FCC Sets Date to Mandate FRNs for New Licensees

The FCC has set May 20, 2021, as the end date for amateur radio license applicants to take advantage of the “FCC Registration Number (FRN) auto-registration”. 

What does this mean?  The FCC has allowed new amateur license applicants to apply for license issuance by using their Social Security Number (SSN) for a very long time.  When an applicant did so, the FCC would assign an FRN to the licensee when the application was received.

We have been advised by the FCC that this change was coming but didn’t have a firm implementation date.  The Anchorage ARC VEC has required that all applicants indeed secure an FRN prior to testing since the FCC provided the initial advisory that this change was coming.  This announcement, therefore, does not impact Anchorage ARC VEC procedures but sets a hard date by the FCC for this change to take place.

Here is the message we received today, April 14, 2021, from the FCC today regarding this issue:



Effective Thursday, May 20, 2021, the FCC will be discontinuing the FCC Registration Number (FRN) auto-registration feature. This means that EBF filed applications that do not have an FRN, will no longer be accepted. If the application does not contain an FRN it will be rejected with a new error, “10897 FRN Required. TIN/SGIN and Licensee ID/SGIN is no longer valid.” Along with this change, the social security/licensee ID field will be disabled.

We would like to thank the exam coordinators for working with new applicants to register for an FCC User Account and associated FRN before submitting their applications. You can refer applicants to an instructional video that provides step by step instructions regarding how to establish an account. This is a necessary step that will help new users navigate FCC systems and aid in the user’s abilities to make license administrative updates and download electronic license authorizations.

As a reminder, EBF filers are encouraged to provide an email address for licensees on all applications. When an email is provided, the licensees will receive an electronic issuance of an official copy of their licenses upon application grant. We are aware that certain email preferences and email services may potentially block or filter incoming email attachments. If this is a concern, we suggest that the applicants email preferences be set to allow incoming email from before their applications are submitted. 

If no e-mail is provided, the licensees will need to login to ULS and download their authorizations, as no paper copies are distributed. The instructions for downloading an authorization can be found at:

If you have any questions about this new process, please reach out to

Federal Communications Commission

We are still waiting for word and specific procedures regarding when the new $35 filing fee will go into effect.


Kent Petty, KL5T
Chairman, Anchorage ARC VEC