A GMRS radio is a portable device that is used for short-distance communication in the United States. The letters GMRS are an Acronym that stands for General Mobile Radio Service. The service was first introduced in the 1960s and was called Class A Citizens Radio. As technology improved, fewer and fewer people utilized the service. Finally, the service changed its name to GMRS at which time the FCC required that all people who use the system obtain a license.
In this article, we will be discussing exactly why the FCC requires people who communicate on a GMRS radio to file for a license. We are also going to briefly take you through the process and tell you what you need to do to obtain a GMRS license.
Why do you need a license?
Probably the most valid reason the FCC gives for needing a license to operate a GMRS is so that only people who really need them will apply. This allows those who use the radios to communicate on them whenever they like without being interrupted. Licensing also established public records of the people using the radio and the stations they communicate on, so others who use the spectrum can speak on different station if they are in the same area. The records are also used to identify a malfunctioning radio that is causing interference on other channels.
Licensing is also a way to make sure the GMRS applicant has chosen the right radio service for his needs. These days, a GMRS radio is no longer used to chat with your neighbors or others in your community. The radio is used almost exclusively by family members who own their own businesses and want to communicate with each other throughout the day on a free service. That is why only the family members of the licensee are allowed to use the service for personal business.
Do you really need a license?
Yes, you really do. The FCC monitors the GMRS spectrum pretty closely and if you are caught communicating over the service without a valid license, you will be fined.
How do you go about applying for a license?
Applying for a GMRS license is easier than ever. You can either file online at the Universal Licensing System (ULS), or file an FCC Form 605 that can be downloaded and printed from the website. If you are a new filer, you can learn all about the process on the ULS website.
What to expect?
The application form will not only ask you what you will be using the radio for but also which members will be utilizing the service. Your license entitles everyone in your immediate family access to the service. You can expect to pay a standard licensing fee of about eighty-five dollars. This license is valid for five years at which time it must be renewed. The standard waiting time for the issuance of a license is 4-8 weeks.