Jump to content

On the air ID requirements


Recommended Posts



If I am using GMRS channels on the air with my family members does each member have to give the call sign at the end of our conversation or every 15 minutes?  or does just the station operator ( me ) give the call sign?

I have 4 uniden radios that we use when traveling or camping and sometimes use the GMRS channels instead of the FRS chanels when needed but have not found any info if every individual radio user has to give the call sign. We label the radios unit 1 to unit 4 so we know who is who.

With HAM radio each user needs a license but with GMRS family members can use the radios with one license assigned.

I am aware we do not need to use call signs on FRS.


Thank you









Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are your Uniden radios combination FRS/GMRS radios? If so, under the new rules effective September 28, 2017 they are now fully FRS on all channels. In which case, no ID is required.


There are several previous threads here containing extensive discussion of the rules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Current Rules DATA: 

§95.1751   GMRS station identification.

Each GMRS station must be identified by transmission of its FCC-assigned call sign at the end of transmissions and at periodic intervals during transmissions except as provided in paragraph © of this section. A unit number may be included after the call sign in the identification.


(a) The GMRS station call sign must be transmitted:

(1) Following a single transmission or a series of transmissions; and,

(2) After 15 minutes and at least once every 15 minutes thereafter during a series of transmissions lasting more than 15 minutes.


(b ) The call sign must be transmitted using voice in the English language or international Morse code telegraphy using an audible tone.


(c ) Any GMRS repeater station is not required to transmit station identification if:

(1) It retransmits only communications from GMRS stations operating under authority of the individual license under which it operates; and,

(2) The GMRS stations whose communications are retransmitted are properly identified in accordance with this section.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

My question is related to Bob's.  If you are able to use one (1) call sign for the whole family. How do you call each unit or family member on air? Do you just mention your callsign then say.."unit 1" or unit 2" to be able to call which ever unit you are trying to contact? Or do you use callsigns something like what CBers use? meaning they can have any other kind of callsign just to be able to designate each unit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every person with a GMRS radio needs to identify per the rules' requirements. Tactical identifiers are out of the FCC's scope, and can be used freely as long as all other rules are followed and the callsign is given per FCC rules. If you and someone else under your license are talking to each other, both you and the other party will have to give your callsign for identification. As tactical identifiers aren't regulated, there's no requirement to use one, though they are explicitly permitted to be included in an otherwise compliant identification. See 95.1751.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose one could be all pretensive about it and assign official unit numbers...but it's not the Sheriff's office or Fire Department.... I usually just use their first name, nickname or initials. If you are a secret agent man....don't use 007. smile.png

We use common nickname initials given phonetically. For example, Alpha Bravo this is Echo Charlie. Of course, this is along with the required call sign information and timing. We do this for three reasons. 1) None of them could remember their unit number (even if on a radio label). 2) Since we are genetically related, sometimes the identities of the voices get confusing. 3) The casual FRS listener will not immediately know our names and are not likely to know how to look up the call sign. This is just a very small security measure.


Funny enough, locals that chat with us simplex now use their nickname initials phonetically along with their call sign. It has spread to sporadic use on local repeaters. Family and friends have been using this method nearly since our first FRS days on the farms and we refer to the phonetic nickname in chat, telephone, and in person very often now. It has become common place in our family and among friends in daily, non-radio life. Some family members have the same names so this has worked out very well for us. I think I heard some local little kids on bubble packs emulating this radio technique a few days ago. It was adorable! biggrin.png


These days, we all have our radios with us everyday. When one wakes up, the radio goes on. I guess that's why the phonetic nicknames have permeated our daily lives so easily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because I saw this today in the DB on a repeater listing: 


"Apr 9, 2017 -No you don't need permission from the repeater owner to use GMRS frequencies regardless of the repeater being private property. You're not violating private property laws by using a repeater that's on GMRS frequencies. If you want to control who can use your repeater you need a private business (IG) license."


I wanted to comment about it and it sort of falls under the topic of this post. He had several other things posted in there about license, and such, and like the above some seem more opinion than fact. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, and not trying to police him, I just don't agree. 


I don't think this is a good statement to make to others who may just be learning about GMRS. I have been licensed for 25 years, worked in some form of radio, including commercial 2way for a little longer than that, and no where have I ever seen where the FCC says that if you put a GMRS repeater on the air, you cannot control who uses it. It's correct that the frequencies are not exclusive nor "private property" as he says, and that if someone happened to be using the output simplex, there is nothing you can do about that....but most intelligent people understand that if that were the case and they were using simplex and a repeater started blasting them out...well, the users of the repeater may not even be able to hear them to start with...so it's better just change channels. We all have to share the available frequencies. 


I will and do control who uses my repeater by controlling the DPL code on it. If someone thinks they want to read my code, program their radio and try to use my repeater without my permission, well, that code will get shut off. At that point, it would be obvious they were being an ass, and not asking for permission in good faith. I have to share the frequency if someone else uses it, and I can hear them before I transmit, but I DO NOT have to share the use of my repeater. 


It is dangerous to mis-educate people, as dangerous as people not educating themselves or claiming ignorance. The worst problem I see in GMRS right now are people who are jumping in with both feet, no life vest and no swimsuit!  Making a splash, thinking they have it all figured out after 10 minutes of reading, and wanting to use partial knowledge of things to start suggesting "new" things, trying things they think would be neat...all while being new and naive about everything. That is one thing I like about HAM radio, you are kind of forced to learn some things before you get privileges. 


Sorry so wordy. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree. Good post.


This is why I put this bit in our repeater description: (Tone is edited out for this thread.)


"In the very unlikely situation that our family should need the repeater during an important event or family emergency, a private tone will be used and all public tones temporarily locked out. We do not foresee this happening often, if at all. In such a situation, we will try to keep the repeater lock out to the absolute minimum time necessary. !The only tones authorized for non-family to use the repeater are XXXX.XX and the Travel Tone!"


The public currently has two tones to choose from. If the need would arise, they would be temporarily locked out with ease. If a member of the public accesses the repeater at any time with anything other than the afforded public tones, then I would consider them trespassing and they will be asked to change it or stop using the repeater. I consider this description to be ample notice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines.