Vanity Call Sign Limit?

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ckmcdonald

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Is there a limit to the number of times a licensee can request and get a different vanity call sign?
 

ckmcdonald

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I see no limit mentioned any place on the FCC website.
So I assume there isn't a limit.
Anyone know otherwise?
 

k6cpo

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To the best of my knowledge, you can change your call sign as many times as you want, just so long as you stay within the call sign group(s) authorized for your particular license class. However, it's not a practice that's looked on favorably by the ham community in general.
 

N0IU

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There is a petition before the FCC (RM-11775) that proposes that once you are granted a vanity call sign you must keep it for the full 10 years before you can request another. The comment period is over so I am not sure where things stand. Personally, I think it is a good idea.
 

KC4RAF

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I was following the thread "Vanity...Limit",

and read N0IU's post about a petition before the FCC about limit the times an amateur may file for a vanity call sign. Here's the link for those interested:

https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=RM-11775&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

I only read a few of the hundred or so comments, but came upon one that says there should be a $100.00 fee for any vanity call sign application.
I'm not in total disagreement with the comment; but think the fee being quite out of line. There are some who do/have abused the vanity call sign request, (I for one requested and receive a vanity KC4RAF, but am not going for any other; nor do I personally know of anybody who has applied for vanity signs more than twice).
What do other amateurs' think about the petition as a whole?
Not looking for heated arguements or what not, just an idea of the consciousness of the community.
To the mods, if it deems necessary to move the thread, that's ok with me.
73s and a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.
 

W9BU

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A $100 fee won't have the desired result. Folks who want to apply for one vanity callsign after another will do so no matter the cost. I suspect that their intent is to abuse the system and block others from getting desirable callsigns, so the money is probably not an object.

I've held three vanity callsigns (and applied for a few more that I didn't get). I think a time limit might be in order, though 10 years seems too long...maybe 2 years.
 

n5ims

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I agree that the fee won't have much of an affect, while the time limit may do the job if done right. A flat 10 year limit is too long, but perhaps a sliding timeframe may do the trick. Something like you're allowed 1 vanity callsign to be requested anytime after your license is posted in the ULS. A second vanity application can't be submitted until at least 2 years has elapsed after your previous vanity callsign has been assigned. A third vanity callsign can't be requested until 5 years after your second was granted. A forth must wait 10 years, and no further vanity callsigns can be requested.

I might agree that a loophole might be available where you can request a new vanity callsign after you upgrade your license since the available pool will change. This will only end the current waiting period, but further requests will have the normal waiting period.
 

N0IU

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I guess I just don't see this fascination with vanity call signs. Yes, this might sound odd coming from someone who has a vanity call sign, but as of February of next year, I will have had this one for 20 years (and yes, I did already renew it).

When I went from my sequential call sign to this vanity call sign, I did not become better looking, I did not get a raise or promotion at work, I did not gain some magical power that allowed me to correctly pick lottery numbers and so on. I put in for one call sign and I got it and have kept it ever since.

I have no problem with a 10 year waiting period. Other than purely for the sake of vanity, there is no reason to change call signs with only one exception that I can think of and that would be if a relative died and you wanted their call sign (assuming you qualified for it).
 

W9BU

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Lessee, I got K4RXR in 2000 because I had recently moved to Kentucky (4 land) and was a railfan, hence the RXR suffix (railroad crossing).

I moved back to Indiana (9 land) in 2003 and got W9RXR four years later.

I upgraded to Extra in 2007 and got W9BU in 2013 after applying for three other callsigns over the previous five months that I didn't get.

Four different callsigns in 14 years. Have I abused the system? I don't think so.

Oh, two of my previous callsigns are still available.
 

N0IU

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No Bob, that doesn't look like abuse to me.

I guess abusing the vanity system is sort of like pornography.... I can't describe it but I know it when I see it!
 

Hans13

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Well, I think the suggestion is pretty lame. The present system works fine. People can still be looked up by their call sign. That is the reason for it. There's no reason to change it. It doesn't matter if someone changes their's a lot. If there was going to be a fix, reduce the hold time on unallocated vanity calls or eliminate the hold time all together.
 

W9BU

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Scott, you just made my point. Yes, the system is abused. Putting clear, objective limits on the system to prevent abuse will be a difficult task.
 

N0IU

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And to be brutally honest, it doesn't really matter to me since I have had this call for nearly 20 years and I have no intention of changing it. Well, I might change it if the one I really wanted became available. The call sign of the club station at Indiana University - Bloomington is K9IU. I wanted K0IU but the holder of that call is still living. Good for her, bad for me! That being the case, I "settled" for N0IU.

Hey Bob, do you know why they built bridges between Kentucky and Indiana?

Wait for it.....

So the Kentuckians could swim over in the shade!
 

Golay

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Me personally ...

