FCC to Mandate FRN Establishment Prior to License Application Submission

On February 7, the FCC notified VECs that they held an online presentation on December 20, 2018 which discussed the upcoming Commission Registration System (CORES) changes, and its effect on new radio operators.  The takeaway from the message is that the FCC will, “in the near future” require new FCC Registrants to establish an FCC account containing an FCC Username (a valid email address), which will be linked to their FCC Registration Number (FRN).

What does this mean?  It means that in order for an application for amateur radio license to be processed by the FCC, the applicant will have had to establish their FRN so that it can be included on the application.  In the past, an individual could have used their Social Security Number (SSN) when they did not have or did not know their FRN.

It also means that existing license holders who wish to upgrade will need to use their FRN on the license application form.  We often see these current license holders use their SSN because they didn’t have their FRN available at the time of filing.

This is not yet required, and we are not sure when it will be required.  However, we encourage ALL new applicants to establish their FRN when preparing for their initial examination session.  This will help streamline the process and ensure there are no delays in filing.

The FCC has created a step-by-step video which instructs new applicants on how to use the “new” CORES system to register an FCC profile and FRN.  The video does walk you through the complete process, and in the end, the applicant will have their FRN immediately upon completion of the online application process; there is no waiting for something to arrive in the mail from the FCC.  Here is the link: instructional video from YouTube.

Please feel free to drop me a note at with any questions.


Kent Petty. KL5T
Chairman, Anchorage ARC VEC