How to Become a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator
The links below are sites where you can take practice exams for the Technician, General and Extra class Amateur Radio licenses.
Taking The Test
When you’re ready to take the FCC License Exam to get your Amateur Radio license, GEARS can administer the license exams and is one of only fourteen amateur radio clubs in the USA directly authorized by the FCC. If you’re not sure you’re ready, try a free online practice test, links above.
Tests are given at 2:00 PM on the dates indicated below. The exams are given at the Chico Elks Lodge, 1705 Manzanita Ave. Chic
Call the GEARS VEC, Tom Rider, W6JS; at 1-530-514-9211 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Before going to the test secession you must now visit the FCC website and get your FCC accounts set up. Go to this link for more information:
Here is the latest information and instructions on setting up your FCC CORES account:
You must have an FRN number & a current email address. To obtain an FCC FRN number go to: “FCC Registration–Login”. Fill out the information it is requesting. Bring a copy of your FRN number & your current email address to the test session.
GEARS VEC Test Dates for 2023
February 5th, April 2nd, June 4th, August 6th, October 1st, December 3rd
The Question Pools.
The question pool for each new license level changes every four years. Be sure to study from the correct ARRL study guide and question pool. For the latest and most up to date license information go to this ARRL link:
For online license course information go to this link:
Question Pool Longevity
Technician: July 1st 2022 to June 30th 2026
General: July 1st 2019 to June 30th 2023
Extra: July1st 2020 to June 30th 2024
What to bring to the test session.
The cost of the exam is $15.00. You can take more than one exam for the same cost. Two forms of identification. One must be a photo ID, driver’s license, state ID card, school ID, or passport. A number 2 pencil, and a black ink pen.
You may bring a calculator, however memories must be cleared before the exam session starts. If you have taken the exam previously, bring your Certificate of Successful Completion (CSCE).
If you are upgrading to a higher class of license, bring a photocopy of your current license
After Passing the Test
Tests are checked for a passing score immediately after being completed, and candidates are informed whether they passed or not. If you do not pass, the volunteers will return your application to you, and no record is kept.
After you pass your exam, the Volunteer Exam Coordinator will upload your license application directly to the FCC over the internet. New licenses are usually processed by the FCC within 48 to 72 hours, and you will receive a call from a GEARS volunteer by Tuesday or Wednesday to give you your new call-sign. You will also be given information on how to check your FCC Registration Number (FRN), how to register for the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS), and how to obtain an official printed copy of your license.
Other Local Volunteer Teams.
Redding VEC: http://www.reddingve.com/