Volunteer Examination Program – Quick Start Guide

Please note: this page is for general guidance, and may not reflect the very latest changes in rules or procedures.  If you have any questions about anything shown here, check with the VEC chairman for the latest information. 

See also: Appendix 1, pp. 13-14:  Upgrade requirements for all licensees, as well as obtaining an “instant upgrade” to the General Class license for those persons holding a valid (not expired) Technician class license originally issued on or before March 21, 1987, and relicensing options for holders of expired licenses  

Scheduling exams:

Exams may be scheduled at any time. The only requirement is that the date, time and location of the exam session must be publicly announced beforehand. This announcement may take any of several forms, and should be available at least 3 days (1 week or more is preferred) before the session is to take place. If it is not already a regularly scheduled event, the session could be advertised by placing printed announcements on bulletin boards (in public places) or in store windows, or by on the air announcements during nets, or during a club meeting, or by any similar means. If the session is a closed session (not available to walk-in’s) then the exam session need not be publicized.  Reasons for closed sessions might. include a session for one or more handicapped persons who have special requirements, or as part of a ham radio class.  Regularly scheduled exam sessions do not require additional notice to the public.

Walk-in’s (no prior appointment) are normally accepted at all exam sessions, if they show up on time (and room is available). For the convenience of the examiners, you may require appointments (pre-registration) for your sessions. This is one way to be sure that at least some minimum number of applicants will be present.  

Number of VEs required and prohibited practices:

At least 3 Anchorage ARC accredited examiners must be present during the entire session (4 examiners is a better arrangement if sufficient personnel are available). Only VEs holding accreditation by the Anchorage ARC VEC may participate in exam sessions. Note that being a VE for another organization, such as ARRL or W5YI, does not prevent a person from also being a VE for the Anchorage ARC VEC. A person may hold accreditation from as many separate VEC groups as he or she wishes.

Anchorage ARC VEs are not permitted to participate in exams given to family members where the examinee’s relationship to the VE is any of the following: spouse or spouse equivalent, child, parent, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, grandparent or grandchild, or direct in-law (mother, father, brother, or sister in law).   This also applies in cases where there is a “step” relation, for example a step-parent, step-child, step-brother or step-sister, and so on.

Examiners may not discuss (with examinees, or anyone else who is not an accredited VE) actual exam materials, or which test series is being used.

One VE at each session will be designated as the “contact” or “lead” VE”. This person will be responsible for assuring that all VEs at the session meet the requirements for administering exams at that session. This person is also responsible for assuring that all forms and exam materials are filled out correctly, and are returned promptly.

The name and call sign of each VE at the session should be entered on the “Green Sheet” for each session. In the event of questions, it makes it easier to figure out what to do, and makes sure we can cross check our records for VE eligibility if necessary. Put this information on the “green sheet”, at the bottom of the page, in the area indicated. Please print each name and call for best readability.

Make sure all VEs at the session are accredited and qualified! Each Anchorage AARC VE will be listed on our web site, with his or her name, call sign, class of license, and any other pertinent information.  In some cases, we have issued wallet ID cards, but this practice is gradually being phased out in favor of the web site.  (see URL below).  The reason this is important is that if it should turn out that an examiner is not AARC VEC certified, and signs any of the paperwork for an applicant, it becomes void! The application cannot be processed, and the applicant will have to resubmit his or her application, and be required to re-take (and pass) any examinations. This creates ill will and is unfair to the applicant. To make sure this unfortunate situation does not occur, make sure each VE at the session is certified and listed as an active Anchorage ARC Volunteer Examiner.

The AARC VEC web pages may be accessed via the AARC main page at www.kl7aa .net

The list of volunteer examiners accredited by the Anchorage VEC can be found here:

By Last name              By location

Lacking any of this, you can also call or email Jim Wiley, KL7CC.  He will be able to tell you the status of all registered and certified AARC Volunteer Examiners. 

Jim can be reached by telephone at: (907) 688-0660

Jim’s email is:  jwiley@gci.net    Alternate address:  kl7cc@arrl.net    Alternate address:  VE@kl7aa.net

Each application will be cross checked before it is submitted to verify that only Anchorage ARC certified VEs have signed the forms.  

Who may give exams:

Individuals holding a valid Amateur radio license for each class listed may give exams for the groups listed. At least 3 examiners holding the necessary license are required to administer an exam element. If not all the VEs at a session are of the same license class, then only those elements for which at least 3 qualified examiners are present may be given.

Extra class: All Amateur licenses (elements 2, 3 and 4)

Advanced class: General (element 3) and Technician (element 2)

General class: Technician (element 2)

Technician and Novice class licensees are not permitted to be volunteer examiners.  

