The Citizens Band (CB) Radio Service is a private, two-way, short-distance voice communications service for personal or business activities of the general public. It also may be used for voice paging. It is authorized 40 channels between 26.965 MHz and 27.405 MHz.
Similar service includes the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).
The CB Service provides a service for short-distance communications by individuals and businesses. Over the years, changes occurred to the service such as adding additional channels; however, the purpose of the service has remained the same.
The CB Service is licensed by rule. An individual license is not required to operate a CB station and the FCC does not renew formerly issued CB Radio Service licenses. A foreign government, a representative of a foreign government, a federal government agency, or a person the FCC issued a cease and desist order to, and the order is still in effect, is not eligible to operate a CB station. An eligible person may operate a CB station in accordance with the rules regardless of age, and for personal or business use.
The FCC service rules for the Citizens Band (CB) Service are located in 47 C.F.R. Part 95 Subpart D.
There are 40 CB channels. Each CB channel is 10 kHz. The channel number and its frequency are:
1) 26.965 2) 26.975
3) 26.985 4) 27.005
5) 27.015 6) 27.025
7) 27.035 8) 27.055
9) 27.065* 10) 27.075
11) 27.085 12) 27.105
13) 27.115 14) 27.125
15) 27.135 16) 27.155
17) 27.165 18) 27.175
19) 27.185 20) 27.205
21) 27.215 22) 27.225
23) 27.255 24) 27.235
25) 27.245 26) 27.265
27) 27.275 28) 27.285
29) 27.295 30) 27.305
31) 27.315 32) 27.325
33) 27.335 34) 27.345
35) 27.355 36) 27.365
37) 27.375 38) 27.385
39) 27.395 40) 27.405
*Channel 9 is reserved for emergency communications or for traveler assistance.
Operating a Citizens Band (CB) Device
You may operate a CB transmitter at any location where the FCC regulates radio communications, subject to certain restrictions. A CB transmitter must be certified by the FCC. A certified CB transmitter has an identifying label placed on it by the manufacturer. Transmitters that have been certified for use in the CB Radio Service may be found on the FCC website using the page at https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/GenericSearch.cfm.
None of the CB channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any station. You must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most efficient use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference. If you use a CB station to transmit a message, you cannot talk with another station for more than 5 minutes continuously and then you must wait at least one minute before starting another communication.
There are several additional things to consider when using a CB device, including:
- You may not raise the power output of a CB transmitter.
- You may not attach a "linear," "linear amplifier" or any other type of power amplifier to your CB transmitter.
- There are no height restrictions for antennas mounted on vehicles or for hand-held devices.
- For structures, the highest point of your antenna must not be more than 20 feet above the highest point of the building or tree on which it is mounted, or 60 feet above the ground. There are lower height limits if your antenna structure is located within two miles of an airport.
- You may use an on-the-air pseudonym ("handle") of your choosing.
- You are not required to transmit a station identification announcement. You are, however, encouraged to identify your CB communications by transmitting a previously assigned CB station call sign; a self-assigned call sign consisting of the letter “K” followed by your initials and residence zip code; your name; or an organizational description including name and any applicable operator unit number.
- You must at all times and on all channels, give priority to emergency communications.