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If your name is not here, contact:
Kenneth G. Burton

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Ham License Information
The classes go Novice, Technician, General, Advanced, and Extra.    Two or three years ago they eliminated the Novice and Advanced classes for new
license holders.  Existing license holders kept their licenses and privileges.  My wife Laurie is KD9EU (an advanced class license holder) which is no longer being issued.

All US radio call signs (Amateur and otherwise) begin with A, K, N, or W which were assigned by an international agreement.  The Canadian calls begin
with VE or VA for amateurs and C for commercial stations.

The US is divided into 10 call districts and the number in the call sign indicates the district where the call was issued.  In my case the nine in
N9CV is Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin.   In Canada, with one exception, each province has it's own number.

The length of the call in the US indicates the class of license.  6 digit calls (example KA9ABC) were Novice calls.   5 digit calls in a 1 by 3 combination (example K9ABC) were Technician and General classes) 5 digit calls in a 2 by 2 combination (example KD9EU) were Advanced class  4 digit calls were (example N9CV or NC9V) were extra class.

The FCC has run out of General and Extra calls in most districts of the country.  With the elimination of the Novice class,  6 digit calls are now new Technician class licenses.   5 digit 2 by 2 calls (formerly issued to Advanced class) are now the new Extra class licenses.

One GMCnet user Terry Taylor (N6MON) uses his call for an id on GMCnet.   

If one upgrades to a higher class license they do not have to change their call to a higher class format, so many users that have 5 or 6 digit calls are really higher class license holders.  A good example of this is Gene Fisher (mrerf) he has a WB6AWL call but is an advanced class license holder.  His call was issued years ago under different rules and he chooses to keep his 6 digit call sign rather than change to the current advanced class format (2x2).

Each class of license up the line allows additional privileges in modes of operation and bands where they may go so there is an incentive to upgrade.    The rules are similar, but not necessarily the same, in other countries of the world.
Ken Burton - N9CV