Paper or electronic?


Hello again and welcome back to my blog. So today I was reading on the Amateur Radio Newsline( website and ran across something that is interesting. It seems that the FCC has decided that it is not going to be automatically sending out paper licenses anymore. If a new applicant, or I guess an old one, wants a copy of their license on paper form, an official and an unofficial copy, they have to printout from the ULS website. If an applicant includes an email, however, the FCC will automatically send an official copy to the email address provided. The FCC claims that not mailing out paper licenses anymore will save them $330,000 a year, and since the ULS database has been the official record for if a ham radio operator’s license is valid or not for several years, so I guess they thought why not.

So hear is the question that I ask myself. In this day and age, where everything is moving faster, and more things are going digital, will this change really affect the whole experience of someone getting their ham license? I can remember back 15ish years ago when I got my license, one of the things that I remember, very vividly, was religiously going out to the mailbox every day when I got home from school to see if my license was in the mailbox. It was the highlight of my month when it finally came in and I could take it and hang it on my wall and put a copy in my wallet. I could finally say, hey look, I have my ham license. Of course, a lot of my friends already had their ham license since they went two week before I did and took their test so most of them were like, “its about time!” The biggest difference between now and then though is that at that time you had to have your paper license before you could talk on the radio, now you just have to have your calling because the ULS is the official record of your license.

7 de K5CLM


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