Obtaining test materials:

Exam kits may be obtained by request. Send an email (best method) – although you could also call or write to Jim Wiley, KL7CC.  He is the Anchorage ARC VEC Chairman, and can be reached by any of the following methods:

By e-mail:                  jwiley@gci.net or        kl7cc@arrl.net     or     VE@kl7aa.net

By regular Mail:       Anchorage ARC VEC
c/o Jim Wiley, KL7CC
PO Box 670616
Chugiak AK 99567

 By telephone:           (907) 688-0660

There is no charge to receive exam materials. You will be responsible for payment of return shipping charges (postage or another carrier). You may request reimbursement of exam shipping fees provided receipts are submitted.   Submit reimbursement requests directly to the Anchorage ARC treasurer.  The address to use for postage reimbursements (only) is:  PO Box 101987, Anchorage, AK, 99510.   Allow 8 to 10 weeks for checks to arrive. For most situations, returning used exam materials via US Postal Service Priority Mail (not Express mail) is the most practical option. We also recommend that you request “Delivery Confirmation” so that, in the event of misrouting, finding the errant package is easier and faster.  

Returning Exam kits:

Used exam kits should be returned to Jim Wiley, at the PO Box 670616, Chugiak, AK address. Do not send used exam kits to the Anchorage Amateur Radio club’s PO Box 101987 address. Used exam kits and any paperwork associated with the exam session must be mailed to VEC headquarters within 5 business days of the exam date.  We suggest using US Postal Service Priority Mail, with delivery confirmation.  Keep your receipt if you intend to ask for reimbursement of postage fees.

 If any paperwork is delayed (as for example, waiting for copies of licenses) beyond the 5-business day window, then you should still send in what you have that is ready for submission, with a note attached explaining the reason for any missing paperwork, and what items are involved.  Persons sending in late paperwork should be instructed to send it directly to Jim Wiley, KL7CC, using the PO Box 670616, Chugiak, AK address. Applications missing required paperwork will be held (not processed) until all items are complete.  

Charging for exams:

Some VECs charge a nominal fee for each exam given, to cover the costs of providing exam materials. This is allowed by the FCC rules that established the VEC program. The Anchorage ARC VEC, however, does not charge for exams at this time, and all examiners accredited via the Anchorage ARC VEC are prohibited from charging examinees for any aspect of their testing. It is possible that this policy may be changed at some future date, but for now, all exams given via the Anchorage ARC VEC are free to everyone.  

Control of test materials:

Completed exams and unused exam kits/materials must be returned promptly, and all exam materials must be kept under strict control and in confidence at all times. Completed exams should be returned (mailed) within 5 business days following the exam session. You must notify Jim, KL7CC, immediately if there is any problem with the exam materials, or if any aspect of the exam has been compromised in any way, or if any irregularities occur during the exam.

Return all materials used in exam sessions. Make sure you send everything that was used during an exam session. This includes all test materials, scratch paper, answer sheets, and even spoiled forms. Send everything that in any way contains any reference to any action that took place during the exam session.   

If an exam booklet has been defaced, for example if an applicant has written on the exam itself, keep it separate from the rest of the exam booklets, and mark it with bold writing on the face of the exam.  That will notify VEC headquarters to print a replacement copy of the spoiled exam.

Once an exam kit has been opened and used for a test of any kind, it must be sent back to the VEC for recycling. An exam kit may not be held to give exams on more than one day, or at more than one exam session. Unused / unopened exam kits may be held for subsequent exam sessions, provided that you have notified Jim Wiley of your intention to do so, and have received approval for the action.  

CSCE Forms:

CSCE (Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination) forms: Persons who have previously taken and passed an element of the Amateur Radio exam series, but who have not yet received a new or upgraded license will have CSCE forms for each of the elements they have passed. CSCE forms are valid for 365 calendar days from the original issue date.  Special note for leap year:  The 365-day rule does not allow an “extra day” in the event of a leap year situation. 

Expired CSCE forms may not be used to claim credit for any exam element.

Anchorage ARC VEC will accept valid CSCE forms from any valid VEC, including ARRL, W5YI, or any other VEC. Only the original (top) copy of the CSCE form is acceptable, and must have the original signatures (in ink). (See also special exception to this rule, below)

CSCE Special exception: Photocopies may, in special circumstances, be acceptable provided they contain the valid original signatures (in ink) of 3 current Anchorage ARC VEs (in addition to any signatures that may appear on the copied original) attesting that the copy is a certified copy of an original CSCE form, and a reasonable explanation of why the original is not available. Acceptance of photocopied CSCE forms will be considered on a case by case basis, and is NOT guaranteed.

When filling out CSCE forms, circle the element numbers for any elements taken and passed at that session only. Obliterate (completely cross out) every other element and temporary license class that is not applicable to that particular CSCE. Example: If a person holds a “Technician” license and takes and passes element 3 (and no other elements), then you would circle both the “Element 3” and “General Class” in columns 1 and 2 respectively, and circle the appropriate special identifier in column 3, and obliterate everything else. Older CSCE forms use a slightly different layout and text, but what is needed should still be obvious.  Cross out everything else. If a person passes more than one element, circle all elements passed, and the appropriate line in the last column, crossing out everything else. Make sure that 3 VEs sign the form in the appropriate spaces, and that the examinee signs the form above his or her printed name and address.

