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How to get your Amateur radio license

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Where do I start:
First I would find a local club that is either giving a class/test or at least a test.
If they give a class there is usually a test given at the end of that class.
To find a local club you can check the ARRL website (Home) or a google search for your city and "amateur radio club/society".

You must first take the Technician test, even if you are wanting to get your General class license. And you must take the Tech and General to get your Extra. So study and become proficient in the Technician material before moving on to the General study material. Each level of license allows access to more frequencies, for Storm Spotting/Skywarn a Technician license with a 2 meter radio would likely suffice however if you plan on getting into long really off the beaten path adventures a General class license may be worth looking into as it allows must longer distance communication.

Ok, but what do I have to know:
There are many study guide books available such as; The ARRL Ham License study guide, Ham Radio for Dummies, Study guides by Gordon West as well as many others. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...o+study+guides

I prefer FREE material and used the study guides from No-Nonsense Study Guides - KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog .
There are also study and practice test web sites: www.hamstudy.org, www.QRZ.com, www.Eham.net, www.hamexam.org, and others. Some require a free log in to keep track of your previous scores.

You have to answer 26 out of 35 (74.2%) correct to pass for Tech and General and 37 out of 50 for Extra. Once you are in the 90%+ on your practice test you are ready to take the real test.

Taking the Test:
Arrive early and bring a copy of your driver's license, cash (typically
15 for the test) and a pen or pencil depending on the VE team giving the test. You may also bring an oldschool calculator but you can use the back or answer sheet to manually work the problems.

You passed the Test: (and you will!)
The VEs (Volunteer Examiners) will give you a CSCE (Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination). This indicates what level of test you have completed.

But what about my callsign?:
About 7+/- business days from the date you took the test you can start checking the FCC ULS database for your call sign. The time it takes for this to happen varies depending on the VEs and the VEC. Once your call sign appears here, you may begin using your radio and making contacts.

The FCC no longer mails hard copy license but will email you a link to access an "official" copy to print off yourself.

Hopefully this helps get you on your way to obtaining your license, but if you have any questions please feel free to ask.
 
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