Anchorage Amateur Radio Club VEC Program

I Passed my test! What now?


New License:

If you have just passed the tests for a brand new Amateur Radio License, congratulations! Your information from the testing session will be entered into the FCC licensing database in just a few days, under normal circumstances. As soon as your name and new call sign appear in the database, you may begin to use your new license and call sign. You do not have to wait for a physical license document to arrive at your mailing address.

Once your name and call appear in the database, your printed license document will be prepared and mailed to your home address (or whatever other address you may have put on your application) in a week or so. It should arrive within 3 weeks of mailing.

To find out if your new license is ready, you can look at the FCC database via the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) main site. Go to , enter your name and city/state, and the system will search the database and return your new call sign, if it has been issued. If nothing comes back, don't despair, it just means that your data hasn't been processed yet. You can also look at to see if your new license appears. They update their information daily, and sometimes their database servers are easier to use than the FCC system.

Sometimes, due to various reasons, it can take us a few days to get the data uploaded. If you are curious, simply send us an email (look further down on this page for a link), and we will try to find out if your application has been processed, and if not, when it is scheduled to be run. Please give us at least a week before sending in a query, however. Please remember that this work is done by volunteers, and sometimes delays occur (they do occasionally have to pay attention to things other than ham radio, you know!)

While you are at the ARRL site, take a moment to look at some of the other information to be found there. Their main address is We urge every ham to join the ARRL. It is the only national organization that has an established presence in Washington, and represents Amateur Radio world-wide. The league is a valuable resource, offering instructional (how to) books, dozens of different member services, and the national ham radio magazine: QST.

Temporary operating authority:

If you have just upgraded your license by passing additional elements, and if the elements you have completed will result in your having additional operating privileges, you may begin using them immediately! You do not have to wait until we have sent the upgrade data to the FCC.

You will notice on your CSCE (Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination) form that one of the options under "Operating Privilege" has been circled. Also, at the bottom of the CSCE form, is a brief explanation of how to identify your station. You should use this special identification procedure until your license has been modified, and the FCC database shows your new privileges.

As in the case of a new license, you will receive a printed license document in the mail within several days to perhaps 3 weeks, depending on how busy the FCC is, and whether or not other factors (such as a change of call sign) are involved. You can go to either the FCC call sign database, at or check via a commercial call sign server, such as .


If you have other questions about Amateur Radio in general, or specific questions about the testing program, you may send an e-mail to us. To send us an e-mail, Click here

Use the links below to learn more:

List of Volunteer Examiners by name

List of Volunteer Examiners by location

When and where can I find a testing session?

What do I need to bring to the exam session?

Where to find study materials for the written tests.

Learning the Morse Code - tools and techniques.

How can I become a Volunteer Examiner?

Volunteer Examiners Instruction Manual

Return to VEC main page