Note that if the CSCE is for a brand-new license, NO privileges will be circled!   A CSCE is not a license document, and new or upgraded privileges only convey when accompanied by a previously issued license.  Since new licenses are only issued by the FCC, the CSCE by itself in this instance serves only to verify that the applicant has passed a particular element (or elements) if that same applicant attempts another element before the official license document arrives in the mail.   

If the action is a “paper upgrade”:   A person who has a currently valid (not expired) Technician class license, and has proof that his or her original license was issued on or before March 21, 1987, can apply for an “instant upgrade” to General class. In this case, mark the CSCE form as “Paper Upgrade” by writing those words into the form immediately above the “Written Theory and Operating Privileges” line.   Paper upgrades still require a completed (and signed) form NCVEC 605.

Do not mark credit for elements previously accounted for by another CSCE or license on the new form. Enter only those element(s) passed at the current session on a new CSCE form, and obliterate everything in the section that indicates privileges that is not applicable to the current exam session!

CSCE forms are not required if the only action being taken is to renew an existing license.  Licenses may be renewed any time within 90 days before the license is scheduled to expire. Renewal applications cannot be processed if more than 90 days exist before license expiration.  All renewals require a correctly filled out form 605 and a copy of the license.

If the applicant holds 1 or more CSCE forms, return the original copies of those CSCE forms (if any) to the examinee at the close of the examination session. Indicate on the “green sheet” that the examinee has a CSCE for the element(s) in question, and give the issue date of the CSCE for that element. See also – new procedure requiring copies for previous CSCE forms (below).

New procedure! If possible, submit a copy of any applicable previous CSCE form(s) with upgrade. While we will have (yellow) copies on file of original CSCE forms issued by the Anchorage ARC VEC, we are requesting that copies of these forms be submitted with upgrades. The original (white copy) of the CSCE should remain with the applicant, as it is their only proof of having successfully passed an element – at least until their new license arrives.

Before an application can be submitted (sent to the FCC), we must verify that all the required elements have been passed. To do this, we must match the current application with previously submitted paperwork. It has proven difficult and time consuming to search our files for the yellow copies of CSCE forms and match them to new applications. It will save time and aggravation for our person filing the paperwork if a photocopy of the CSCE is submitted. This should be no additional burden, since the applicant is already providing a photocopy of his or her license to submit with their new application.

Also in the event the applicant has a CSCE from another VEC, such as ARRL or W5YI, we will of course not have a copy in our files. In this case, it is absolutely necessary for us to obtain a copy of that form to keep with the new submission. Otherwise, we will have no corroborating documentation to indicate that an applicant has in fact passed any and all prerequisite elements before a new license (or upgrade) can be issued. If copies of original CSCE forms are not immediately available, ask the examinee to mail us one ASAP.      Remember! The examinee should keep the originals of any CSCE forms in their possession until they expire or are no longer needed.

Return the signed top copy (white) of the CSCE to the examinee. They will need to present it (and any other CSCE forms they hold) at subsequent testing sessions, until their new or upgraded license arrives by mail. The second (yellow) copy of the CSCE form should be attached to the form 605, together with any answer sheets and other papers for each examinee, and returned with the exam materials.

All CSCE forms must be accounted for. If a form is spoiled, mark it as VOID and return it with all the rest of the paperwork for that session to VEC headquarters.  VEs are NOT permitted to keep a quantity of blank CSCE forms “on hand” for later use.   

Copy of license required: 

For any upgrade (or renewal), a copy (or original) of a valid license should be provided. Photocopies of licenses are acceptable, and are the preferred method. Applications submitted without proof of license will be checked against the FCC database or held until such documentation has been received. If a license is not available:  In some cases other verification of a person’s previously licensed status is acceptable. Such verification may be in the form of a document from the FCC indicating that the person holds (held) a valid license for the period in question or a printout of a web page (such as QRZ.com) showing the pertinent information, or a listing in a published call book. Such alternate documentation is subject to additional independent verification, and acceptance is not guaranteed in all cases.  

NCVEC Form 605:

Each application for a new (or upgraded) license must include a correctly filled out form 605. Only the NCVEC form 605 may be used. The FCC form 605 is a different document, and does not contain the information needed.  NCVEC form 605’s are included with each exam kit. Photocopies of this form are acceptable, whether or not they are on “buff” colored paper. Older form 610’s are no longer acceptable.

The form 605 must be signed and dated in ink. Fill in all applicable blocks. The form itself, except for the signature, may be filled out using either pencil or pen.  If a person has an application on file that has not been acted upon, we will hold any new actions until previous applications have been processed. This normally takes only a few days.

