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GMRS License - Required to Have On-Person?


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So, I tried to find the answer to my question by searching the perusing the forums with no luck.

My question: I have a GMRS license, but when I'm away from home, do I need to carry a copy of the license with me or do I just need to know my GMRS Callsign?

I mean, I guess I could just save a .PDF version of it on my phone and have it available that way. But I'm more interested in what is "required" should someone ask for me to prove I'm "legal".

Thanks, all!

WRDN689 / DuneStalker

Bellevue, Nebraska

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Considering that the FCC only provides the license as a PDF to begin with... 🧐

The only difference is that you can download one with "official" "watermark", while any one else using ULS can only get a "reference copy" watermark -- just being able to access the ULS from your cell-phone might be considered sufficient.

That said, I printed a few "official" copies, and stuffed one into the rust bucket where the mobile unit is mounted. For HTs, it likely doesn't matter as it is probably assumed the HTs are "close to" the license location. Also, the "immediate family" clause means candidate users of the units wouldn't match the licensee information anyway. The license is part of the "station records" and you probably should have a file folder at home just for GMRS paperwork 🤯

In contrast, Amateur licenses are formatted with a section to be cut out and framed for wall hanging, and a second section for a fold-over wallet card.

 

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Wow! Quick replies! I'm impressed!

Thanks, guys, for the info. 

BTW, love your videos, @OffRoaderX, and your sense of humor - quite similar to mine, actually, which is why I "get it" I guess. Keep up the great work!

WRDN689 / DuneStalker

Bellevue, Nebraska

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32 minutes ago, back4more70 said:

I am not discounting your question, but I'm wondering if this would ever happen?

In a sense it happened when you had to provide your call sign to join this site and it was verified against the FCC database before you were given full access. That’s one reason why the database exists and it’s also why we don’t need to carry our licenses with us. 

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1 hour ago, Sshannon said:

In a sense it happened when you had to provide your call sign to join this site and it was verified against the FCC database before you were given full access. That’s one reason why the database exists and it’s also why we don’t need to carry our licenses with us. 

Agreed, but I interpreted the OP's question to mean what if someone approached them in person (law enforcement, nosey neighbor, "some people", etc.).

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12 minutes ago, back4more70 said:

Agreed, but I interpreted the OP's question to mean what if someone approached them in person (law enforcement, nosey neighbor, "some people", etc.).

Given the current tools available almost anybody can do a fair job producing a phony document on the computer. Without some other "trusted" method to verify the information you wouldn't know if your own license was fake or not, and neither would anybody else. So the purpose in having a paper copy is to flash it in front of somebody to impressed them enough to go away and stop bugging you.

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1 hour ago, back4more70 said:

Agreed, but I interpreted the OP's question to mean what if someone approached them in person (law enforcement, nosey neighbor, "some people", etc.).

 

1 hour ago, Lscott said:

Given the current tools available almost anybody can do a fair job producing a phony document on the computer. Without some other "trusted" method to verify the information you wouldn't know if your own license was fake or not, and neither would anybody else. So the purpose in having a paper copy is to flash it in front of somebody to impressed them enough to go away and stop bugging you.

99.9% of the people wouldn't know what a paper copy license looks like either.

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1 hour ago, back4more70 said:

Agreed, but I interpreted the OP's question to mean what if someone approached them in person (law enforcement, nosey neighbor, "some people", etc.).


Make strong eye contact.  Emphasize your height, size, etc. if you have it... good confident posture, no slouching.   

Most people, even nosey people, are conflict avoidant.   

Don't break eye contact.   Stare at them silently like they are breaching the bounds of polite behavior.  Practice your LOD, "look of disapproval".  ಠ_ಠ

If they persist in bothering you... 

Say gently and respectfully, "I'm sorry, sir.  You must be confused."   

This works more often than you would believe.   Not a recommended tactic when dealing with law enforcement.

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58 minutes ago, tep182 said:


Make strong eye contact.  Emphasize your height, size, etc. if you have it... good confident posture, no slouching.   

Most people, even nosey people, are conflict avoidant.   

Don't break eye contact.   Stare at them silently like they are breaching the bounds of polite behavior.  Practice your LOD, "look of disapproval".  ಠ_ಠ

If they persist in bothering you... 

Say gently and respectfully, "I'm sorry, sir.  You must be confused."   

This works more often than you would believe.   Not a recommended tactic when dealing with law enforcement.

Somebody, past President, once said walk quietly and carry a BIG stick. 

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The only reasons I could see one needing to produce an FCC license are as follows:

1) one of the states that requires an amateur radio license for possession of a scanner. Again, this exemption is only for amateur radio, not GMRS.

2) in a state where hands free communication laws are in place, though most of these laws apply to texting/internet and/or have exemptions for two way radio/amateur radio. 

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3 hours ago, tweiss3 said:

The only reasons I could see one needing to produce an FCC license are as follows:

1) one of the states that requires an amateur radio license for possession of a scanner. Again, this exemption is only for amateur radio, not GMRS.

2) in a state where hands free communication laws are in place, though most of these laws apply to texting/internet and/or have exemptions for two way radio/amateur radio. 

If it were only true for number 1. Cops in general don’t even know what an FCC license for Ham radio even looks like. And of course are they going to believe some slip of paper that came out of an inkjet printer? Heard more than one story where a Ham got his radio confiscated even with a copy of their license AND the printed section of the law that specifically allows it for the cop to read. You can’t fix stupid and trying to educate the ignorant on the road side takes too long, if it’s even possible.

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12 minutes ago, Lscott said:

If it were only true for number 1. Cops in general don’t even know what an FCC license for Ham radio even looks like. And of course are they going to believe some slip of paper that came out of an inkjet printer? Heard more than one story where a Ham got his radio confiscated even with a copy of their license AND the printed section of the law that specifically allows it for the cop to read. You can’t fix stupid and trying to educate the ignorant on the road side takes too long, if it’s even possible.

I didn't say it would keep you out of trouble, but they are the only two scenarios that I can think of that I would present any of my licenses. 

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24 minutes ago, tweiss3 said:

I didn't say it would keep you out of trouble, but they are the only two scenarios that I can think of that I would present any of my licenses. 

That part I understand. Most people not involved in some fashion with RF communications wouldn’t know what an FCC license looks like. It costs nothing to keep a copy with you so why not. I have wallet sized copies of my Ham and GMRS licenses. I don’t think I’ve ever had to show them to anyone to date. Not even at the airport going through security with my radios. At the Canadian border I have a Ham call license plate on the Jeep which sort of does the same thing as having a paper copy of the license. Cuts down on the questions about the weird antennas and why they’re there.

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1 hour ago, Lscott said:

That part I understand. Most people not involved in some fashion with RF communications wouldn’t know what an FCC license looks like. It costs nothing to keep a copy with you so why not. I have wallet sized copies of my Ham and GMRS licenses. I don’t think I’ve ever had to show them to anyone to date. Not even at the airport going through security with my radios. At the Canadian border I have a Ham call license plate on the Jeep which sort of does the same thing as having a paper copy of the license. Cuts down on the questions about the weird antennas and why they’re there.

Though you could have trouble with the GMRS if they really dig into the radios carried. Canadian GMRS regulations look a lot more like the FCC re-organized FRS regulations (Simplex only, 2W maximum, NO 467MHz channels [which are 0.5W NFM "8"-"14" on our side]).

 

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2 minutes ago, KAF6045 said:

Though you could have trouble with the GMRS if they really dig into the radios carried. Canadian GMRS regulations look a lot more like the FCC re-organized FRS regulations (Simplex only, 2W maximum, NO 467MHz channels [which are 0.5W NFM "8"-"14" on our side]).

 

Yes you’re right on that point. I’ve got an electronic library I keep on the computers and smartphone. Has all the manuals for my radios, frequency charts for various services, regulations etc. One of the folders is about Canadian GMRS. 
 

There is a cross licensing agreement between the US and many countries for Ham Radio, including Canada. My radios have programming for both since I’m dual license. So far I haven’t had an issue with the radios and the Canadian border security. Mostly what they seem to be concerned about if I’m taking some poor Molsen chugger’s job when going there on business.

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I'd probably have a bigger problem... Even taking the MXT115 out of the bracket, stuffing it into a felt envelope and burying it in the "well" under the cargo bed of the rust-bucket would leave the bracket on the dash, along with a PL-259. And if they want to see the cargo well where an Icom ID-5100 box is mounted, they may investigate the envelope. (Meijer office department has three sizes of these -- "envelope" is the best name I can give them -- smallest is more a pen/pencil pouch which works great for the Icom control head; the mid-size holds the MXT115&microphone, with room for the Icom microphone).

Of course, I'd first have to remember to leave the CCW pistol at home -- they'd have fits with it in a locked box under the seat. 😱

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5 hours ago, KAF6045 said:

Of course, I'd first have to remember to leave the CCW pistol at home -- they'd have fits with it in a locked box under the seat. 😱

Oops, lots of people from the US forget they even have a weapon in the vehicle when crossing the border. At least a few of the Canadian border security give you the option to immediately to turn around and go back rather than bust you. It all depends on the guy/women you get.

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