FCC Not Collecting $35 Application Fees Just Yet

According to a recent ARRL News item, published March 22nd, the new $35 amateur radio license application fee will NOT become effective on April 19th, as originally reported.

The ARRL states that “the majority of the FCC’s revised Part 97 rules (adopted in December 2020) establishing new license application fees become effective April 19, but the new amateur radio license application fees will NOT become effective on April 19, 2021.”

The FCC announced on March 19, 2021 that the amateur radio license fees, including those associated with Form 605 filings, would not become effective until the “requisite notice has been provided to Congress, the FCC’s information technology systems and internal procedures have been updated, and the Commission publishes notice(s) in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of such rules.”

When it becomes effective, the $35 license application fee would apply to new, modifications (upgrades and sequential call sign changes), renewals, and vanity call sign applications, as well as applications for a special temporary authority (STA) or a rule waiver. All fees will be per application. Administrative updates, such as changing a mailing or email address, are exempt.

It is expected that such fees will not become effective before summer 2021. The FCC has stated that amateurs will have advance warning of the actual effective date, because it will publish such date in the Federal Register.