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Timing to Get a Vanity Call Sign After 2 Year Wait

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#1
I'd like to apply for a 4-letter call sign that is soon to be available after the 2 year wait. I plan to submit online using the ULS. However, it is unclear to me the timing of such an attempt. When should the application be submitted relative to the "becoming available" date to insure the best shot at getting a particular call sign? I understand that a applicant is randomly selected if more than one applicant applies.

Could someone please tell me how this process is done to insure I get in the selection pool when the call sign I'd like becomes available?

Thanks
 
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#2
I believe that the rule is a call is available 2 years and 1 day after it expires (a 2 year grace period so the original owner can get it back if they apply up to and including 2 years after it expires). If you request it too early, your application will be rejected since the call sign is not yet available. If you request it too late (2 years and 2 days for example) it may be assigned to someone that applied for it prior to your application. Many of the web sites that track available call signs provide the proper day to make your application to have the best chance of success. Be aware that the selection process isn't "first come, first serve", but a lottery process from all valid applications submitted on the earliest valid day for that call sign. Also be aware that there's a delay to provide those that mail their application the same chance as those that submit it online (the postmark provides the timestamp for mailed applications).

Say the desired call sign expired on 7/9/2014. The last day the original owner can get it back would be 7/9/2016 and it would be available for vanity selection starting 7/10/2016, which is when you should make your application.

Be aware that there are additional rules that apply if the current owner has died. This can add some additional time to your wait to allow for their family members to obtain the call. If they send in the proper documentation of death, they can apply prior to the two year waiting period as well, but those rules are complicated so if applicable you should research them on the FCC web site.
 
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#3
So if I understand this right, a ULS submission prior to the day the call sign becomes available might get rejected if it gets there before the call sign is available but there are a number of days it can be submitted afterwards and still make the selection pool as they hold the submission period open to accommodate those who mail in their applications.

So using ULS and submitting the day it becomes available or possibly the follow few days should get me in the pool for the random selection.

Correct?
 
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#4
So if I understand this right, a ULS submission prior to the day the call sign becomes available might get rejected if it gets there before the call sign is available but there are a number of days it can be submitted afterwards and still make the selection pool as they hold the submission period open to accommodate those who mail in their applications.

So using ULS and submitting the day it becomes available or possibly the follow few days should get me in the pool for the random selection.

Correct?
The first day available is what you want if it's a popular selection since only those with submissions on that day will be in the pool to be picked. Now if nobody applies on that day the pool will be from those that submit on the first day submissions are received after that day.

For example:
* On the day prior to the call being available, one person submits an application for that call. His application will be rejected as being too early (the call not yet available).
* On the first day the call is available for selection, user A, B, C, D, and E submits their application online while user F mails their application that's postmarked as being mailed on that day. After the waiting period (18 days I believe) to allow time for the applications delivered by the USPS to arrive the FCC will place all 6 valid applications from that day into a pool and select the winner from those six. Any one of those six users, A - F can be selected as the winner, assuming that their applications were valid and had no errors.
* Over the next few days various users submit applications for that call. They will all be rejected since they were submitted after the pool had been gathered.
 

AE7BF

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#5
AE7Q's Amateur Radio Query Tools is a great resource that I use. They give you all the data on canceled call signs, when the "available date" is and such. They also track all the apps submitted, when they're expected to process, etc. It's a great resource.

Brandon
N6WBF
 
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#7
A follow-on question....

If the Available date lands on a Saturday, Sunday or observed holiday, when is the valid application date?
Is it always the following business day?
 
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AE7BF

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#8
Yes regardless of what day of the week the "available date" falls on you should apply on that date. Believe me when it comes to 1x2 or 2x1 calls everyone else will apply on that date and if you wait your app will be dismissed.
 
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#9
Yes regardless of what day of the week the "available date" falls on you should apply on that date.
...but it probably won't do you any good!

According to the AE7Q website (AE7Q's Amateur Radio Database Query Tools), "Note that your application will be posted to the ULS at the end of the first Federal workday after you filed (officially, the receipt date)."

So if you submit your application on a day that is not a Federal workday, it will not be submitted until the end of the next Federal workday.
 
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#10
Say the Available date lands on a Sunday and the following day is a Federal work day. Is there any harm in submitting two applications, one on Sunday and one on Monday?
 

AE7BF

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#11
I don't believe you're supposed to submit multiple apps like that. I would just submit on the Sunday and you'll be in pool. Some believe that if you submit multiple apps like that it hurts your chances but I don't know if there is any real evidence to support that.

Me I don't take the chance, I just submit my app on the available date and then I don't worry about it for a few weeks.
 
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