the ARSC.

How long should I be keeping exams for my records?

Industry Canada requires that Accredited Examiners keep exams for a minimum of three years.

There are only a few/no examiners in my area, and I am interested in becoming one. How do I go about this?

To become an Accredited Examiner one must have their Basic, Morse (5 wpm) and Advanced qualifications. RIC-1 is the document that gives information for Accredited Examiners, and it also has the application for called Appendix A. This form should be filled out and sent to the ARSC. Candidates will be contacted for interview, usually conducted by phone, to determine whether they qualify to become Accredited Examiners.