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Author Topic: Did FCC stop keeping licenses before 2001?  (Read 2175 times)
KB6RCC
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« on: January 31, 2017, 05:04:17 AM »

I got my Novice in early 1986 and my Tech before the end of that year. I need a copy of when I got that tech so I can upgrade to General. I had moved a lot in the past 15 years, so a lot of paperwork got misplaced or purged. Several days ago, I went through the FCC ULAS and they have no record of me from before September 2001 when they modified my Tech+ back to a Tech. Were they keeping their records in the WTC?

What are my options - take the Element 3 test all over again? At 61, I do not have the same memory sharpness of when I was much younger.  Cry
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K7MEM
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 06:39:23 AM »

I got my Novice in early 1986 and my Tech before the end of that year. I need a copy of when I got that tech so I can upgrade to General. I had moved a lot in the past 15 years, so a lot of paperwork got misplaced or purged. Several days ago, I went through the FCC ULAS and they have no record of me from before September 2001 when they modified my Tech+ back to a Tech. Were they keeping their records in the WTC?

What are my options - take the Element 3 test all over again? At 61, I do not have the same memory sharpness of when I was much younger.  Cry

You will find nothing in the FCC data base prior to the year 2000. IIRC, somewhere around that time, there was a fire that destroyed all of the prior records. Plus, some of the information from the FCC is misleading. My listing shows my "Previous Op Class" was "Advanced", but doesn't show exactly when I got my Extra. When in fact, I took the "Advanced" and "Extra" tests at the same VE session (May 1999). But at the time, they processed upgrades sequentially.

The best you can do now is find your call sign in an old call sign book. There are several published and you can find them with a Google search.

Here is what I found.  I looked your call sign up at QRZ.com It has you listed with a Technician license. The FCC data base says your "Previous Op Class" was "Technician Plus", and your current Op Class is "Technician".

Also, on QRZ, is a searchable 1993 Call Sign data base. On that site, when I do a search on your name, I come up with entry that lists your license class as "Technician", not "Technician+" and your previous class was "Novice". The effective date for your "Technician" license is listed as "03 Dec 1991".

It is possible that the 1993 Call Sign data base does not differentiate between "Tech" and "Tech+". But, this leads me to believe that you didn't upgrade to "Technician Plus" until 1991. Which is to late to claim credit for a automatic upgrade.

I may not really have enough information, but you might want to think about those dates a little more. Of course, a much simpler approach would be to simply take the General written test. There are practice tests on QRZ.com and a few other places. Getting up to speed, even at 60, should be no problem at all. I'm 68 and could do all the tests over again.
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Martin - K7MEM
http://www.k7mem.com
N0IU
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 06:58:12 AM »

It is possible that the 1993 Call Sign data base does not differentiate between "Tech" and "Tech+".

The 1993 database did not differentiate between the No-Code Technician and the Tech +.
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W3HF
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 08:13:19 AM »

There was a flood in the 1970s destroyed the paper and microfiche records from earlier than the late 1960s. That's not what the OP is asking about.

The real answer is that the ULS only started in ~1999, and only contains license records that were current as of that date (and then anything later). The FCC never went back and put older historical records into it. So it's not surprising that you can't find your 1986 license there.

As for how to find the proof, you have two choices. One is to ask the FCC's records contractor for a "License Verification Letter." Give them the information you have (callsign, time frame, name, address) and ask them to verify that you had a Technician license issued prior to 21 March 1987 (which is the cutoff date).

The other option is to find a callbook of the right vintage. Most of the VECs will accept copies of callbook listings as proof. The glitch here is that your license date ("before the end of the [1986] year") is just prior to the cutoff date. If you made it into the Winter 86-87 book then it's easy--a copy of that listing is all you need (and maybe a copy of the title page of the book). If you are NOT in Winter 86-87, then it's tricky. The next issue was Summer 87, and the publication date ("summer") was after 21 March 87. I've successfully documented to the ARRL VEC that although Summer 87 was published after March, the latest data in the book was actually before the cutoff date. So if you are in Summer 87, and go to a VE team accredited by ARRL VEC, and probably contact the ARRL VEC so they know what's happening, then you should get the credit.
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N8AUC
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 07:29:48 AM »

Reading all of this makes me very glad that I saved all my paper licenses I've ever had, all the way back to when I passed my novice back in 1978.
And that I know where they're stored.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
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KG6AF
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 06:28:37 PM »

The Winter 1986-1987 callbook that W3HF mentioned is available online at https://archive.org/details/Winter_1987_Radio_Amateur_Callbook . (It's in 12 sections, the 12th being the cover and introductory material.  Although the cover says "Winter 1987," the table of contents says "Winter 1986-87.")  It's downloadable in a number of formats, including PDF.

The site has earlier callbooks, too.  Just search for "radio amateur callbook" on the archive.org page.  Keep in mind that callbooks earlier than 1967 or so don't list license classes.
 
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WV2M
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 12:56:16 AM »

You can try a FOIA request from the FCC for a copy of your original license.  I did for so my novice license that was issued in 1968.  They did not have a copy of the license but they did verify the date of issue.  Here is the link:

https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/foia/action/public/request/createRequest

In the comments section just say something like - "A copy of the original amateur radio (your class of license) for (your call back then), first licensed circa (insert year). Holder was (your name and address back then). If copy of license is not possible, then effective and expiration dates of the license."

You should hear from them in a few weeks.  There is no cost for the FOIA.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 06:49:18 AM »

To find out where you are listed in previous year callbooks try this:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/9782
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