All radio broadcast station licenses are scheduled to expire between 2019 and 2022.  Each AM, FM, noncommercial educational FM, FM Translator, and Low Power FM (LPFM) station must file an application for license renewal (FCC Schedule 303-S) four months prior to the expiration date of the station's license in accordance with the schedule set forth below.  All stations, except LPFM and FM Translator stations, also must file a Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (FCC Schedule 396) at the same time. 

During the license renewal process, listeners of the stations whose licenses are up for renewal may participate in the process either by filing a Petition to Deny or informal objection against a renewal.  Positive comments about a broadcaster's service may also be filed.  Procedures for filing documents with the Commission in the context of a license renewal are covered below.

Related auxiliary stations and FM Booster stations are renewed with the main station license; do not file separate renewal applications for auxiliary or FM Booster stations.  A permittee of a new radio broadcast station is not required to file a license renewal application unless a license is granted prior to the expiration date for radio stations in its particular state or jurisdiction.
   

Contents

   Important:  Verify the Station's Mailing and E-mail Addresses
   The Station's Local Public Inspection File
   License Renewal Filing Dates
   License Renewal Process -- Broadcast Announcements (47 CFR Section 73.3580)
      Timing of Announcements
      Sample Pre-filing Announcement
      Sample Post-filing Announcement
   License Renewal Application Filing Fees
   License Renewal Process -- Electronic Filing Is Mandatory
   Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Filing Requirements
   Petitions to Deny/Informal Objections
   Submission of Petitions to Deny, Informal Objections, and Comments
   Additional Information about Radio Broadcast Station Renewals
 

   Public Participation in the License Renewal Process (separate document)
   LMS Help Center provides information on how to file the license renewal application (separate document)
   Radio License Renewal for Broadcasters (Video) shows how a little early work can ease the license renewal process

 

Important: Verify the Station's Mailing and E-mail Addresses

Return to Top
A valid mailing address and a valid e-mail address for each station is essential for a smooth renewal process.  Broadcast licensees should take the time NOW to verify that the station address is correct in the FCC's files, and make any necessary corrections.  Please double check the mailing address and e-mail address on the license renewal application before electronically filing the application.

AM and FM full service stations, Low Power FM stations, and interested persons may check the Commission's address-of-record by using the Mailing Address Search.  FM Translator stations may verify the mailing address through the "Station Information" link in CDBS Public Access.

Corrections of mailing addresses may be made as a CDBS informal filing.  Please see Informal Filings - Frequently Asked Questions for the procedure for submitting such changes.

The Station's Local Public Inspection File

Return to Top

The public inspection file for broadcast stations contains a variety of information about each station's operations and service to its community of license, including information about political time sold or given away by each station, quarterly lists of the most significant programs each station aired concerning issues of importance to its community, data on ownership of each station, and active applications each station has filed with the Commission.  The Commission adopted the public inspection file requirement to "make information to which the public already has a right more readily available, so that the public will be encouraged to play a more active part in dialogue with broadcast licensees."

All broadcast radio licensees were required to transition their public inspection files to the Commission's online public file database (https://publicfiles.fcc.gov) by June 24, 2018.  At this location, stations are required to post all public file material required by  47 CFR Section 73.3526 (commercial stations) or 47 CFR Section 73.3527 (noncommercial educational stations).    Information on local public file and public access requirements also is available in The Public and Broadcasting (revised December 2018).

Public inspection file requirements do not apply to FM Translator stations.  Low Power FM stations are exempt from the local public file requirement, but must continue to maintain a political file.

License Renewal Filing Dates

Return to Top
The following lists indicate license renewal application filing dates, license expiration dates, and Petition to Deny filing dates, for noncommercial educational FM, commercial AM and FM, FM Translator, and Low Power FM stations.  Renewal dates are based on the location (state, territory, etc.) of the station's community of license, not the station's transmitter site location.  Dates for radio broadcast station renewals fall between 2019 and 2022, inclusive. 

