Licensing guide

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The Technician (entry-level) license exam is not too difficult, and obtaining a license costs at most $50. You can purchase an entry-level radio for under $30, so the total cost of becoming a ham is under $80.

Get licensed

Are you interested in obtaining an amateur radio license?

With changes to the licensing requirements and testing procedure, becoming a ham is now easier than ever! The FCC removed the Morse code requirement for licensing in 2008. While you certainly can learn Morse code and use it on the air, you are no longer required to learn it. There are many options for studying for the exam, including both online resources and printed books. The exams can be taken remotely if you don't want to (or can't) go to an in-person exam session.

Study is a very helpful no-cost online tool for studying for the exams. It lists all questions in the exam pool, and allows you to practice using a flashcard format that automatically adapts based on how well you do in particular categories. You can click the corner of any question card to see an explanation of the answer.

If you would prefer a paper book, the ARRL study guide is a good resource.


In order to obtain your license, you must take a Technician class exam. You can take the exam online or in-person. In either case, you may have to pay up to $15 for the exam.


PBARC conducts in-person exams at the Chetco Activity Center every two months. (More information coming)


HamStudy offers a remote exam finder. In an online exam, you will take the test in your web browser while on a video call with the volunteer examiners.

Some groups will offer free exams for applicants meeting certain requirements, such as for veterans or people under a certain age.

Pay the FCC fee

You will have to pay $35 to the FCC. (More information coming)

Get on the air!

After your license is issued, congratulations! With your Technician license, you may now use all VHF and UHF ham radio bands and some HF bands.

First radio

Most people choose an inexpensive HT (handheld radio; ham radio walkie-talkie) for their first radio. The Baofeng GT-5R is a popular model and costs under $30. will often sell a starter pack including an Explorer QRZ-1 radio to new US hams at a low cost; see this page for details.