Address change

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n5ims

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According to the FCC "Licensees are required to apply for timely modification of their licenses as necessary to show their correct mailing address, name, club name, license trustee, or custodian name."

Here is how you can do it at no charge online directly with the FCC FCC: Wireless Services: Amateur Radio Service: Amateur Licensing: Common Filing Tasks: Changing Address

Most of the VEC agencies can also process your change of address for you although many have a small fee to do this for you. Links below for a few if you'd rather go this route.

W5YI-VEC : Amateur License Renewals / Address Changes ($8.00 fee)
W4VEC Volunteer Examiner Coordinator ($6.00 fee)
 
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DaveNF2G

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How do we end up with all of these licensed hams who don't know how to interact with the FCC?

Not to mention people who need info from a federal agency and for some reason don't comprehend that every one of them has its own website.
 

n5ims

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How do we end up with all of these licensed hams who don't know how to interact with the FCC?

Not to mention people who need info from a federal agency and for some reason don't comprehend that every one of them has its own website.
It could be that the VEC groups attempt to make it sound like you must go through them (and pay their fee) to do anything with your license and that attempts to do it directly FCC will be rejected without notice. When my license came up for renewal, I got several letters from different VEC groups that included the VEC form for renewal that boldly stated thatI had to send it in to the VEC (with their fee) for the renewal to be processed. Sending it to the FCC will cause it to be rejected without notice, causing your license to expire. Only if you carefully read their fine print did it say that you could renew on-line or via mail using the FCC form (not the VEC form) without charge.
 
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DaveNF2G

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If someone gets a letter explaining how to renew or whatever, then why should they need to ask anyone else? Evidently you were clever enough to not only understand the instructions, but also to see through to the small print and realize that the claims were bogus.

By the way, have you reported these fraudulent letters to the FCC or anyone? Demanding money for services that are offered free of charge is a crime, and trying to collect fees beyond what the FCC has authorized for VECs to collect is a good way to lose VEC accreditation.
 

N0IU

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By the way, have you reported these fraudulent letters to the FCC or anyone? Demanding money for services that are offered free of charge is a crime, and trying to collect fees beyond what the FCC has authorized for VECs to collect is a good way to lose VEC accreditation.
Nice bit of misinformation there Dave! I'm glad you're not my lawyer!

§ 97.527 Reimbursement for expenses.
(a) VEs and VECs may be reimbursed by examinees for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in preparing, processing, administering, or coordinating an examination for an amateur operator license.
The ONLY involvement the FCC has in terms of what a VEC can charge is in the course of "...preparing, processing, administering, or coordinating AN EXAMINATION..." Part 97 says NOTHING about what a VEC can charge for any other service... like renewing a license!

This is America. Charging someone to do something for them that they could otherwise do themselves for free is called being an entrepreneur and the last time I checked, that wasn't illegal! The ARRL and W5YI both charge for license study material that can easily be obtained for free on the Internet. How dare they!

It happens all the time!

We've all seen commercials on TV from these law firms who warn you not to attempt to navigate through the maze of government red tape when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance. My late wife went on SSDI and the social worker at the hospital submitted all the forms and her claim went through... first time! There was no charge from the hospital.

My mother, who just turned 88, is now living in an assisted living facility. The home said that since she is a veteran, she might be eligible for assistance from the VA and handed me a card from a law firm that specializes in submitting claims to the VA. I got all the forms from the VA and then had a benefits advocate from the local VFW help me fill out the forms and send them in. Of course there was no charge from the VFW.

Fortunately, renewing an amateur radio license is one of the easiest things to do, but it can be intimidating to some people, especially those who are not technically inclined. For what some of these VEC's charge for this may be immoral, but it is by no means illegal!
 
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DaveNF2G

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Exactly. VECs are not authorized under Part 97 to collect fees for anything other than license examinations. There is nothing in there that permits them to make a business out of renewals, address changes, or other license maintenance.

Besides, the letters referenced were in fact fraudulent where they alleged a requirement that paperwork be processed through the VEC for a fee.
 

N0IU

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Exactly. VECs are not authorized under Part 97 to collect fees for anything other than license examinations. There is nothing in there that permits them to make a business out of renewals, address changes, or other license maintenance.

Besides, the letters referenced were in fact fraudulent where they alleged a requirement that paperwork be processed through the VEC for a fee.
I think you're missing the point. VEC's don't need the FCC's permission to charge for renewals, address changes, or other license maintenance. There is nothing illegal about charging for those things.

As far as it being a requirement, the letters apparently do state, albeit in "fine print", that licenses may be renewed online at no charge so I would think they might be guilty of questionable business practices, but certainly nothing illegal. I feel fairly confident that the ARRL and W5YI checked this out thoroughly with their lwayers before sending out these notices.

Dave, what communications lawyer did you consult in order to come up with your opinion?
 

n5ims

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Exactly. VECs are not authorized under Part 97 to collect fees for anything other than license examinations. There is nothing in there that permits them to make a business out of renewals, address changes, or other license maintenance.

Besides, the letters referenced were in fact fraudulent where they alleged a requirement that paperwork be processed through the VEC for a fee.
Actually the letters only stated that the FCC wouldn't accept the VEC form, which is factual. The FCC will only accept and process the appropriate FCC form. They won't accept the VEC form, nor will they accept a letter politely asking to renew your license. For that matter, the FCC generally accepts only the current version of a form once the grace period has passed for processing the previous version.
 
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