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GMRS newbie/ettiquette

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Mar 13, 2012
Western Coast, Los Angeles

Back in 1999, I purchased two FRS Radios for typical 2 way use. Well, recently, I have come into a few situations that will absolutely benefit from having a network of handhelds, so I picked up two more radios that should be compatible with the FRS Units. Then, I started researching. I have no desire to be a pirate, so I got my official CallSign today.

I have been reading rules and regs daily and I understand taht one must identify one's self with a callsing when leglally using the GMRS. Gotcha. But as for specifics?

Am I required to state my call sign after each transmission? Is it good etiquette to do so?

Can anyone clue me in on potential newbie mistakes? Is there a forum post?


Feb 22, 2008
Thanks for being honest and getting your GMRS license.

Honestly, I don't know that its necessary after every transmission. Maybe every 10 mins or so during a conversation, or at the beginning and end of a conversation should be sufficient.


EMS Dispatcher
Jul 8, 2002
Cobb County, GA
If you are talking simplex, I really wouldn't worry too much about it as your transmissions are lucky to go more than a couple of miles. On the repeater, yeah, about every 10 minutes or so, but most of the time you will find out you are only on it for a few minutes. Whenever I call with no answer, I clear myself my just giving my call sign. When I'm finished talking, I just give the old WQKM383 Clear.


Jul 11, 2010
I understand taht one must identify one's self with a callsing when leglally using the GMRS. Gotcha. But as for specifics? Am I required to state my call sign after each transmission? Is it good etiquette to do so?
The GMRS rule on station ID is clear. You can state your callsign after each communication or after a series of communications. Most users practice the latter, that is, at the end of the contact or occasionally during the contact but not at the end of every transmission. At the start of the contact it's more common to hear unit numbers than callsigns.

The rule (see below) also provides for ID during a long transmission.

A rule that can trip people up is 95.119(e). Users will think they don't have to ID their station if the repeater sends an ID. Actually the rule applies to repeaters. The repeater doesn't have to ID if the stations using it do ID properly.

Etiquette? There are a few traditions in GMRS. Ones that come to mind are:

* Be sure you have permission to use a repeater if you are not one of its regular authorized users.

* Of course always monitor before transmitting. If you are using tone decode then the decode has to be off so you can hear transmissions using other tones.

* Unit numbers are common in GMRS. Although the FCC says a unit number may be included after the callsign, it's usually spoken before the callsign. "927 clear, KAZ9999".

* Direct communication without the repeater is more common in GMRS than, say, in Amateur Radio. Hams call this "simplex" while in GMRS it's called "direct" or, borrowing a term from commercial mobile radio, "talkaround". The usual etiquette is to go direct unless you need greater range and thus have to use the repeater.

Here's the ID rule:

95.119 Station identification.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (e), every GMRS station must transmit a station identification:

(1) Following the transmission of communications or a series of communications; and

(2) Every 15 minutes during a long transmission.

(b) The station identification is the call sign assigned to the GMRS station or system.

(c) A unit number may be included after the call sign in the identification.

(d) The station identification must be transmitted in:

(1) Voice in the English language; or

(2) International Morse code telegraphy.

(e) A station need not identify its transmissions if it automatically retransmits communications from another station which are properly identified.
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