The FCC collects regulatory fees and annual processing fees. Congress mandates our authority to impose and collect such fees. Application processing fees are deposited in the U.S. Treasury and are not available to the FCC. Section 9 (a) of the Communications Act authorizes the FCC to collect annual regulatory fees to recover the annual costs of its enforcement, policy and rulemaking, user information, and international activities. A Schedule of Fees sets forth annual regulatory fees for specific categories of regulators in the Media, Common Carrier, Wireless, International and Cable Television Services. Our regulatory fees do not apply to government entities, amateur radio operator licensees (other than amateur vanity call signs), and non-profit entities.
The first step to making financial transactions with the FCC is to register through the FCC's COmmission REgistration system (CORES). Upon registration, you'll be assigned an FCC Registration Number (FRN), which is used to identify you in all transactions with the FCC.
Financial Transaction Fees & Resources
Lockbox Bank: The FCC's lockbox bank opens mail, processes funds, records remittance data, forwards remaining materials to the FCC, and deposits funds in the FCC's accounts. We use the U.S. Bank in St. Louis, MO to provide the the FCC and its clients with lockbox services.
Application Processing Fees: Congress authorized the FCC to impose and collect application processing feesand directed us to prescribe charges for certain types of application processing or authorization services we provide to communications entities over which we have jurisdiction.
Regulatory Fees are mandated by Congress, pursuant to Section 9 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. We are required to collect regulatory fees to recover the regulatory costs associated with our enforcement, policy and rulemaking, user information, and international activities.
Fee File enables you to submit a variety of FCC fees for payment. Certain fees, such as pre-billed annual regulatory fees, delinquent fees, ULS fees, and other outstanding bills,are automatically found based upon the FCC Registration Number (FRN) you use to log in.
The FCC Form 159,"Remittance Advice", and FCC Form 159-C, (Continuation Sheet) is a multi-purpose form that must accompany any payment to the Federal Communications Commission (e.g., Regulatory Fees, Processing Fees, Auctions, Fines, Forfeitures, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Billings, or any other debt due to the FCC). The information on this form is collected to ensure credit for full payment, to ensure you receive any refunds due, to service public inquiries, and to comply with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.
Electronic Transfer: We no longer offer our customers the option of paying their application processing fees electronically and filing the associated paperwork with the FCC. This payment method is not supported by our current lockbox bank. If you need to make an expedited payment, use our wire transfer process.
Wire Transfer : All payments made by wire transfer (payable to the FCC must include a completed remittance instrument (Form 159 Remittance Advice, Form 159-W, Form 159-B, Form 159-E). The appropriate remittance instrument varies based upon the nature of your filing. If you are not instructed otherwise, complete Form 159 Remittance Advice.
The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA): rules require that entities or individuals doing business with us pay their debts in a timely manner. The rules state that if you fail to pay debts owed to the FCC, the debts are referred to the Department of Treasury for collection. Failure to pay is reported to credit reporting agencies, and you'll be unable to obtain any licenses or other benefits from the FCC.
The Red Light Rule
The inability of delinquent debtors to do business with the FCC is known as the "red light rule." It requires us to withhold action on applications and other requests for benefits when the entity applying for or seeking benefits is delinquent in non-tax debts owed to the agency, and to dismiss such applications or other requests if the delinquency is not resolved.
The Red Light Display System enables entities doing business with us to determine if they have any outstanding delinquent debt. The RLD enables you to check the status of your account by individual FRNs, and links other FRNs sharing the same tax identification number (TIN) when determining whether there are outstanding delinquent debts.
The Office of the Managing Director's Financial Operations Group is responsible for management of the regulatory fee program.
The annual regulatory fee amount to be collected is established each year in the commission's Annual Appropriations Act, which is adopted by Congress and signed by the President and which funds the commission. In this annual regulatory fee proceeding, the FCC establishes methods, policies and procedures for collection of Section 9 regulatory fees. The commission typically collects regulatory fees during an August filing window.
In addition to Section 9 fees, the FCC also collects application fees. Fee filing guides for each bureau and office that oversees feeable services are available here.