How to renew Ham Radio License: Quick Guide 2024

How to renew Ham radio license in USA 2024: Introduction

How to renew Ham radio license in USA? Well this is the question we are going to address here in this article.

Being a licensed Ham radio operator; It is always important that your license is always up to date and legal at any point of time.

However You’re only going to face this “Renewal” issue once in every 10 years (a decade). But though its important to know the process and comply with the FCC regulations. You should be aware of the ULS (Universal Licensing System) and how to work with it for the said ham radio license renewal. So Let’s walk through it!!

How to check your Ham radio license expiration Status?

Its good to keep an eye on the “Status” of your ham radio license validity. There are 03 ways you can check “When your Ham radio license is due for renewal?”

1. Through ARRL’s notification

If you are a member of ARRL, you have the option to receive notifications from them when your license is nearing expiration. To enable this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Open your web browser and go to
  2. Login to your account.
  3. Click on “Edit your profile.”
  4. On your profile page, navigate to the “Edit Email Subscriptions” tab.
  5. Check the box next to “Notification of license expiration.”
  6. The ARRL will send you an email 90 days prior to your license expiration date.

2. Through Callsign lookup on QRZ.COM acquires its data from the FCC ULS database, which means that the information on should align with what is in the ULS database.

It’s important to note that in order to access this information, you will need to create a account, but the registration process is free. To locate your specific information on, please follow these steps:

  1. Open your preferred web browser and visit
  2. Input your call sign into the search box located at the top of the page.
  3. Once entered, click on the “Search” button.
  4. Your page will then be displayed, and under this page, you will find a tab labeled “Details.” Click on this tab to access additional information which will something like the image given:

You can check the expiry date of your ham radio license pretty straight forward way.

3. Through the FCC official website:

To access your amateur radio license information, please visit the official website of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) database holds all the necessary data. Here are the steps to find your information:

  1. Open your web browser and go to
  2. Click on “Searching” and then select “License Search.”
  3. In the provided text box, enter your call sign accurately.
  4. Click on the “SEARCH” button.

Once you have entered your call sign correctly, the subsequent page will display pertinent details such as the expiration date of your license.

How to renew Ham radio license Online?: Through FCC website

How to renew Ham radio license through Online mode:

To renew your ham radio license online, the most convenient method is to visit the FCC website and use the FCC License Manager System. It is recommended to do this within 90 days before your license expires. You can follow the steps given below:

  • Simply go to using your web browser.
  • Navigate to Filing and select File Online, then proceed to sign in to your FCC account. If you don’t have an FCC account yet, you will need to create one.
  • Enter your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password in the designated fields and click on “SUBMIT.” (It is highly recommended that you print or write your FRN password somewhere safe as you’ll only be using it once in a decade for Ham radio license renewals. So it is likely to happen that you loose your FRN password in that long time span)
  • Once you are on the “My Licenses” page, click on the link labeled “Renew Licenses.” From there, you can choose which license you wish to renew.
  • Then you’ll be prompted for the payment of $35 fees for license renewal for a period of 10 years. (The FCC began collecting license fee from April 19th, 2022 as per federal law established by Congress). You will have 10 days to pay the FCC prior to the removal of your renewal application.

How to renew Ham radio license Offline?: Through Mail / Email

How to renew Ham radio license through Mail or Email (ARRL Members):

As per some resources; it was possible to renew your ham radio license “Offline” through email by sending Form-605 and Form-159 along with renewal fees.

But as per latest information I found on this ARRL link; It is no longer possible to renew license through paper applications.

However the members of ARRL are allowed to file an manual application for free (mail, email or FAX) to the ARRL VEC using NCVEC FORM-605. However if you are not an ARRL member then ARRL will charge you with the processing fee for using this member service.

(We recommend to use the online mode directly with the FCC website if you’re not an ARRL member)

Also Read: How to get Ham radio license in USA?

How to renew Ham radio license: FAQs

 1. What is an FRN?

An FRN, or FCC Registration Number, is a unique identifier assigned to individuals and businesses who interact with the FCC.

2. Can I still renew my license if it has expired?

 Yes, you have a grace period of 2 years after the expiration date to renew your ham radio license without having to retake the examination.

3. Is there a fee for renewing my ham radio license?

Yes, the current cost for renewing your ham radio license is $35.

4. What happens if you use a ham radio without a license?

 Operating a ham radio without a valid license is a violation of FCC regulations. If caught, you may face fines and other penalties.

5. How long does it take for the FCC to update a ham license?

After submitting your renewal application, it typically takes about 10 business days for the FCC to update your ham license in their records.

How to renew Ham radio license: conclusion

As an amateur radio aspirant, it is essential to know “how to renew ham radio license?”

Not only it enables us to comply with FCC regulations but also keeps us free to enjoy all the benefits as a radio operator. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily navigate the renewal process and continue to explore the exciting realm of Ham radio communications.

So Be sure to keep your license valid and current within the grace period in order to prevent any interruptions to your radio operation. 

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