FCC rule section 1.1116 describes the limited types of filings that are exempt from application fees.
The RAY BAUM’S Act requires that the Commission adopt application fees sufficient to recover the administrative costs to process applications. As a result, there are very few instances in which Applicants filing an application will not be subject to a fee. Applicants in the Amateur Radio Service and the Educational Broadband Service, which were previously not subject to an application fee or were exempt under section 1.1116, are now required to pay the applicable fees. Governmental entities remain exempt from paying application fees. For these purposes, a governmental entity is defined as any state, possession, city, county, town, village, municipal corporation or similar political organization or subpart thereof controlled by publicly elected or duly appointed public officials exercising sovereign direction and control over their respective communities or programs. Federally-recognized Tribes, as defined by section 27.1204(b)(1) of the Commission’s rules, are considered to be governmental entities for purposes of fee exemptions. For Federally recognized Tribes that have chosen the “Other” entity type on an application form, the Tribe must also select “fee exempt” on the application and include an attachment explaining the basis for the fee exemption. The attachment should state that the applicant is included on the current Bureau of Indian Affairs list of Federally recognized Tribes. For a complete list of fee exemptions, please review FCC rule section 1.1116 of the Commission's rules.
There are also some instances in which all Applicants will not be subject to a new or additional application fee. For example:
1) Administrative Updates;
2) Minor amendments to existing applications; and
3) Personal Service license modifications
Applicants in the Wireless Radio Services may also be exempt from regulatory fee requirements. For a complete list of regulatory fee exemptions, please review Section 1.1162 of the Commission’s rules.