      Radio broadcast renewal dates by STATE

      Radio broadcast renewal dates by DATE 

 

License renewal applications (FCC Schedule 303-S) must be filed four months prior to the station's license expiration date.  Details on the process are provided in the following sections.

 

License Renewal Process -- Broadcast Announcements (47 CFR Section 73.3580)

Return to Top
Operating AM, FM, and LPFM stations.  Announcements must be made over the AM, FM, or LPFM station according to the following schedule.  FM Translators are exempt from announcement requirements.  See 47 CFR Section 73.3580.  Low Power FM (LPFM) license renewal applicants are NOT exempt and must comply with the announcement requirements below.  LPFM license renewal applicants also must comply with the publishing requirements in this section for those stations that cannot broadcast announcements.
 
If the station's License Expires in: Make Pre-Filing Announcements on the 1st and 16th Day of the Previous File the Schedule 303-S Renewal Application by the First Weekday of Make Post-Filing Announcements on the 1st and 16th Day of
February August & September October October, November, & December
April October & November December December, January, & February
June December & January February February, March & April
August Feburary & March April April, May, & June
October April & May June June, July, & August
December June & July August August, September, & October

 

Timing of Pre-Filing Renewal Announcements for Radio Broadcast Stations

Commercial and
*Noncommercial
Educational Stations

 
  • At least two of the required announcements between 7 AM to 9 AM and/or 4 PM to 6 PM.
  • If the station doesn't operate between 7 AM to 9 AM and/or 4 PM to 6 PM, then at least two of the required announcements during the first two hours of operation.
See 47 CFR Section 73.3580(d)(4)(i)(B).     
*Noncommercial educational stations need not broadcast the announcement during any month in which the station does not operate.  See 47 CFR Section 73.3580(d)(4)(i)(B)(3).

Timing of Post-Filing Renewal Announcements for Radio Broadcast Stations

Commercial and **Noncommercial
Educational Stations

 
  1. At least three of the required announcements between 7 AM to 9 AM and/or 4 PM to 6 PM. 
  2. At least one announcement between 9 AM to noon. 
  3. At least one announcement between noon to 4 PM. 
  4. At least one announcement between 7 PM to midnight. 
  5. If the station doesn't operate between 7 AM to 9 AM or 4 PM to 6 PM then at least three of the required announcements during the first two hours of operation.
See 47 CFR Section 73.3580(d)(4)(ii)(B).   
**Noncommercial educational stations need not broadcast the announcements during any month in which the station does not operate.  In such instances noncommercial educational stations shall meet the requirements as specified in 47 CFR Section 73.3580(d)(4)(ii)(B)(3).

Silent AM, FM and LPFM stations must publish the text of the Post-Filing Announcement in a newspaper of general circulation in the community or area served on the same scheduled dates as indicated above for operating stations.  A copy of the published announcement should be placed in the AM or FM station's online public inspection file.  LPFM stations should keep a copy of the published announcement with the station's records.

FM Translators not being renewed with the primary station being rebroadcast must publish the text of the Post-Filing Announcement at least once immediately after the filing of the license renewal application.  The notice should be published in a daily, weekly, or biweekly newspaper of general circulation in the community or area served.  If there is no newspaper the licensee should post the required notice in a public place and keep a copy of the local public notice for reference.

 

Sample PRE-Filing Announcement
The following is a sample of the text of a pre-filing announcement.  (You may cut and paste this text.)  Stations broadcasting in a foreign language should broadcast the announcements in that language.  Additional information can be found on the FCC's Web site at https://www.fcc.gov/guides/license-renewal-applications-radio-broadcast-stations

On _________________________ (date of the last renewal grant), ___________ (station's call letters) was granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission to serve the public interest as a public trustee until __________________________ (license expiration date).  Our license will expire on _________________ (date).  We must file an application for license renewal with the FCC on _________________ (date, four months prior to the expiration date).  When filed, a copy of this application will be available for public inspection at www.fcc.gov.  It contains information concerning the station's performance over the last ________________________ (period of time covered by the application, e.g. 8 years).

