Is anybody else putting a license upgrade on hold due to the political disaster in DC? I want to get my AE, but feel like the FCC may be shut down several more times (along with the rest of govt) before the leaders agree. I have a study guide, but so far it is just sitting. I don't want to have to wait months for my license.
If you plan on waiting to upgrade until this mess in Washington is straightened out, you might as well resign yourself to being a General for the rest of your life!
Since you are already licensed, you will be able to operate with your new privileges the moment you are handed the CSCE, and those temporary privileges can last as long as it takes.
CSCEs are only good for 365 days, not "as long as it takes".
I know that the ARRL is still having VE's giving tests. I'm the type of guy to not operate until the new rank is in the ULS, and preferably until I have the paper license in hand. So if I get my AE and the govt shuts down, my first impulse is to not operate in Extra-designated bands until the mess is sorted out. Why? Because I'm like that. I even confuse my own mother at times.
Signing your call as KJ6ZOL/AE is perfectly acceptable after you pass your test and it has been that way since incentive licensing has been in existence. As far as waiting for your paper license to come in the mail, having your callsign show up in the ULS database is now the official record of your license.
§ 97.3 Definitions.
(a) The definitions of terms used in part 97 are:
(1) Amateur operator. A person named in an amateur operator/primary license station grant on the ULS consolidated licensee database to be the control operator of an amateur station.
§ 97.5 Station license required.
(a) The station apparatus must be under the physical control of a person named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS consolidated license database.
And if that was not clear enough...
§ 97.7 Control operation required.
When transmitting, each amateur station must have a control operator. The control operator must be a person:
(a) For whom an amateur operator/primary station license grant appears on the ULS consolidated licensee database.