Become a Ham
Taking The Test
When you’re ready to take the FCC License Exam to get your Amateur Radio license, GEARS can help. GEARS is one of only fourteen amateur radio clubs in the USA directly authorized by the FCC to administer the license exams. If you’re not sure you’re ready, try a free online practice test.
Tests are given at 2:00 PM on the first Sunday of every even-numbered month. No appointment is required, and walk-ins are welcome.
The exams are given at the Butte County Search & Rescue, 3898 Morrow Lane in Chico.
What to bring to the test session
- The cost of the exam is $10. You can take more than one exam for the same cost.
- Two forms of identification. One must be a photo ID, driver’s license, state ID card, school ID, or passport
- A Number 2 pencil, and a black ink pen
- You may bring a calculator, however memories must be cleared before the exam session starts
- If you have taken the exam previously, bring your Certificate of Successful Completion (CSCE).
- If you are upgrading to a higher class of license, bring a photocopy of your current license
After Passing the Test
Tests are checked for a passing score immediately after being completed, and candidates are informed right away whether they passed or not. If you do not pass, the volunteers will return your application to you, and no record is kept.
After you pass your exam, the Volunteer Exam Coordinator will upload your license application directly to the FCC over the internet. New licenses are usually processed by the FCC within 48 to 72 hours, and you will receive a call from a GEARS volunteer by Tuesday or Wednesday to give you your new call-sign. You will also be given information on how to check your FCC Registration Number (FRN), how to register for the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS), and how to obtain an official printed copy of your license.
NCVEC FORM 605 can be used to apply for new license applications, upgrades, license renewals, address changes, and call sign changes. This form must be submitted to the GEARS VEC, do not send this form to the FCC.