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  1. The FCC had recently proposed a reduction from $70 to $50, but there was push-back at least from Randall Knowles, KAA8142. The Commission subsequently reduced it further to $35. This reduction also applies to license renewals. Source: http://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-184A1.pdf Some passages: "41. One commenter, Knowles, contends that the proposed $50 fee for GMRS is too high, asthe application process is automated. There is no testing involved, as with the amateur license. Werecognize that the application process for GMRS licenses is highly automated. There are, however, somecosts involved in ensuring applicants are qualified and off-lined applications are individually reviewed,and we cannot conclude that there are no costs involved. 42. After reviewing the record, including the extensive comments filed by amateur radiolicensees and based on our revised analysis of the cost of processing mostly automated processesdiscussed in our methodology section, we adopt a $35 application fee, a lower application fee than theCommission proposed in the NPRM for personal licenses, in recognition of the fact that the applicationprocess is mostly automated.... 193. Rule effective date. As the Commission implements the changes to our application fee schedule, we anticipate that OMD, along with the Bureaus and Offices, may be required to update someof our licensing databases, payment instruction guides and/or adjust administrative internal proceduresbefore we may begin accepting the new fees for certain categories of application fee payors.Accordingly, we direct the Office of Managing Director, in consultation with the relevant Offices andBureaus, to cause a notice to be published in the Federal Register announcing when rule change(s) willbecome effective, once the relevant databases, guides, and internal procedures have been updated." $35 can still exceed the cost of some CCRs, but this is an improvement. While we would all want this to be zero, having some fee keeps the GMRS on the FCC's radar, if not for enforcement purposes. Randall Knowles, KAA8142, is from the North Shore Emergency Association. He has lobbied extensively for the GMRS for decades, working closely with Corwin Moore of the Personal Radio Steering Group (PRSG) back in the day. His call sign may be the oldest GMRS one I have identified; I think it was issued in 1976. Attachments area
  2. How to apply for a GMRS license and receive your FCC call sign Here is a step by step guide on how to obtain a GMRS license and call sign from the FCC. I originally posted this on my blog, but I want to share all the same content here for future reference for any members, guests, and visitors to myGMRS.com. To obtain a GMRS license, one must file an application with the FCC and pay a $70 fee. No exam is required, and the license is valid for 10 years. The FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) is is an online portal to manage your FCC applications/licenses, and pay any applicable fees via a single account. The ULS eliminates the need for paper applications and submitting via snail mail. You may also view the status of pending licenses in the ULS. Once registered with the ULS, you will receive an FCC Registration Number (FRN). This is a 10-digit number that is assigned to a business or individual registering with the FCC, and is used to identify the registrant’s business dealings with the FCC. Once you have this ID number – save it! This will be your username to log in to the Universal Licensing System. Before continuing, I want to highlight one very important consideration when dealing with FCC licenses. Your call sign and license is public information and is easily searchable in FCC databases and other records. Should you choose to register with your home address, this will be visible to anybody if they have your call sign. Exposing personal information on the internet is a concern now more than ever, so one approach to limiting the amount of personal information in FCC databases is to use a P.O. Box as your contact address. Here is what my GMRS license information looks like when queried in the FCC database - WRAA720: I use this P.O. Box address in the center of my local metro area as my primary contact location for all FCC forms and dealings. My actual home address is not associated with my FCC licenses. Step 1: Create an FCC Universal Licensing System account If you are a first time user, create a new ULS account here (skip this step if you have an existing ULS account). Select “Register” to be issued a new FCC Registration Number: Some questions are asked before proceeding, then you can fill out an application with your name, address, password, etc: Step 2: Log in to the ULS After creating the account, or if you have an existing ULS account, log in here. Use your existing FCC Registration Number (FRN), or the FRN provided after completing the first step. Once you are logged in, you will be taken to this screen which shows your current and applied for licenses: Step 3: Begin application for a GMRS license Now we can apply for a GMRS license and pay the fee. On the left hand side menu click “Apply for a New License.” On the next screen, select “ZA-General Mobile Radio Service” from the very bottom of the drop down menu and click Continue. The next step is to answer these applicant questions. Most people can leave “no” selected for each: Click continue after these questions, and on the next screen supply the licensee name and address: - Part 2 continued below as there is a limit to the number of images in a post -
  3. Hello.. So I've seen a few post here regarding groups of users not using their GMRS callsign but instead using a "tactical" or "alias" in place of it. I went to my local REACT and they stated they are covered under their old grandfathered license, could this not be the case for anyone else? I have yet to see it mentioned.. Its just assumed they are in violation, haven't seen anything mentioned regarding the possibility of groups using a grandfathered license. For example, I'll go to Walmart every now and then and play around with the employees on their MURS frequency, I've heard multiple times they have a grandfathered business license, so even though MURS is now unlicensed, they still have "priority" as they have a license..? Am I making sense? Lol.
  4. Since there a few knowledgeable HAMs on this forum,and my issue spans GMRS and HAM radios, I figured I'd take a shot here. I’ve been struggling a radio suitability issue for years and haven't found much discussion on the topic. I'm a big hiker and hike leader in the mountains of New England. I have had several instances where handhelds have become necessary. Cell phones are entirely unreliable, since the mountains are tall and the valleys long and sometimes deep and the trails are circuitous. I have at least three choices as I see it - GMRS/UHF, MURS/VHF, or VHF/Amateur. I've had incidents where the hiking group splintered for various acceptable and unacceptable reasons. The "why" is for another discussion. GMRS @ 1 WATT (me licensed) - blister pack radios Three scenarios usually play out. a) When we were under the forest canopy, with a slow and fast group, they work pretty well, up to about a half mile, since we're on the same trail, going up the same side of the mountain. the splinter group decides to down another path. Even though I was on the summit, I could not reach them or they me. As my party hiked down towards the base, (about 2.5 miles), we only made contact again when we were about 1/2 mile from them. Even then it was sketchy. We were still upslope, they were in the valley. So the line of site was obstructed only by the trees immediately overhead. c) the party that goes down the opposite side of the mountain - helpless, I know. While I have Moto Talkabout distance, GMRS @ 2 watt, I opted for the blister pack because pack weight is an issue. I am also dealing with different people each hike, so they are wildcards. Well, I’m deep sixing the blisters. GMRS @ 2 Watt (licensed) (Talkabout Distance) Is this a worthy option? I’ve tricked it out with a longer antenna since this radio allows for interchangeable antennas. I’ll carry it next time even though every ounce of weight adds up. MURS @ 2 Watt Pros: Seems attractive since its VHF and can probably punch through the foliage better. Not particularly worried about interference in the middle of nowhere! Cons: Big and bulky, not cheap. Runs on a rechargeable pack which is more expensive than a handful of AA batteries. GMRS or VHF (HAM Licensed) @ 4-5 Watt Pros – stands the best chance of success. Cons: While I’m going to be Amateur Tech licensed in a couple weeks, it’s impossible to expect these random hikers have any qualifications. REPEATERS Fuggetaboutit. Not happening where I hike. I’ve been known to run up to hill tops to reach people with checkered success. I realize that none of these options are very good, but I really need to minimize someone getting hurt or injured. Your thoughts? Thanks! Bill
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