... I'd like to see people only be able to get a 1x2 if it's their actual initials.
Either first and middle name, first and last name, or middle and last name..
That's never gonna happen, but I would like to see it.
 

ckmcdonald

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Just curious what others would considered abusive? If someone got a new call sign every other month it would seem to be only detrimental to the recipient and have little affect on anyone else - it would seem to me. Well, other than it would put a increasing number of call signs in the 2-year wait.

I was assigned a horrid call sign when I got my Tech. A month later I got my General and requested a much more palatable call sign. A year later, last month, I got my Extra and would like to try and get a 4-letter call. Is that considered abusing?
 

K7MEM

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Just curious what others would considered abusive? If someone got a new call sign every other month it would seem to be only detrimental to the recipient and have little affect on anyone else - it would seem to me. Well, other than it would put a increasing number of call signs in the 2-year wait.
If someone does that to a call sign that you want, then it IS detrimental to you. It then limits your available call signs, for no good reason other than personal greed..

I was assigned a horrid call sign when I got my Tech. A month later I got my General and requested a much more palatable call sign. A year later, last month, I got my Extra and would like to try and get a 4-letter call. Is that considered abusing?
To me, abuse is obtaining multiple call signs just so that someone else can not have them. So far you have only been through three call signs. And some of them are call signs that probably nobody wants. But you can readily find the name of a ham who has had 57 call signs since 2001.

What do you mean my a 4-letter call? I assume you mean a 1x2 or a 2x1, which has three letters and one number. Valid call signs for an Extra are any one of the 2x1 , 1x2, 1x3, 2x3, with some restrictions.

1x2 or a 2x1 call signs are very difficult to get. In many areas, 1x2 or a 2x1 call signs are all used up. And, those that come available are effectively obtained only by lottery. You put in your application, at the correct time, and hope for the best. Try "RadioQTH Amateur Radio Vanity License Search" to see what is available. So, don't overlook the 1x3 call signs.

Martin - K7MEM
 

KD8DVR

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Just curious what others would considered abusive? If someone got a new call sign every other month it would seem to be only detrimental to the recipient and have little affect on anyone else - it would seem to me. Well, other than it would put a increasing number of call signs in the 2-year wait.

I was assigned a horrid call sign when I got my Tech. A month later I got my General and requested a much more palatable call sign. A year later, last month, I got my Extra and would like to try and get a 4-letter call. Is that considered abusing?
You can, at any time request a new sequential call sign. It is assigned faster than a vanity....next business day. Of course, it's the luck of the draw.

AntiSquid Disclaimer: All posted content is personal opinion only and may not imply fact or accusation.
 

W9BU

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I was assigned a horrid call sign when I got my Tech. A month later I got my General and requested a much more palatable call sign. A year later, last month, I got my Extra and would like to try and get a 4-letter call. Is that considered abusing?
No, I don't think applying for a new callsign with a license upgrade is abusing the system.

The FCC explains the sequential callsign system here. Glossing over a few geographically specific details, here is the essence of how the system works:

Group A -- 1x2, 2x1, or 2x2 starting with "A". Assigned to holders of Extra class licenses.
Group B -- 2x2 starting with "K", "N", or "W". Assigned to holders of Advanced class licenses.
Group C -- 1x3 starting with "K", "N", or "W". Assigned to holders of General or Technician class licenses.
Group D -- 2x3 starting with "K" or "W". Assigned to holders of Novice class licenses.

You are eligible for your assigned group or any group lower than yours. For example, if you hold a General license, you are eligible for a Group C or Group D callsign.

Why does Group B still exist? Even though the FCC no longer issues new Advanced class licenses, the FCC never abolished the class and there are about 50,000 amateur radio operators who still hold Advanced class licenses.

Since all of the Group C callsigns have been sequentially issued or are otherwise not available, new General and new Technicians get a Group D callsign.

So, if you passed the Technician test today as your entry to amateur radio, you'd get a sequentially issued Group D callsign. If you then upgrade to General, you can either keep your callsign or request a new sequentially issued callsign which means you'll get another Group D callsign. If you then upgrade to Extra, you can either keep your callsign or request a new sequentially issued callsign which means you'll get a Group A 2x2 callsign starting with "A".

At any time after the first callsign has been issued, you can apply for whatever vanity callsign you are eligible for. So, if you pass the Technician test and the FCC issues you your Group D callsign, you can then apply for any available Group C or Group D callsign as a vanity callsign.

The "abuse" comes in when people apply for a new vanity callsign on a very frequent basis. Because the callsign that they vacate is held for two years before being put back into the pool, these individuals are essentially blocking anyone else from getting that callsign.

Let's say that N5TE becomes available. This is viewed by many CW operators (mostly contesters and DXers) as a desirable callsign because it is very short to send (da-dit di-di-di-di-di-dit dah dit). Seeing that it's available, I apply for it, along with two dozen other guys. I win the FCC's vanity callsign lottery and I'm now N5TE. After I see in the FCC's ULS database that the new callsign has been issued, I decide to play a mean trick on my friends so I apply for a different callsign and get it. Because I vacated N5TE, it is not available to anybody for two years. This is one way that the system is being abused.
 
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