Individuals who wish to advise the FCC of facts relating to our renewal application, and to whether this station has operated in the public interest, should file comments and petitions with the FCC by _________________ (date, first day of the full calendar month prior to the month of license expiration).

Further information concerning the FCC's broadcast license renewal process is available at ___________________________ (address of the location of the station) or may be obtained from the FCC, Washington, D.C. 20554, www.fcc.gov.

 

-- END OF ANNOUNCEMENT --

 

Sample POST-Filing Announcement
The following is a sample of the text of a post-filing announcement.  (You may cut and paste this text.)  Stations broadcasting in a foreign language should broadcast the announcements in that language.  Stations that cannot broadcast this announcement because they are off the air should publish the text of the announcement in a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly newspaper of general circulation in the community to be served.  Additional information can be found on the FCC's Web site at http://www.fcc.gov/guides/license-renewal-applications-radio-broadcast-stations.

On _________________________ (date of the last renewal grant), ___________ (station's call letters) was granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission to serve the public interest as a public trustee until
__________________________ (license expiration date).  Our license will expire on _________________ (date).  We filed an application for license renewal with the FCC.   A copy of this application is available for inspection at www.fcc.gov.  It contains information concerning the station's performance over the last ________________________ (period of time covered by the application, e.g. 8 years).

Individuals who wish to advise the FCC of facts relating to our renewal application, and to whether this station has operated in the public interest, should file comments and petitions with the FCC by _________________ (date, first day of the full calendar month prior to the month of license expiration). 

Further information concerning the FCC's broadcast license renewal process is available at
_____________________________ (address of the location of the station) or may be obtained from the FCC, Washington, D.C. 20554, www.fcc.gov.

 

-- END OF ANNOUNCEMENT --

License Renewal Application Filing Fees

Return to Top
Each commercial licensee must submit a filing fee and Form 159 with its license renewal application.  See the Application Processing Fees page for additional information concerning fees.

License Filing Process -- Electronic Filing is Mandatory

Return to Top
Licensees MUST use the LMS Electronic Filing System to prepare and file the Schedule 303-S Application for Renewal of Broadcast Station License.  The LMS Help Center provides information and guidance on the filing process.

 

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Filing Requirements

Return to Top
Each licensee must familiarize itself with these rules and reporting requirements prior to preparation of the license renewal application.   Information about the Commission's EEO requirements for broadcast stations is available on the Commission's Equal Employment Opportunity page.  The EEO rules require that all license renewal applicants (except FM Translator and LPFM renewal applicants) submit FCC Schedule 396 (Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report) in advance of or with the license renewal application.  To Media Bureau Electronic Filing.

 

All licensees (except FM Translator and LPFM licensees) must electronically file the Broadcast Equal Opportunity Program Report (FCC Schedule 396) and the license renewal form (Schedule 303-S).  Licensees must complete FCC Schedule 396 PRIOR to completing Schedule 303-S.  Schedule 303-S asks for the application file number of the Schedule 396 application; without this number, the LMS Electronic Filing system will not accept a Schedule 303-S Application for Renewal of Broadcast Station License.

 

Petitions to Deny/Informal Objections

Return to Top

A Petition to Deny or an informal objection to a radio license renewal application may be filed AFTER the filing of the license renewal application.  Notices of the filing of license renewal applications will be posted in public notices available through the Commission's Daily Digest.   Specific renewal applications can also be found (after filing) by consucting a search in the LMS Pubic Search.

Petitions to Deny are considered to be timely filed with the Commission only upon submission through the LMS electronic filing system or upon receipt by the Commission at the address listed below, NOT when they are mailed or postmarked.  Petitions to Deny may not be submitted to the Commission via e-mail. 

