What you need to know before applying for a Vanity Callsign
By Steven Robeson - K4YZ
VANITY CALL HOPEFULS, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!
Yes, this is a long one, but I hope it will help some of our newer licensees avoid some heartache and wasted time. I ran across TWO cases of folks mis-filing for Vanity calls today alone, so maybe some words of advice to our newer folks will help! I see a lot of folks who are anxious to get a Vanity call as soon as they can, but then they wind up getting their application"dismissed" by the FCC because of errors.
PLEASE read over this checklist to avoid headaches!
<1> You CANNOT request a call sign starting with AH, KH, NH, WH, KP, NP, WP, AL, KL, NL or WL UNLESS YOU HAVE A MAILING ADDRESS in the Pacific Islands, The Caribbean, or Alaska OR UNLESS you can prove that YOU previously held that call.
<2> You CANNOT request a call starting with anything OTHER than K, W, N, or AA through AL. "A" prefixes are limited to 2-by-1 and 2-by-2 format calls. The "A" prefixes MUST be a 2 letter combination. There are NO U.S. calls starting with just an "A" (ie: A4YZ) There are NO U.S. calls starting with numbers.
<3> You cannot request a call sign that does not conform to your class of license.
(a) Techs and Generals may request a 1-by-3 starting with W, K or N call (ie: W4ABC, N4ZFA, K4LSP, etc)
(b) Techs and Generals may request 2-by-3 calls starting with a K or W (ie: WB8ALG) with the following exceptions:
(1) No 2-by-3 calls starting with a "W" and having a 3 letter suffix staring with "X" will be authorized (ie: WD2XSH) These calls are reserved for Part 5 Experimental stations, NOT Amateurs.
(2) No 2-by-3 calls starting with "N" will be issued to ANY applicant of ANY class.
(2) No 2-by-3 calls starting with an "A" will be issued to ANY applicant of ANY class.
(3) No 2-by-3 calls that spell out "FEMA" will be authorized (ie: KF4EMA)
(4) "SOS" will NOT be approved as a suffix to ANY call sign.
(c) Advanced Class licensees may request any 2-by-2 call starting with K or W except as noted in (1) above.
(d) Extras may request any call sign in any format (WITH THE SAME EXCLUSIONS AS ABOVE) including 1-by-2, (ie: K4YZ) 2-by-1 (ie: AI6V) and 2-by-2 calls (AB4CD)
<4> If you are requesting a Vanity call based upon a recently upgraded license, the new upgrade MUST appear in the FCC database (ULS) BEFORE you submit the Vanity request. If your Vanity request hits the system before your upgrade does, the FCC will "dismiss" your Vanity application creating an administrative headache for you!
NOTE: THE FCC WILL NOT "CREDIT" OR APPLY THE FUNDS FROM ONE VANITY REQUEST AGAINST ANOTHER! IF AN APPLICATION GETS BOUNCED, YOU MUST FILE FOR A REFUND FROM THAT APPLICATION. IF YOU'RE GOING TO RESUBMIT, YOU MUST EITHER WAIT FOR THE REFUND TO BE MADE, >>OR<< YOU HAVE TO CUT A NEW PAYMENT TO THE FCC TO SEND WITH THE NEW REQUEST WHILE THE REFUND IS PENDING!
<5> If you are requesting the call sign of a recently deceased family member and their call is still "active" in the FCC database, you MUST include proof of their passing AND you must hold a class of license that is eligible for that call. In other words, if your father had a 1-by-2 (Extra Class) call and you're a General, you must upgrade before being eligible for the new call. NOTE: If the family member's call had already expired from ULS, then it's just a routine Vanity request and no proof of passing is required.
<6> DO NOT delete the leading "zeros" of your FRN number.
<7> The application purpose is always "MD", for modification.
<8> If you have any other routine administrative issues pending, ie: address change, I highly recommend letting that change post to the ULS before filing a Vanity application.
<9> If your application fails for other reasons (such as several people applied for the same call and you "lost"), you have to apply to the FCC IN WRITING and request a refund of the Vanity fee. They will not automatically refund your $$$.
Many thanks to Steven Robeson, K4YZ
for posting this document on Facebook!