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FCC online nightmare

Aug 20, 2010
1,399
Oday 27 Oak Orchard
I'd love to have you James. I'm really not some hot headed nut job hell bent on occupying a transmission station or anything. Don't get me wrong as I believe DSC is wonderful. My contention is that the tens of thousands I already pay in taxes should be covering licensing costs especially considering how few actually apply. I take safety afloat seriously and probably more serious than most. My own boat is equipped with equipment not required and beyond the minimums to an exceptional degree. An example is 4 fire extinguishers, 2 required, 2 throwable type 4 PFDs, one required, 4 Harnesses and tethers, 0 required to name a few. Couple that with an exceptional maintenance program and with the rebuild using the highest grades of materials available and I am in pretty good shape. On top of that my experience both as a recreation sailor as well as professional and military sailor puts me in a rare category. I would like to see the fee charged for an existing service removed. Is anything going to stop if it comes down to one person signing up? I highly doubt it. We are already paying for the FCC and I don't believe it is unreasonable to expect service for our money. In the long run it is a cost savings as more people are able to render more aid saving expensive S&R operations.
 

bgary

.
Sep 17, 2015
53
1985 Ericson 32-III Everett
Bgary
OK.... got the station lic back no prob but the other license still has not come
what next?
I'd start with logging into the FCC CORES (Common Registration System) with your FRN (Federal Registration Number). One of the menu options shows you which licenses you hold, and another shows the status of any pending applications.

If your Operator license has been issued, there should be a link where you can download a PDF of it.
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Definition of Amateur Radio License - from Wiki

"In the United States, amateur radio licensing is governed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under strict federal regulations. Licenses to operate amateur stations for personal use are granted to individuals of any age once they demonstrate an understanding of both pertinent FCC regulations and knowledge of radio station operation and safety considerations."

Think about this. I hold an Amateur Extra Class License which is the highest level of all the classes of Amateur Radio licensing in the United States. It did not cost me anything except a great deal of time to study electronics, learn the Morse Code at 20 wpm, learn Part 97 of the FCC Rule and Regulations, CFR-2009-Title 47 Vol5. My license class is also the only recognized unrestricted level of reciprocal operating license by the European Conference of Postal & Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).

Now, based on all that, does one think that I might qualify for a restricted operators license to use a VHF radio? One would think so but our own FCC does not recognize that with the level of license I currently hold, it is not good enough for recreational boating.

Go figure.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,823
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Brian,
Did you read the requirements for a restricted radio operator's license? You are obviously over qualified to operate a simple VHF. We know that you can type, but can you hear and speak? Keep a rough log? Familiar with the applicable treaties and the laws and rules?
‎wireless.fcc.gov/commoperators/index.htm?job=rr

With international agreements what makes a lot of sense in one country may not make the same sense in another. But in order to reach an agreement, everyone has to give a little.

The FCC is very fair for marine VHF users who are citizens and will only use the radio in US waters. No license, no fees. There's even a domestic MMSI registration that is run by non-profits, again, no fees no tax money.

Traveling internationally by a personally owned recreational boat is purely a personal choice. Operating a radio while traveling internationally is purely a personal choice. Don't want to pay the license fee, don't travel internationally or don't take a VHF with you. Want to be in compliance with international regulations, then get a license pay the fee and don't expect the rest of the taxpayers to pay for the cost.
 
Aug 20, 2010
1,399
Oday 27 Oak Orchard
Unfortunately dlochner we can't pick and choose what we pay for. A society that expects regulation is obliged to pay the cost. I don't use police, fire, water, dredging Oswego Harbor, Coast Guard or a variety of National Defense services. This doesn't exempt me from paying the costs associated with them. I don't fly anymore so do I get a pass on funding the FAA? The FCC is already funded through our tax dollars. They will not discontinue any service because they didn't collect a few more bucks. I will continue to pester my representative to work on repealing the fee for Voluntary Ship's Station licensing.
 

bgary

.
Sep 17, 2015
53
1985 Ericson 32-III Everett
For vessels under 300 gross tons, not carrying passengers for hire, operating only in domestic waters, no VHF license is required. It is a choice. An option. A discretionary expense.

My choice to get licenses was exactly that - my choice. I wanted to have an MMSI which was legally valid in "foreign" ports (I'm closer to some Canadian ports than I am to Tacoma). In order to have that be legally valid, I needed an FCC station license. And with the station license comes an obligation to ensure that at least one licensed "operator" is aboard.

Being in compliance with laws, treaties, regulations, is also a choice. The FCC decides how big the hoops are. My choice is whether or not to jump through them.

My choices. The fees, in my case, are a ridiculously small percentage of what I spend on my hobbies. I recently replaced all the bulbs in my interior lights with LEDs, and replaced two fixtures that needed it. I also ordered new vinyl graphics, as the name (and homeport, and registration numbers) on my new-to-me 30-year-old boat are being changed. Both of those activities were choices, and both of them cost more than the sum-total of my FCC licenses. I'm okay with that.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,823
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
25years, Good Luck with your efforts, just don't expect them to get much traction.

Up until a year or two ago renewing the USCG Documentation was free. A handsome fee was paid to have the boat documented, but renewals were free. Congress decided that renewals should not be free and the at the vessel owner should pay for the cost of the renewal. The CG determined that it cost $26 to renew the documentation each year. So, now I pay $26 each year to keep my boat documented. An annual fee that is in line with the annualized cost of a ship's station license.

One might argue that documenting a boat is a personal choice, as it is not required for recreational vessels, however, banks often require it as a condition of issuing a loan.

By the way, your congressman likely voted for the bill that ended free documentation renewals.
 
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