Please encourage applicants to provide a telephone number and/or email address, should we need to contact them. If no phone or email is provided, and questions arise, delays in processing will occur while standard mail communications go back and forth. All information on the 605 form is held in confidence and is not released to anyone except the FCC.  All session paperwork, including 605 forms and copies of CSCE forms, will be destroyed after 2 years.   

Administering VE portion of form 605:

Fill in the bottom portion of form 605 with all applicable data. Be sure the box on the left side of the page is marked showing what action resulted. Only one of the 4 available boxes should be marked.   On the right side of the page, in the appropriate area, enter the date and location of the exam session, along with the letter “C” in the box labeled “VEC organization”. Do not fill in “VEC Receipt date”.   In some cases, the letter “C” will already have been printed on the form 605.

Be sure there are 3 valid names and signatures for each form 605 where a new license or upgrade was earned. 

Special note: Form 605’s showing “No new license or upgrade was earned” do not require signatures.  

Important note:  If the applicant did not get a new license or upgrade, and did not pass any exam elements, and is not for an administrative action such as license renewal or change of address or name, meaning there is no information to be forwarded to the FCC, return the form 605 to the applicant. 

Form 605s that show any activity (new license or passed one or more elements) must be returned with the exam kit so the applicant can receive proper credit.  

Taxpayer Identification Number: 

Social Security Account Number (SSAN), Taxpayer ID Number (TIN), or FCC Registration Number (FRN) required:

The FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) requires that a valid SSAN, TIN, or FRN be supplied before a license can be issued or upgraded. Any one of these is sufficient.  We do not need all three.  

If a person is already registered with the ULS, they may give their FCC Registration Number (FRN) in lieu of a SSAN or TIN.

We cannot process applications that lack a SSAN, TIN, or FRN.   

If the applicant has a license, the FRN is the 10-digit number printed on the license.  Caution!  Do not confuse the FRN with the license filing number (also a 10-digit number) – they are not the same.   The FRN will be clearly identified as such on the applicant’s license.

Aliens: Persons who are not US citizens must have a USA mailing address.  We cannot process applications that have mailing addresses outside the USA and its possessions.  

Resident aliens or tourists will must have a TIN (ATIN, SSAN, or FRN) before their application can be filed. Persons needing an Assigned TIN (ATIN) should contact FCC Technical Support at 202‑414‑1250; or send an e‑mail to: ulscomm@fcc.gov     Visitors from other countries are eligible for FCC licenses.

Get a FRN first – it helps everyone

Applicants can get an assigned FRN (Federal Registration Number) even before they have a license.  The process is reasonably easy, and can be done over the Internet.  Go to the ARRL web site (www.arrl.org) and search for “FRN”, or simply key in:  http://www.arrl.org/fcc/uls101.html    You will find a page of instructions on how to pre-register with the FCC’s ULS (Universal Licensing System)  

Why do we need a SSAN, TIN, or FRN?

A SSAN or TIN is required for all government license applications, by law. This law is commonly known as “The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.” Congress enacted the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA) as part of an effort to increase collection of delinquent government debts. As a result, the FCC and other agencies are required to collect Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) from each entity doing business with the government, including applicants for, a Federal license or permit. Even though amateur licenses and renewals are free, the law still requires the FCC to collect this information. There are no exceptions.

Theory exams:

Each written exam consists of either 35 questions (Technician and General) or 50 questions (Extra). There is no time limit for the completion of the exam. Examinees must achieve a score of 74% to pass the exam. Each answer key is marked to indicate how many questions must be passed (or how many may be missed) to pass the exam. In the event of a disputed answer, the VEC board will determine if credit should be given for a particular question. Their decision is final.

Each exam has a serial number. This number should be entered on the answer sheet, together with the name of the examinee and the date of the exam session. The serial number of the exam booklet indicates which element it represents. Answer sheets missing names and/or element serial numbers will not be graded, and will count as failures.

Answers should be marked by completely blackening the appropriate circle.  Instruct applicants not to simply circle the correct answer, as the way the answer keys are set up may not display a “circled” answer, and thereby cause the applicant to fail the exam.

Also: Ask examinees to write their name on any scratch paper used, and submit it with the exam answer sheet for the element taken.  One time saving aid is to have the applicants use the back side of their answer sheet as a scratch paper.  If an applicant needs more scratch paper, and none is immediately handy, simply let them use the back of otherwise unfilled answer sheets.    

 Caution the examinees not to mark anything in or on the test booklet.  

 Grading exams:

 Answer sheets are provided in the exam kit for the written (theory) exams. Only one answer may be filled in for each question. If more than one space is marked, the question must be counted as a wrong answer, even if one of the spaces marked is the correct answer. Because of the way the tests are scored, it would be possible for a sheet with multiple answers to be scored incorrectly.

You should inspect visually each submitted answer sheet to verify that no question has more than one answer marked. Erasures are permitted if the erased answer has been cleaned as carefully as possible. For this reason, only pencil should be used to mark answer sheets.

Use a RED pen, if available, to mark incorrect answers. Each scoring sheet indicates how many questions must be answered correctly to pass the exam. Examinees are not ordinarily permitted to know which (if any) questions they missed, or to discuss specific questions with the examiners.   The reason for this is simple – there may be other applicants in the room still taking their exams, and extended discussion take up time, and at a busy session, time may be at a premium.

Indicate “Pass” or “Fail” as well as the number of questions missed on the answer sheet where indicated.

Exception: If there is concern that a particular question is defective (having no correct answer, or more than one correct answer, or missing something needed to determine the answer), then you should make a note explaining what the problem seems to be, attach it to the form 605 for that examinee, and submit it to the VEC board for arbitration. If the VEC board determines that the question is in fact unanswerable as presented, the examinee MAY be given credit for the question.  This could result in changing a “fail” to a “pass”. Each instance will be considered separately, and the decision of the VEC board is final.  

Order of Elements:

Taking elements out of sequence is permitted, but not recommended, and the practice should be discouraged.

 Important note: VEs should ask to see CSCE form (or applicable license) for any element credit claimed by the examinee, before permitting them to take a subsequent element. Unless you know the examinee, and are willing to vouch for them, do not accept someone’s word that an element has been passed but that they have “lost”, “misplaced”, or “forgotten” their CSCE (or license) for that element. If you are confident that the person has the required CSCE (or license) covering a required element, you may permit them to take the exam for a subsequent element, with the understanding that no action can be taken until you, and the other VEs at that session, have seen the missing item(s). Some good sense judgment may be required on your part if this happens.

If a person takes an element out of sequence, they may be issued a CSCE for that element, but no other action will take place until the “previous” elements have been passed.  This is a change from previous rules that required that all elements be taken in sequence.  


There is no time limit on retesting. If a person fails an element, he or she may take the test again immediately, provided a different exam kit is available. A person may not immediately retake the same element from the same exam kit as the one they have just failed.  It is up to the VE team (not the applicant) to determine if immediate re-testing is appropriate and will be allowed. Their decision is final.

Guidelines: To prevent “useless” wasting of an exam kit, we recommend that immediate re-testing be limited to certain specific circumstances. If a person has failed an element by only 1 or 2 questions, or if they have come a long way at some expense to attend the exam session (or both) then immediate re-testing may be appropriate. If a person has failed an exam by more than just a few questions, immediate re-testing would probably be a waste of time and materials, and the examinee should be encouraged to try additional study before making another attempt. Once an exam kit has been opened and used for a test of any kind, it must be sent back to VEC headquarters for recycling. An exam kit may not be retained and used to give exams on more than one day, or at more than one exam session on a given day. In some cases, unused exam kits may be retained for later use, but in any case, once an exam kit has been actually opened and used to give one or more exam(s), it must be returned to the VEC for recycling.

Exception: If more examinees arrive for an exam session than there are testing materials available to accommodate all the applicants in a single sitting, materials may be reused at that single session only, and only if the exam session remains officially open. In such an instance, care must be taken to ensure that applicants who have seen the materials do not communicate with others who have not yet taken their tests. If a session “closes” (ends) and the examiners leave the testing area, then the exam kit(s) used at that session may not be reused, and must be returned for recycling as described above.  

If possible, have those applicants that are waiting for their chance to take the exam wait in a separate room from the people taking the exam, and take care that persons who have taken the exam do not commingle with those who have completed the exam.  In any case, be absolutely certain that anyone who has taken the exam does not discuss any aspect of the exam with someone who has not yet started their examination.    

Administrative filings, change of address, change of name, vanity call signs, license renewal:

If someone asks you for some “spare” NCVEC form 605’s (as, for example, to be used to renew their license or submit a change of name or address), it is OK to give them one or 2 copies, but remember that you could run short if too many are given out before a testing session. Remind those persons requesting form 605’s that photocopies are acceptable, and that additional copies can be obtained from the ARRL web site (www.arrl.org) and printed locally as needed.  

We will be glad to file the paperwork for these people.  We do not charge for this service. Request that they fill out a NCVEC form 605, attach a copy of their present license, and mark the form 605 for the action required (renewal, change of address, etc.) and we will send it in with the next submission. Remember that we still must have a valid SSAN, TIN, or FRN number before we can enter the data. See the next paragraphs for notes about Vanity Licensing, renewals, and change of address filings.  

Also note that the ARRL will process license renewals and address change actions for free if the person is an ARRL member (go to: www.arrl.org).   The W5YI group will process such actions for a small fee.  Go to: www.w5yi.org.  

Vanity call signs and renewals:

The Anchorage VEC does not process vanity or club call sign applications.  Vanity and club call signs are handled by a special administrator.  Both the ARRL VEC (www.arrl.org/vec) and the W5YI VEC (www.w5yi.org) are authorized as vanity and club call sign administrators.    Persons interested in a vanity or club call sign should contact either of those groups for more information. 

Renewals cannot be processed if the time before license expiration exceeds 90 days.  If more than 90 days exist between the current date and the expiration date of the license, the FCC will reject the application. Only applications where the current license has 90 days or less to run will be processed.

Licenses that have expired may be renewed without re-taking the examinations if, and only if, the license has been expired for less than 2 years.  If the license has been expired for 2 years or longer, the applicant must then re-take any or all exams, and will be issued a new (not renewed) license and callsign.  

Change of address can be filed over the web.  A new license will be issued showing the new address, but with the expiration date unchanged.  Filing a change of address does not automatically renew a license!  

If they are an ARRL member, instruct them to go the ARRL home page (www.arrl.org) and search for “license renewal”. A direct link to the renewal instructions, and explanation of the ULS procedures is available at:

Remember:  license renewal is free for ARRL members. 

If the applicant is not an ARRL member, they can still renew via the web, for a small fee (about $12.00 as of mid-2014).    Direct them to the W5YI.org web site, at www.w5yi.org and have them click on the link to:  “Renew Your License Today Online” or “License Renewals / Changes / Duplicates” (or whatever similar function is available)

Remember, if the person is interested in obtaining or renewing a vanity or club call sign, he or she must go to either the ARRL or the W5YI group for this service.  Vanity and club call sign services, including renewal of these 2 specific types of license, are not available from the Anchorage ARC VEC.    

Club call signs:  

The AARC VEC does not process requests for club call signs.  Club call signs are handled by a special club call sign administrator.  Both the ARRL VEC and the W5YI VEC are certified as club call sign administrators, and can help anyone wishing to obtain a club license. 

In general, club call signs can be issued to any group or 4 or more persons.  A minimal club structure is required.  For example, there must be a person named as club president and another as club secretary.  The club must have a valid USA mailing address (it can be a club member’s home address), and someone must agree to be the trustee of the club call sign.   The trustee can be any club member, including one of the officers.  While it is not absolutely necessary, if possible, the trustee should hold an Amateur Extra class license.

The “Green Sheet”

The “green sheet” is a page that is used to summarize what happened at that exam session. It should be filled out so that every person who was present at the session is named somewhere on the page, whether they are an applicant or a VE, and whether they passed., failed, applied for a paper upgrade, or a renewal.

Examples follow (not all possible combinations of actions are included here):

Location: ________ANCHORAGE,  AK  __________________    Date: ______08  MAR  2011 ________

Account for every element.  If the person taking the exam has a license, insert “L” in the block for that element.  If the person has a CSCE for a previously passed element, insert “C” and the date.  If a person passes an element, insert “P”.  If a person fails an element, insert “F”.  Insert a check mark in the last block if a CSCE for any element was issued during this session.  Example:  A person holding a Technician class license has a CSCE for element 2, and takes exams for elements 3 and 4, passing element 3 but failing element 4. You would insert “C” under element 2, plus the date on the CSCE, “L” in the space for element 2, “P” for element 3, and “F” for element 4.  A CSCE is valid for 365 days (1 year) from date of issue.  Put a straight horizontal line through any elements not attempted.  Enter any special notes on the reverse side.

Green Sheet Example

Name Element 2 Element 3 Element 4 CSCE Issued
Jones, John L P F
Doe, Jane P P P
Smith, Joe L L P
Farkle, Fred L L F
Roe, Mary L

 (1) The first applicant holds a “Technician” class license.  He took and passed element 3, and failed element 4.  He upgrades from “Technician” to “General”. A CSCE was issued. 

(2) The second applicant does not presently have a license. She took and passed all the elements, 2 through 4. She is qualified to receive a new “Amateur Extra” license. A CSCE was issued.

(3) The third applicant holds a “General” license. He took and passed element 4. He upgrades his license to “Amateur Extra”. A CSCE was issued.

(4) The fourth applicant holds a “General” license. He attempted element 4, but failed to pass. No upgrade occurs, and no CSCE was issued. 

(5) The fifth applicant is a “paper upgrade”.  She held a “Technician” license, issued before March 21, 1987.  She is qualified for “instant upgrade” to “General” because she has passed (the old version of) element 3 at some previous date.  No new elements were attempted.  A CSCE was issued.  Enter the issue date of the old license as shown.  If the exact issue date is not available, as for example when using a call book reference to verify issuance, then enter the publication date of the reference used or any other suitable benchmark that will tell us that the license was issued on or before 03/21/87.  For example, if the reference is a call book page dated 1978, enter L / CB 1978.  Be sure to include the reference printout or page photocopy with the application. Call book pages all have the publication date on each page.  Be sure the date is shown on the copy being submitted.

Cleaning up at the end of the session:

When the session is complete, and before the examinees have left the testing area, you should use the following checklist to make sure nothing has been overlooked.

