What types of debts are recorded in the Commission’s Red Light Display (RLD) system?

The RLD system contains only delinquent debts. Delinquent means a claim or debt which has not been paid by the date specified by the agency unless other satisfactory payment arrangements have been made by that date, or, at any time thereafter, the debtor has failed to satisfy an obligation under a payment agreement or instrument with the agency, or pursuant to a Commission rule. For purposes of this subpart only, an installment payment under 47 CFR 1.2110(g) will not be considered delinquent until the expiration of all applicable grace periods and any other applicable periods under Commission rules to make the payment due. The following types of debts are examples of delinquent debts listed on the RLD system:

  • regulatory fees that were not paid, were underpaid, or were submitted after the close of the regulatory fee payment window and are subject to a 25% late fee;
  • application fees that were not paid or underpaid;
  • installment agreements that are delinquent;
  • Freedom of Information Act search and duplication fees that are unpaid or underpaid;
  • Section 1353 sponsored travel reimbursements that are overdue;
  • Universal Service Fund, Telecommunications Relay Service, or North American Numbering Plan Administration payments that are overdue; or
  • auction payments that are overdue

For individuals or entities with more than one FRN, what is the best way to determine which FRN has delinquent debt?

If your FRNs all share the same Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), you can query the Red Light Display system by your FRN to obtain a list of all FRNs sharing the same TIN. Once you have a list of the FRNs sharing your TIN, you can determine which FRN owes delinquent debt. The RLD displays a list of all FRNs that have the same TIN and, for each FRN, a list of delinquent debts owed to the Commission. The RLD system can be found at www.fcc.gov/redlight.

I do not recognize the debt attributed to me in the Red Light Display system or Fee Filer. How can I get more information about this transaction?

You do have the option to call the FCC Help Desk (877-480-3201 option 4) where someone can provide more information, and can fax you a copy of the underlying FCC bill to assist you.

The Red Light Display system (or Fee Filer) indicates that I owe the Commission for something that I have already paid. Why wasn’t that payment posted to my account?

If you sent in a payment without including your FRN or other FCC identifier on the Form 159, we may not have credited your payment to the proper account. It is very important when you pay a bill that you include your FRN and the bill number (or related call sign or FCC identifier) on your Form 159 in the appropriate fields. Please fax us a copy of your proof of payment together with this information and we will see that the payment is posted to the proper account. Fax the proof of payment to the CORES Help Desk at fax number 202-418-7869.

The Red Light Display system (or Fee Filer) indicates that I owe the Commission for regulatory fees (or application fees), but I believe I am exempt (e.g., certain government entities, nonprofit entities, noncommercial educational). I provided information on my exempt status to the FCC last year. Why do the agency’s records show me as still owing fees?

The Commission’s rules regarding exemptions to charges (application fees) and regulatory fees are set out at 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1114 and 1.1162, respectively. Applicants, permittees and licensees are required to file documentation of their exempt status at the time the application is filed, within sixty (60) days of a change in nonprofit status (of a licensee or permittee claiming nonprofit entity status under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code), within sixty (60) days of the effective date of a purchase or reassignment from non-profit to for-profit, and at the time its fee payment would otherwise be due, or at such other time as required by the Managing Director. In order to ensure that we have your most current exempt status, provide your certification annually. Annual submission of documentation will assist in our efforts to simplify this process. Applicants claiming exemptions from application fees must certify as to their eligibility for the exemption through a cover letter accompanying the application or filing, except if the applicable FCC Form requests the information justifying the exemption. Any permittee, licensee or other entity subject to a regulatory fee and claiming an exemption from a regulatory fee, shall file the written documentation establishing the basis for its exemption with the Secretary of the Commission (Attn: Managing Director). Once we receive proper documentation of the exempt status for the fiscal year in question, we will void the fee debt for that year.

I believe that I am exempt for paying annual regulatory fees, so when and how do I notify the Commission of my exempt status?

Any permittee, licensee or other entity subject to a regulatory fee and claiming an exemption from a regulatory fee based upon status as set out at 47 C.F.R. § 1.1162 (e.g., government entity, nonprofit entity, Special Emergency Radio and Public Safety Radio services, certain permittees and licensees of noncommercial educational broadcast stations, and certain entities providing instructional services) shall file with the Secretary of the Commission, 445 12th St. S.W., Washington, DC 20554 (Attn: Managing Director) written documentation establishing the basis for its exemption within sixty (60) days of its coming under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Commission or at the time its fee payment would otherwise be due, whichever is sooner, or at such other time as required by the Managing Director. Acceptable documentation may include, for example, Internal Revenue Service determination letters, state or government certifications or other documentation that non-profit status has been approved by a state or other governmental authority.

In order to ensure that we have your most current exempt status, provide your certification annually. This required annual submission of documentation will assist in our efforts to simplify this process. (See FAQ #5, above.)

How many notices am I entitled to receive?

We will send one notice to our debtors before pursuing more aggressive collection actions.

I am outside counsel for an entity doing business with the FCC and I need to determine if my client has outstanding delinquent debts. How do I go about doing this if I do not have the client’s FRN or password?

To protect commercial records from unauthorized access, we restrict access to information in our public financial systems to individuals holding an FRN or their authorized representatives. Your client will have to provide you their FRN and password in order for you to obtain information regarding their account with the FCC.

I have forgotten my CORES password. How can I find out what it is?

You must be the contact person listed in the CORES database in order to request the password. If you are the CORES contact person, you can have your password reset by calling the CORES Help Desk toll free at 1 (877) 480-3201 option 1. An FCC technical support representative can give you your password hint to help you remember what password you chose.

If you are not the contact person listed in the CORES database for the FRN in question, you must fax a written request to the CORES Help Desk to change the contact name. The request must be made on your company’s official letterhead, explain the reason for the change, and provide the name of the new contact person. Our Help Desk staff will update your account information to reflect the new contact information. Once this change has been made in CORES, you will receive your new password in the mail. The CORES Help Desk fax number is 202-418-7869. The CORES Help Desk makes every effort to make these changes within 24 hours of receipt.

More information regarding CORES passwords and contact persons is available on the CORES homepage located at https://apps.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do.

How long will it take to process my refund?

You may submit your written request, supported by appropriate documentation, to the following addresses:

Federal Communications Commission
Attn: Revenue and Receivables Operations Group
445 - 12th Street S.W., Room 1-A821
Washington, DC 20554
Or
E-mail: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov

Your written refund request must include your FRN, the amount to be refunded, the documentation supporting the reason for a refund, a copy of your remittance advice (FCC Form 159), and/or a brief description of your application filing including the date of the filing and the method of payment.

How do I request a refund?

Generally, if appropriate documentation satisfactory to establish the basis for the refund has been included, it takes approximately two (2) weeks for us to review and process your refund. In some cases, however, where additional review or information is required, the time may be longer.

Bureau/Office: