With the US Government still in shutdown, and no end in sight, how does this affect Amateur Radio operators, or new operators looking to start in the hobby?
The United States Government is still shutdown, which means all offices deemed non-essential have had their funding cut, and are unable to provide services. This includes the FCC, and is affecting Amateur Radio licensing. The FCC’s shutdown plan can be viewed here. In compliance with the Antideficiency Act, federal employees affected by the shutdown are not allowed to work or provide any services until funding is restored.
What Does This Mean for me?
In a statement published by the ARRL, they state that while applications can be submitted to the Universal Licensing System (ULS), the FCC will not process any of these applications until after the shutdown. This means anyone applying for a new Amateur Radio license will have to wait until the shutdown is lifted to receive their licenses and operate legally. Also, anyone requesting modifications to their licenses or vanity callsigns will have to wait to have their requests processed. Current operators that are simply looking to upgrade their license class can legally operate with their Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) after they pass their upgrade exam.
This will most likely result in a long delay once funding is restored, as the FCC will have numerous backlogged applications to process, so it’s unclear when new Amateur Radio operators would receive their callsigns and operating privileges.