The FCC begins phasing in the Universal Licensing System for the Amateur Service August 8 at 4 PM Eastern Time. That's when the FCC will stop accepting batch files that contain new or upgraded licensee data from Volunteer Examiner Coordinators under the current amateur licensing system.
Being phased out under ULS is the familiar paper FCC Form 610 series. A 'universal' Form 605--primarily designed for electronic use but also available on paper--will take its place.
An FCC Public Notice July 23 says the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will begin use of the ULS for the Amateur Service on August 16. The existing Amateur Radio licensing data will be transferred into the ULS database during a weeklong phase-in period. During the phase-in period, the FCC will not process new or upgraded licenses.
Electronic filing of Amateur Radio license renewals using FCC Form 900 ends August 9 at 9 AM Eastern Time. Electronic filing of vanity call sign application Form 610V terminates August 13 at 5:30 PM Eastern Time. Hams should not attempt to file renewal or vanity applications until the ULS comes up August 16.
Starting August 16, hams registered in the ULS may file the new FCC Form 605 electronically at any time of day, seven days a week. FCC Form 605 will be used for license renewals, modifications, cancellations, vanity call sign application, application withdrawals and amendments, as well as requests for duplicate licenses and administrative updates (ie, a change of address or other clerical license modification). Applications for new or upgraded licenses
will continue to be filed through a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator.
Automated processing of electronically filed applications will occur nightly each business day, but five days a week instead of seven. There will be no weekend processing under the ULS.
The FCC has warned that applicants should anticipate processing delays during the first couple of weeks the ULS is in effect.
The FCC will stop accepting most Form 610 applications next February 16, but club station Form 610B will continue to be valid beyond the six-month transition window to allow time for the FCC to implement new handling procedures.
One feature of the new ULS is a renewal reminder sent 90 days prior to a license's expiration date. ULS also will simplify the process of submitting fees to the FCC, and the FCC said it anticipates that the ULS will be capable of accepting credit card payments on-line in the near future.
Registration in the ULS is required. Applicants should use FCC Form 606 for both electronic or manual filing. To register online, visit:http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/uls/ and click on 'TIN/Call Sign Registration.' A paper FCC Form 606 is available at: http://www.fcc.gov/formpage.html or from the FCC's Forms Distribution Center, 800-418-3676.
The FCC will not process future license grants, upgrades,
modifications or renewals for any applicant not registered in the ULS. Individuals eligible to hold a Social Security Number must provide this number to the FCC in order to be registered in the ULS.
A copy of the July 23, 1999 Public Notice is available at:http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/uls.