This page is for US Hams.
It's easy to form a club. Ideally the club will grow
to bring in more members, serve the community and help
develop interest in ham radio. But getting started
only needs someone with a valid amateur radio license (who
will be the Trustee) and three other people. Some
paperwork is needed, described below. This is sent to
one of three FCC-approved Club Station Call Sign
This FCC page lists the three CSCSAs. I used the W5YI-VEC, but all three are
Note: While you
should prepare all documents described below, the ARRL-VEC
only requires that you submit the Application form (Step 1
below). On the other hand, ARRRL requires you to mail
the original form to them (not fax). You can use the
ARRL-VEC if you are in a hurry, but be sure to complete the
other forms for your records. Use the W5YI-VEC if you
want to fax your application with the other forms.
By FCC rule, there is no charge for this
service. But keep in mind that after you receive your
sequentially assigned club call sign, if you choose to
request a vanity call sign, there is a charge for that.
person who is Trustee cannot be Trustee for any other club.
This is all you have
- Fill out an
Application for an Amateur Club Station License form.
Fill it out by hand. Be sure to check the New
License Grant box, and in Section 3, fill in "New" for
the Call Sign. Leave the FRN field blank. A new FRN will be
created for your club. Choose one of the following
- Then create a "Document of Organization."
Here is a template (MS Word doc). This
typically consists of a Constitution and Bylaws.
My template is quite simple, but there are other
examples on the web. Be sure to fill in the particulars
of your club -the club name (e.g. "North Forrest
Amateur Radio Club, or NFARC"), particular objectives,
dates, officer names, etc.
Here is the
document used by the club I helped form (pdf).
- Next create "Minutes of club's first meeting."
Here is a simple
template (MS Word doc). This should document the
approval of the Constitution and Bylaws and the election
of officers. Feel free to cover much more
at the meeting and put that in the minutes. The
Bylaws in the above template allow meetings to be held
by conference call, over the radio, etc.
- If filing with the W5YI-VEC:
- Make a copy of the trustee's license, be
sure it is signed, and include that.
- You don't need a cover letter, but if you want,
example to remind you what to send. Fax
documents to (817) 548-9594 or mail all the above
documents plus the copy of trustee's license to:
PO Box 565101
Dallas, TX 75356
- If filing with the ARRL-VEC:
- Send in only the completed form ARRL VEC Form
- Mail (US Postal Service) the signed form to:
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111 USA
If the paperwork is in order, the request is typically
processed immediately, and the FCC usually grants the
license just a few days later.
Note: Both W5YI-VEC and
W4VEC-VEC require all of the above documents to be sent in.
The ARRL-VEC only requires their filled-out application
form, but if you use ARRL-VEC, you still need to prepare
these documents and have them in your files for inspection
by FCC, should they request.
Other issues to consider:
- If you plan to request a vanity call sign as soon as
you get the club's sequentially assigned call sign,
remember it typically takes 18 calendar days or more for FCC to
process vanity requests. See the
Vanity HQ website's FAQ for details. For
D-Star repeaters, it is best to wait to register the
repeater's call sign until after the vanity call sign
request is approved.
- Clubs may hold as many sequentially assigned call
signs as they need. Use the same FRN on subsequent
requests, and of course, on those, you don't need the
new club Document of Organization, meeting minutes, etc.
- Note: "A club requesting a vanity call sign after
Feb. 14, 2011 may hold only one vanity call sign grant.
A club that has been assigned more than one vanity call
sign must surrender all of the vanity call signs it has
been assigned before it can obtain another vanity call
I would like to thank Rich, KC6OBJ,
for his help in providing the initial documents which were
the starting point for my club and the template files.