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Family use of GMRS


idahofluke
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Hello,

I recently got my ham call sign, I also received my GMRS Call sign to use with my wife and kids. 

I am unclear on how this will work... I understand the GMRS  license covers your intimidate family.  So would we all use the came call sign? or would I use it at the start of the contact.? 

coming from the Ham side I am leaning to the use at the start of contact then 10 min etc etc, but I cant find the proper use with multiple people under the same call sign.

 

thanks for any input.

 

 

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Everyone in your immediate family would all use the same call sign. You all have to ID with the call sign every 15 minutes of conversation and at the end of the conversation, regardless of the duration.

 

You can add additional identifiers if you would like. An example would be, everyone in my family would use ABCD123, but I may ID my station as ABCD123-ALPHA. My wife would ID as ABCD123-OMEGA. My son could be ABCD123-BETA.

 

Again, the add-on ID is optional... but legal. For what it's worth, no one in my family uses add-ons. We all just use ABCD123 and call each other by name.

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Yep, you all use the same call-sign, and it is a 15 minute interval, unlike the 10 minute interval in ham radio.  As Marc said, identifiers are up to you, not regulated or required.  In my family, we use unit numbers. I'm unit 1, (ex) wife (was) unit 2, sons are units 3,4, and 5, cousin Mike is unit 6. Grandpa goes by a handle: "The Old Timer". Still same call.

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thank you for the info. :) I am looking forward to getting my wife on a radio and start hitting local repeaters.

 

Although in Nevada I travel your area a couple times a year and have the .550 repeater in your area programmed into my radios.  Will be interesting to see how far out I can hit it (Howe, maybe?).  Will try from Dubois and the top of Monida (doubtful)

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  • 1 year later...
7 hours ago, dmontagnese said:

My wife and children can use the call sign, but what about parents, and siblings?

Immediate family is pretty broadly defined, and includes almost everyone except cousins:

Any individual who holds an individual license may allow his or her immediate family members to operate his or her GMRS station or stations. Immediate family members are the licensee's spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.

There is one stipulation, however: The licensee must maintain access to and control over all stations authorized under its license. That pretty much means that your covered family members must be nearby.

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…There is one stipulation, however: The licensee must maintain access to and control over all stations authorized under its license. That pretty much means that your covered family members must be nearby.


Agreed. I have looked at this way. If one has visitors, or is camping or on some other outing together the licensee can lend out their stations to any of these family members and they can operate under their license. If they bring their own, own their own, or go back home they operate under their own license. Not sure I would want someone 50 or 2000 miles away operating under my license, family or not. I am not in control of my station equipment.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM
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  • 4 weeks later...

Good morning, everyone. I am a new member and new to GMRS having done some studying online of best practices and obtained a radio.

My question is, having got my FCC license, how strict is the definition of "family member"? Like I suspect many folks, I am not legally married but am in a long term relationship with my partner. I bought 2 radios primarily for emergency use in a scenario where the 2 of us may be separated and cellphones are not working. Whereas I intend to practice with and use the radio on a regular basis, it is unlikely that my girlfriend would be using the radio unless it was an emergency and there was no other way to get through to me. I do intend giving her a crash course in usage, etiquette, best practices, etc., once I have got some experience to pass on.

Do you guys think that this is within the spirit of the license agreement or is this a big no-no?

TIA of any advice,

Dave

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1 hour ago, daven said:

Good morning, everyone. I am a new member and new to GMRS having done some studying online of best practices and obtained a radio.

My question is, having got my FCC license, how strict is the definition of "family member"? Like I suspect many folks, I am not legally married but am in a long term relationship with my partner. I bought 2 radios primarily for emergency use in a scenario where the 2 of us may be separated and cellphones are not working. Whereas I intend to practice with and use the radio on a regular basis, it is unlikely that my girlfriend would be using the radio unless it was an emergency and there was no other way to get through to me. I do intend giving her a crash course in usage, etiquette, best practices, etc., once I have got some experience to pass on.

Do you guys think that this is within the spirit of the license agreement or is this a big no-no?

TIA of any advice,

Dave

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/95.1705

This does lay out who qualifies as a family member to share usage of your license. One thing that was brought up elsewhere is the implication of common law status (in states that have it...may come into play for you).  While I dont disagree that I'd like a little more flexibility  in allowing someone use of my license (like ham offers), the reality is the code is pretty specific about who can.

Short answer: unless you can make a case for her being a common law spouse, girlfriend doesn't qualify to use your license.

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2 hours ago, daven said:

,,, I bought 2 radios primarily for emergency use in a scenario where the 2 of us may be separated and cellphones are not working. Whereas I intend to practice with and use the radio on a regular basis, it is unlikely that my girlfriend would be using the radio unless it was an emergency and there was no other way to get through to me. ...

Although I do not have the exact provisions to cite right at my fingertips, the FCC regs allow your girlfriend to use her radio "during an emergency [especially when] there is no other way to get through to you!

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1 hour ago, MichaelLAX said:

There is no such thing as "common law spouse" in California. 

I didn't catch a location for Dave to know if that applies to him specifically or not, but there definitely are some states where common law marriage is a thing...agreed that CA is not one of them.

And the emergency provision is in the same section I linked, just a different paragraph from the definition of "family members" (I think it was the next, actually)

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  • 3 months later...

This won't be a wildly popular thought but if you teach your g/f how to use a GMRS radio and you guys follow the same standards a family member would no one is going to know the difference and no one is going to ask you to pony up a marriage certificate.

 

To me, and this is just my opinion, this question is along the lines of Part 90 vs Part 95 gear. It seems the FCC just wants the spirit of the law followed. Do that and you will be left alone.

 

 

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On 9/4/2021 at 2:49 PM, MichaelLAX said:

See how my Name to the left of my comments say: "Location: The Valley" - yours still does not say San Diego. Go to: Edit Profile -  Location

Get her a GRMS license for a Labor Day gift and the two of you can burn up the airwaves together!!!

This post reminded me to add my own location, and even though it being a niche military operational method....I may have to jokingly use "actual" after my call sign. Have a few relatives using GMRS in the area under my call sign.....and under my control. (The chargers sit at home, so the radios must return home as well.)

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On 12/13/2021 at 4:52 PM, PACNWComms said:

I may have to jokingly use "actual" after my call sign. Have a few relatives using GMRS in the area under my call sign.....and under my control. (The chargers sit at home, so the radios must return home as well.)

This post got me thinking... would a relative of a licensed myGMRS member be able to sign up with the same callsign if they chose to join this site? What if they added "/unit2" to the callsign in their profile?

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