  1. Are all form 605s signed and dated (in ink) by the applicants?
  2. Are the form 605’s marked to indicate if an upgrade (or no upgrade) was earned?
  3. Do all form 605s include the signatures of 3 VEs who attended the session, if the action resulted in a new license or upgrade? (signatures are not required if one or more elements were passed but the action did not result in an upgrade or a new license, or for applicants that failed the exam and did not upgrade)
  4. Do all form 605s include one of the following: the FRN, SSAN, TIN, or ATIN of the examinee? And a contact telephone or number (and/or email address) if available?
  5. Do all form 605s have the other paperwork attached for that examinee? Attach the yellow copy of newly generated CSCE forms, photocopies of licenses and/or previous CSCE forms (as applicable), exam answer sheets, code copy sheets, and scratch paper. Include EVERYTHING that relates to the test(s) taken. Start with the form 605 on top, then copies of their license (or other supporting document), then their answer sheet(s), then any work sheets or other papers, finally the yellow CSCE copy on the bottom, for each applicant. Clip each applicant’s set of papers together separately.
  6. Have you marked the “green sheet” for each person that attended the session, and accounted for every element, either by license, previous CSCE (with date) or newly passed? Including those who failed?
  7. Did you write the name and call of every VE at the session on the “green sheet” at the bottom of the page? (please print) 
  8. If possible, please group the finished paperwork by: (a) pass (b) fail (c) “paper upgrade” or (d) renewal, as applicable? Use rubber bands or paper clips (if available) to keep like items together.
  9. Do all the CSCE forms include the signature of the examinee?
  10. Do all the CSCE forms have only the elements passed (and any interim privileges) marked, and all other elements and interim privilege labels crossed out? See note on page 5 concerning new licenses.  
  11. Do all the CSCE forms have the signature and call sign of 3 of the VEs at the session?
  12. Did you remember to return the original copies of all CSCE forms (from other sessions), if any, to the appropriate examinees?
  13. Did you attach photo copies of any applicable CSCE forms (these would be forms presented by the applicant that were earned at some previous session).
  14. If any person was missing a required item, such as a copy of a license or CSCE form, that will be needed before their paperwork can be filed, is there an explanatory note attached? Does the applicant know who to contact when they have the missing items? And how to make contact? And where to take or send the missing items?

Appendix 1Upgrade requirements and options

This appendix describes various possibilities for “instant upgrades” for persons holding Novice and Technician licenses issued prior to the change from the previous licensing structure.  In some cases, these persons may claim credit for one or more theory elements, and in some cases, can immediately upgrade to a General Class license.

In the case of upgrading a Novice or Technician license to General, they must show proof of having held that license prior to date required.  In the case of relicensing of former holders of General or Extra class licenses, they must display proof of once having held the license for which they are making application at any previous date.  No specific date requirements apply.  

Relicensing for former license holders

If the applicant was licensed at one time, but has lost their license because of failing to renew an expired license, the new FCC rule regarding this situation is as follows:

Note: All applicants for relicensing must take and pass the Element 2 (Technician) exam, no matter what.  If, after passing the Technician exam, the applicant has proof of once having held a General, Advanced, or Extra class license, the following rules also apply:  

If the applicant held a General or Advanced class license, he or she is deemed qualified to receive a new General class license.  (They receive credit for exam element 3).  Attach a copy of the proof being offered to the application.

If the application is from a person who held a now expired Conditional class license, special action is required.  Go ahead and process the application as if it was for a regular General class license, but mark the application for special processing, attention: VE Administrator (Jim Wiley) and keep the application separate from other paperwork.   Be sure to get good contact information from the applicant (both phone number and email) as we will need to file special paperwork with the FCC to process such a renewal. 

If the applicant held an Extra Class license, they are deemed qualified to receive a new Extra Class license. (They receive credit for exam elements 3 and 4).  As before, attach a copy of the proof being offered to the application.

Persons who once held either a Novice or Technician class license do not automatically qualify for a new Technician class license. They must pass the element 2 exam first.  

Applicants taking advantage of this provision of the rules will receive a new license of the appropriate class, with the call sign selected from the pool of unassigned call signs.  They do not automatically receive their old call sign.  If they want to apply for their old call sign, they may apply via the vanity call sign program., There is a fee for this service.  The Anchorage VEC does not process vanity call sign applications.

Lost license? In the event a license has been misplaced or destroyed, the applicant can get a letter from the FCC verifying that he or she does (or did) have such a license. They could also access the license information on a standard web database, such as the one found at: QRZ.COM . In such a case, have the applicant print the page as displayed on the web site, and bring it to the exam session.

We will independently verify that the data is correct, and if everything is OK, then we’re all set. Also, see the note about ITS, Inc., below.

