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Vanity Call Signs

For your primary station, you may request a call sign that was previously assigned to your primary, secondary, repeater, auxiliary link, control or space station. When so requesting for your primary station:

  • You may request your former call sign even though it has been unassigned for less than two years. The two-year requirement does not apply to an otherwise eligible primary station if the call sign was previously assigned to a station of the requestor
  • You do not have to hold a class of operator license required for the Group (A, B, C or D) for the call sign requested. A call sign request by a former holder may be from any Group in the sequential system.
  • Your mailing address does not have to be in the Region designated in the sequential system for the call sign requested (excluding call signs for Regions 11-13). A call sign requested by a close relative of a deceased former holder may be in any Region.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I recently returned to amateur radio as a codeless Technician class licensee. Many years ago, I held a Class A amateur operator license. My old call sign is in Group A and is currently not assigned to another station. Am I eligible to get it back?

A. Yes. You are eligible to file under the former holder provision. Not having an Amateur Extra Class operator license does not preclude you from requesting your former call sign under this provision even if the call sign is in Group A.

Q: Am I eligible to get my old Novice Call sign back with the N in the prefix?

A. Yes. As a former holder, you are eligible to file under the former holder provision.

Q: I was a Novice in the 1950s. My call sign was KN2HHR (for example). Had I upgraded, I would have received K2HHR but I let the license expire when the one-year term was up. Now I am a codeless Technician. Am I eligible for K2HHR under the former holder provision?

A. No. You are not a former holder of K2HHR.

Q: Am I eligible for my former call sign KZ5XX (for example) that I had while in the Canal Zone?

A. Yes. You are considered a former holder even though your former license was issued by the Department of Interior. The KZ5 call sign prefix has been returned to the FCC. You are eligible to file under the former holder provision.

Q: Now that I have my new vanity call sign, I realize that I would rather have the call sign I just vacated. Can I get it back?

A. Yes. You are eligible to file another application under the former holder provision.

Q: Can I request that the call sign I vacated be assigned to my new club station under the former holder provision?

A. No. Your club station was not the holder of the call sign you vacated. After two years, your club station license trustee might apply for it under the request-by-list provision.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022