The last day for filing Petitions to Deny is ONE MONTH PRIOR to the license expiration date:

  • Example.  The expiration date for a station in Arksansas is June 1, 2020.  The LAST DAY that a Petition to Deny may be timely filed is May 1, 2020
  • Exception.  If the LAST DAY falls on a Saturday, Sunday, holiday, or on a date that the Commission is closed for business, the LAST DAY is extended to the first full business day thereafter.  For example, the expiration date for a station in Alabama is April 1, 2020.  March 1, 2020 is a Sunday.   In this instance, the LAST DAY that a Petition to Deny may be filed is March 2, 2020
  • Exception.  The deadline for filing Petitions to Deny against late-filed license renewal applications is the 90th day after the FCC gives public notice that it has accepted that application for filing.  If the 90th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, holiday, or on a date that the Commission is closed for business, the LAST DAY is extended to the first full business day thereafter. 

Petition to Deny Requirements.  First, to file a Petition to Deny, a person must be a "party in interest" and have "standing."  That means, generally, that the person must have more than a passing interest in the station.  He or she must be a regular listener or have some other contact with the station that gives the petitioner a real stake in the outcome of the renewal process.  A petition must be supported by an affidavit of a person or persons with personal knowledge of the allegations of fact contained in the petition.  Additionally, a Petition to Deny a license renewal must be "timely" filed at least one month prior to the license expiration date, as explained in the previous paragraph.  Finally, the petition must contain a certification that a copy of the petition was mailed to the station.  Failure to include the certification that a copy was mailed to the station and the affidavit of personal knowledge will result in dismissal of the Petition to Deny. 

Procedure for Filing Informal Objections.  A person or entity opposing the grant of a station's license renewal application may file an informal objection against the license renewal application at any time prior to staff action on the license renewal application.  An informal objection is less formal than a Petition to Deny, but some requirements still apply.  It may take the form of a letter signed by the objector and submitted through LMS or mailed or delivered to one of the FCC addresses below.  An informal objection need not contain the affidavit required for a Petition to Deny.  It should, however, contain sufficient information to establish any violation alleged.  Additionally, an informal objection not received by the time the station's license renewal is granted will not be considered. 

Filing Positive Comments.  Affirmative comments concerning a licensee's service during the prior license term should be filed by the Petition to Deny deadline through LMS, or through the Office of the Secretary at the addresses listed in the next section.

 

Submission of Petitions to Deny, Informal Objections, and Comments

Return to Top
Petitions to Deny, informal objections, or positive comments, should be submitted electronically using LMS.  Alternatively, persons may submit paper copies to the Commission.  For paper copies, please include an original and two copies of any filing.

As indicated above, an additional copy of any filing may need to be served on (mailed to) the station licensee via a separate mailing.

Send the documents to the locations listed herein:  Addresses for filing documents with the FCC.

Additional Suggestions for Filers.  To help the staff expeditiously associate a Petition to Deny, informal objection, or positive comment with the proper license renewal application, the pleading should prominently identify:

  1. The station's call sign;
  2. The station's facility ID number;
  3. The license renewal application file number.
This information, which is available in the LMS  Public Search on the Commission's Web site, should be listed on the first page of the submission.  The filing must also state whether it is a Petition to Deny, Informal Objection, or a comment.   If a cover sheet is used, it should be attached to each copy of the pleading.  Failure to include this information may cause delays in associating a pleading with a license renewal application.
 

Additional Information about Radio Broadcast Station Renewals

Return to Top
Questions may be directed to radioren@fcc.gov.  Please provide sufficient information so that your inquiry can be answered promptly.



For more information on AM and FM radio broadcasting, please visit the Audio Division website, and the Broadcast Radio Links page.

For more information on Television broadcasting, please visit the Video Division website.

FCC > Media Bureau > Audio Division, (202) 418-2700, and Video Division, (202) 418-1600.

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Friday, May 17, 2019