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Question relating to the use of GMRS frequencies.

Werlucad

Newbie
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
2
Recently I got some new Walkie-Talkies, which are capable of using FRS and GMRS frequencies and I am a complete amateur when it comes to this. In the manual it said that in the GMRS frequencies there is a NOAA weather channel, but it also states that you need a license for GMRS frequencies however it does not state if you need a license to either transmit or listen, or both. I only intend to listen, would I need a license for this?
 

OhSixTJ

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
160
You do not need a license to listen but DO need one for transmitting. The license costs $70 and involves nothing more than filling out the application and submitting it. There is not test like there is with amateur radio.
 

Werlucad

Newbie
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
2
You do not need a license to listen but DO need one for transmitting. The license costs $70 and involves nothing more than filling out the application and submitting it. There is not test like there is with amateur radio.
Much appreciated, I assume this means I can listen to the noaa stations without trouble, right?
 

chief21

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Premium Subscriber
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Mar 2, 2004
Messages
1,139
Location
Summer - Western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
Much appreciated, I assume this means I can listen to the noaa stations without trouble, right?
No problem at all listening to the NOAA weather/all hazards channels. Although there are some specific exceptions, in the US you can pretty much listen to any radio signal that is not encrypted. While a few radio services are "licensed by rule" (CB, FRS, MURS, etc.), most require some type of FCC license to transmit.
 

mmckenna

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Recently I got some new Walkie-Talkies, which are capable of using FRS and GMRS frequencies and I am a complete amateur when it comes to this. In the manual it said that in the GMRS frequencies there is a NOAA weather channel, but it also states that you need a license for GMRS frequencies however it does not state if you need a license to either transmit or listen, or both. I only intend to listen, would I need a license for this?
I beg to differ with the others.

Up until a few years back, there were two radio services:
FRS = 1/2 watt, non removable antenna, 14 channels.
GMRS = 5 or 50 watts depending on the channel, 8 repeater input channels, 8 repeater output/simplex channels, 7 interstitials shared with FRS.

A few years ago, the FCC changed up the rules.

FRS became the 14 original channels, plus the 8 GMRS simplex channels but it had to be under 2 watts and still non-removable antennas.

If your radio falls under 2 watts, has a non-removable antenna, and meets all the requirements (FCC type certification) for the new FRS rules, then no FCC license needs to be applied for. You have to follow the FRS rules, in what is called "License by Rule".

If your radio puts out MORE than 2 watts and/or has a removable antenna, and/or allows access to the GMRS repeater inputs, etc. Then you DO need to apply and receive your valid GMRS license.


I'll add that the consumer level GMRS/FRS radios are pretty lacking in capability. The big benefit to getting your GMRS license is the ability to use better radios, external antennas, etc.

The best place to get info on FRS and GMRS is: Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR)
Straight from the horses mouth. Understanding it all, however, is a whole different challenge.
 
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