Amateur Radio License Examinations to Continue During Government Shut Down
Amateur Radio license examinations given by the Cleveland Amateur Radio Club will resume as scheduled on Saturday, despite the current federal government shutdown.
That announcement was made jointly by CARC President Steve Weber and Jack McCarty, who oversees the club’s license testing program.
The Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 31 announced a stoppage of most functions effective at midday on Jan. 3. Employees that process amateur radio licenses are among those furloughed.
Weber said “the normal process is for our team of volunteer examiners to submit test papers to the American Radio Relay League. They forward details of those successful in a test session to the FCC.”
The ARRL is one of 16 volunteer examiner coordinators designated by the FCC to conduct license examinations in the U.S. Test sessions are administered by amateurs in their local communities under the guidance of a VEC.
Until the federal government has Congressional funding restored paperwork from testing sessions will be submitted to the ARRL VEC but cannot be processed beyond that point.
On the ARRL’s website, VEC Manager Maria Somma said in such situations, the FCC website goes offline, which includes the Universal Licensing System and the registration system known as CORES.
“This means all electronic license transactions would stop,” Somma said. “FRN registrations would be unavailable and even the search engines would be unavailable.”
Weber said anyone passing the examination for a new license will have to wait until things are back to normal for the FCC to assign their call sign. During the interim they would not be able to use frequencies assigned to the amateur radio service.
McCarty said tests are given at the Cleveland Amateur Radio Clubhouse at 560 Johnson Blvd. on the second Saturday of each month, excluding December. Tests begin at 10 a.m. so those appearing for an examination are asked to arrive early to complete necessary paperwork.
Information about amateur radio and license examinations can be obtained from www.arrl.org or www.carc.cc.
The CARC can be reached by leaving a voice mail at 423-479-4660 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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