FCC: The FCC says to send any requests, in writing, for verification of a pre-March 21, 1987 Technician license to: FCC, 1280 Fairfield Rd, ATTN: Amateur Section, Gettysburg, PA 17325. The request must include name, address, telephone number, date of birth, call sign issued at that time, and when the Technician license was granted (if exact date is not known, give the approximate timeframe). The FCC asks those inquiring to include any information that may be helpful in researching these requests, but it does not need to know details of the examination session, such as where the test was administered or who gave it. These requests will take some time. Do not expect immediate response.  

Note:  The FCC has license records back to about 1966.    Contact the VEC Chairman (Jim Wiley, KL7CC) for additional information if the applicant is requesting relicensing credit for an older license.  

Special notes for Technician licensees wishing to upgrade to General or Extra Class: (also – see the summary of upgrade possibilities following this section)

There are several factors that concern holders of current Technician licenses.  Briefly:

If more than 365 days have elapsed since the issuance of a CSCE, it becomes invalid, and may not be used to claim element credit for upgrading to General or Extra Class.  In the case of a leap year, the 365-day rule still stands – there are no exception in the case of a leap year – in other words, the existence of leap year does not extend the valid span of a CSCE to 366 days.    

A Summary of Restructuring Upgrade Possibilities: 

Note that there are no automatic upgrades just because a person has passed the General exam before the “no code” provisions became effective.   Persons holding a CSCE for Element 3 that was issued before February 24, 2007 must still present an unexpired CSCE for Element 3 at an exam session for a “paper upgrade” to General class before they can begin to use their new privileges. All who claim prior test element credit with a CSCE (Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination) or a previously issued license must show a copy of their credit(s) to the VE team at an exam session. Photocopies are acceptable for license documents, but only the original copy of a CSCE is acceptable.  

Here is a is a summary of some of the upgrading possibilities afforded by the FCC’s Report and Order of December 19, 2006, as well as the R & O of June 2014. 

Upgrading to Amateur Extra Class after 02/24/2007:

If the applicant holds an Advanced class license: To upgrade to Extra, applicant must pass Element 4

If the applicant holds a General class license: To upgrade to Extra, applicant must pass Element 4

if the applicant holds a Technician class license: To upgrade to Extra, applicant must pass both Elements 3 and 4. Also: remember, from the notes above, that if a person is able to document possessing a valid (not expired) Technician class license that was originally issued before March 21, 1987, they can present this and claim credit for Element 3, but they must still pass Element 4.

Additional notes about instant upgrades:  If a Tech is upgrading to Extra, and using the “Instant Upgrade” provisions to get credit for Element 3, then the upgrade becomes a 2-step process.  Have the applicant submit 2 separate 605 forms, one for the “instant upgrade” to General, and the other for the upgrade via exam to Extra.   When we file the paperwork with the FCC, we will first file for the upgrade to General, then once that license is issued (typically, just a couple of days) then we will automatically submit the next application for the upgrade from General to Extra Class.    

Other Upgrade Examples

Technician desiring to upgrade to General: Applicant must pass Element 3, or present evidence of having a valid (not expired) Technician class license originally issued on or before March 21, 1987.

Novice desiring to upgrade to General: Applicant must pass both Elements 2 and 3.  Note that the Element 2 credit does not carry over from their Novice license after 04/15/2000

Novice desiring to upgrade to Technician: Applicant must pass Element 2.

Relicensing of amateurs whose license has been expired for more than 2 years:  

Note: All applicants for relicensing must take and pass the Element 2 (Technician) exam, no matter what.  If, after passing the Technician exam, the applicant has proof of once having held a General, Advanced, or Extra class license, the following rules also apply:  

If the applicant held a General or Advanced class license, he or she is deemed qualified to receive a new General class license.  (They receive credit for exam element 3).  Attach a copy of the proof being offered to the application, and mark the green sheet as a P (pass) for element 3 

If the applicant held an Extra Class license, they are deemed qualified to receive a new Extra Class license. (They receive credit for exam elements 3 and 4).  As before, attach a copy of the proof being offered to the application, and mark the green sheet with a P (pass) for both elements 3 and 4 

Persons who have or once held an expired (past the 2-year limit) Novice or Technician class license do not automatically qualify for a new Technician class license. They must pass the element 2 exam first.   

Applicants taking advantage of this provision of the rules will receive a new license of the appropriate class, with the call sign selected from the pool of unassigned call signs.  They do not automatically receive their old call sign.  If they want to apply for their old call sign, they may apply via the vanity call sign program., There is a fee for this service.  The Anchorage VEC does not process vanity call sign applications.    


  1. The FCC only has license records back to about 1966.    Contact the VEC Chairman (Jim Wiley, KL7CC) for additional information if the applicant is requesting relicensing credit for an older license. 
  2. If the applicant is requesting credit for a Conditional class license, special procedures are required.   Have the applicant contact the VE Chairman (Jim Wiley, KL7CC) for what to do next.  

Questions?  Click on this link to send an email directly to the Anchorage VEC:   Click Here 

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