ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program

The ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program, in effect since April 19, 2022, will cover the one-time $35 application fee for new amateur radio license candidates younger than 18 years old for tests administered under the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) program. FCC charges $35 fee which is not collected by VE team.  See "" for details on how this is handled. 

"We are thrilled that we are able to provide this opportunity to our youth candidates," said ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM.

The $35 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) application fee will be reimbursed after the ARRL VEC receives the completed reimbursement form and after the new license has been issued. The reimbursement check will be mailed to the fee payer. Also, candidates younger than 18 years old would pay a reduced exam session fee of $5 to the ARRL VEC team at the time of the exam. The $5 fee is for all candidates under the age of 18, regardless of the exam level taken. Proof of under 18 status is required at the session.

The ARRL Board approved the Youth Licensing Grant Program at its July 2021 meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, expanding on the scope of the original motion proposed by ARRL Southeastern Division Director Mickey Baker, N4MB.

The Board believes the recruitment and training of young amateur radio operators is a necessary and proper mission of the ARRL and subsidization of the $35 fee will reduce the number of new amateurs that would otherwise be lost from these groups. Initially the new program would serve up to 1,000 new license applicants under 18 years old. The program length is indefinite; it may be renewed or terminated by the Administration and Finance Committee or by the Board of Directors.

Visit the ARRL website for the program instructions and reimbursement form at

Exam Day

Exam sessions are conducted by volunteers working under the direction of the FCC and a Volunteer Exam Coordinator (VEC). There will likely be a charge for taking the exam. The exam fee is set by the VEC and is usually $15 or less. Contact the exam session administrator to determine the fee that applies to the exam session you plan to attend, the documents required and to verify the session date and time. VEC organizations may have different policies regarding candidate procedures and requirements. The FCC does not charge a fee to issue an initial license or for standard changes to a license. However, there may be fees for other FCC services.

Not licensed? Find out why you should get licensed.

What to Bring to an ARRL Exam Session:

      1.  One legal photo ID (identification):
           a. State Driverís License
           b. Government issued Passport
           c. Military or Law Enforcement Officer Photo ID card
           d. Student School Photo ID card
           e. State Photo ID card

      2.  If no photo ID is available, two forms of identification:
           a. Non-photo State ID card (some states still have them)
           b. Birth certificate (must have the appropriate seal)
           c. Social security card
           d. Employer's wage statement or Minor's work permit
           e. School ID card
           f. School or Public Library card
           g. Utility bill, bank statement or other business correspondence that
               specifically names the person; or a postmarked envelope addressed
               to the person at his or her current mailing address as it appears on
               the Form 605.

      3.  Students/minors without a photo ID need to bring only one of the
           above items if a legal guardian presents their photo ID; otherwise 
           two non-photo IDs are required.
           Minor children (under the age of 18) may be accompanied in the 
room by an adult during the test.

      4.  FCC Registration Number (FRN):  VECs are required by the FCC
           to submit your FRN with your license application form.
           New license applicants must create an FCC user account and
           register their Social Security Number (SSN) in the FCC Commission
           Registration System (CORES) before attending exam sessions. 
           Registrants will be assigned an FRN which will be used in all license
           transactions with the FCC. For instructions on how to register your
           SSN and receive an FRN from the FCC, visit the FCC's Registration
           page and the FCC's Registration instructions page.
           Per FCC rules, a valid email address is also mandatory on the
           application form.

      5.  If applicable, bring a printed copy of your Amateur Radio license.
           Acceptable copies or printouts of licenses are available from the
           following sources: the official license or reference license printed
           from the FCC website or license data printed from the ARRL website
           or QRZ website. T
he original(s) and photocopy(s) of any Certificates
           of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) you may hold from
           previous exam sessions. If your license has already been issued by
           the FCC, the CSCE showing license credit is not needed. The
           candidate is require to show proof of the current license to the team 
           but the team is no longer required to submit the proof to the VEC.
           Expired license proof must be submitted to the team and to the
           VEC for processing to FCC. These photocopies will not be returned.
           Instructions on how to obtain an official FCC license copy are on
Obtain License Copy web page.

      6.  Two number two pencils with erasers and a pen for in-person sessions. 

      7.  A calculator with the memory erased and formulas cleared is allowed. 
           You may not bring any written notes or calculations into the exam session.
           Slide rules and logarithmic tables are acceptable, as long as they're free
           of notes and formulas. Cell phone must be silenced or turned off during 
           the exam session and the phones' calculator function may not be used.
           In addition, iPhones, iPads, Androids, smartphones, Blackberry devices
all similar electronic devices with a calculator capability, may NOT
           be used.

      8.  Bring a check, a money order or cash to cover the exam session fee(s).
           Check the ARRL VECís current exam fees.

      9.  Be aware that some information about you will be made publicly available
           on the FCC's website: FCC Licensee Privacy