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past popup code Harvesting Ham Radio Silent Key (SK) Calls as Vanity Calls - W1UL Ham Cram
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What is a Vanity Call? An exciting ham radio development in the US was allowing current license holders the option of selecting a call sign of their own choosing. The desired call must be unassigned and it is subject to some rules. Calls acquired using this procedure are called "Vanity Calls." Ham Radio Vanity Call Background. The most common ham radio vanity calls contain the initial of the applicant as the suffix on their new call. As an example, my call is W1UL and my name is Urb LeJeune. (Note: 1x2 call are for extra class license holders only) Not quite as common are the calls of deceased Elmers or family members.

If you are searching for a call for vanity purposes don't overlook Silent Key (SK) calls. There is an ever increasing list of SKs in QST every month. Another source of harvesting potential vanity calls is From the drop menu select "Biography". