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Author Topic: Question on Technician class grandfathering  (Read 6429 times)
K3WEC
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Posts: 260




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« on: March 23, 2013, 11:21:01 AM »

Hello,

I have a family member who was licensed as a Technician in the 50's or early 60's.    His license expired many decades ago.   I understand that the FCC grants General class  testing credit to those who can prove their Technician class licensing status in some form or fashion (prior to 1987).   However, the FCC website doesn't give any specific confirmation of this except for those who were licensed after 1966.   

Unfortunately, any evidence of his license is long gone in terms of hard-copy documentation.   I can not find any record of his callsign association on the internet searches.   I don't even know if the FCC would grant credit if I did find evidence, as it was prior to 1966 as stated above.   

Any advice or clarification on the FCC rule in this situation?   Should I continue to search for acceptable documentation?

Thanks in advance!
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12980




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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 11:32:06 AM »

I don't think you can even renew a license that has been expired more than 2 years, much less grandfathering it for an upgrade. After a license has been expired for 2 years the call sign may even be reissued to someone else. I think he's just going to have to apply for a new license and take the test again.
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1071




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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 04:26:23 PM »

The technician license test of today is much easier then it was in the 1950s. Back in the 1950s the technician test was the same as the general written part, except the code was at 5 WPM instead of 13. I had the same type of problem. I had a general license back in the 1950s. I did not renew it for more then 30 years. Without the code I passed the technician general and the extra with no problem. Tell the family member to check the test questions on the ARRl site or the many other sites showing sample questions. I think your family member will be surprised at how easy the test of today is.

Hope this helps.

73s,

K2OWK
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KG6AF
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Posts: 367




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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 05:37:52 PM »

Just to clarify, you can get Element 3 credit for a Technician license granted before March 21, 1987.  So if you are the current holder of a Technician license, or if you take and pass Element 2, you can be upgraded to General.  Being currently unlicensed, your family member would have to take Element 2 first.  Is your relative willing to take the Technician test?  If not, finding documentation for a previously-held license is irrelevant.

If you had proof of your family member having held a Technician license in the 50's or 60's, that'd be sufficient for the upgrade.  What most folks do when they've lost all documentation is to try to find an old Callbook listing.  Problem is, Callbooks prior to 1967 or so don't list the license class.
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K3WEC
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Posts: 260




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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 01:20:36 PM »

Yes sir, he is willing to take any and all tests.   I was just researching this for him because if he can get the credit, then why not....     You are correct, the test he took long ago was significantly more involved than today's tests.   There was no question pool published that could be memorized, and I believe it was longhand answers....no multiple choice.    He is an EE so it is not a big deal either way, but wanted to find out just the same.   Thanks for the responses.
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WN2C
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 04:25:37 AM »

Have you looked into old call books?  Some VE teams use them to verify if the person can show that it is them in the call book.  You would need to contact the VE team doing the testing or the ARRL VEC.  If he gets re-licensed, he may be able to get his old call back thru the vanity system.  Does he have a copy of his old license(s)

Rick  wn2c
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N2EY
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Posts: 3909




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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 01:56:19 PM »

Here's a summary:

1) The "grandfather credit" is ONLY for Element 3 - the General written exam.

2) To get the credit, the person must hold a valid, current Technician license, and be able to prove Technician license testing prior to March 21, 1987. (That's the date the old test was split into two elements.)

3) To prove license testing, one can present:

- An old license
- Official, dated correspondence from FCC that mentions the license class as Technician.
- A CSCE stating the General written was passed.
- A Callbook entry that shows license class

I think copies of any of the above are acceptable, as long as they are clear about the source.

The Big Problem is that Callbooks didn't show license class before 1967. It's not enough to prove he was licensed; it must be proved that he held a Technician, because it's the ONLY license class that gets the "grandfather credit" for Element 3.

Unless he can find documentation, it's probably easier to just take the test.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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AA4PB
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Posts: 12980




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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2013, 03:29:03 PM »

"2) To get the credit, the person must hold a valid, current Technician license"

From the original post: "His license expired many decades ago".

That's the key point - he has to retake the present general exam.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3909




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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 03:37:39 PM »

"2) To get the credit, the person must hold a valid, current Technician license"

From the original post: "His license expired many decades ago".

That's the key point - he has to retake the present general exam.


No, he doesn't!

He has to retake the current Technician exam - Element 2.

He can get credit for the current General exam (Element 3) by proving that he held a pre-March-21-1987 Technician license - even if it expired decades ago. But that credit only covers the General exam. 

The problem is coming up with the documentation to prove his licensure as a Technician.

73 de jim, N2EY
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K0KUZ
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 07:37:24 AM »

I have my old General Class license (I let it expire in 1973), I took and passed the the Technician test last November and got my old call back via a vanity call program in December. Can I grandfather back to a General Class License now, and if so, how. I have not been able to find the information on the FCC web site.

Thanks
73
don
K0KUZ
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N2EY
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Posts: 3909




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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 08:01:29 AM »

I have my old General Class license (I let it expire in 1973), I took and passed the the Technician test last November and got my old call back via a vanity call program in December. Can I grandfather back to a General Class License now, and if so, how. I have not been able to find the information on the FCC web site.

Did you ever have a Technician before March 21, 1987?

Can you prove it by documentation?

If so, you take the documentation to a VE test session, pay the fee, and they will process the upgrade through the VE system.

If not, sorry, you have to pass the General written again.

Yes, back in 1973 the General and Technician used the same written exam, but FCC ONLY gives no-test grandfather credit to those who held Technicians back then. That's the way the rules are written.

General written  isn't that hard.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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K0KUZ
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 08:10:05 AM »

Jim;

No, only had a Novice with 5 WPM code test and then took General test with 13 WPM code, passed and received my General ticket.
Thanks much. I appreciate your reply. I have no problem with taking the General test again.

73
don
K0KUZ
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3909




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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 12:23:12 PM »

No, only had a Novice with 5 WPM code test and then took General test with 13 WPM code, passed and received my General ticket.
Thanks much. I appreciate your reply. I have no problem with taking the General test again.

Good luck!

While you're there, try the Extra. When you pay the VE fee for the General, you get a shot at the Extra too (if you pass, IIRC). Nothing to lose but a little time. Might save you a return trip and fee for Extra.

---

Way back in the summer of 1968, I went to the FCC office in Philadelphia for the General. Already had a Tech so all I needed was 13 wpm code. Passed the code and was about to leave when The Examiner said "why not try Advanced while you're here?"

I hadn't studied for it, and since I was a 100% CW op, having an Advanced offered me nothing in operating privileges that a General didn't. But back then no ham in his right mind would say "no" to The Examiner, so I sat back down and tried the Advanced written.

And I passed! Went home to wait for the license to arrive (back then, you didn't get the privileges until you had the paper license).

A few weeks later, I started high school.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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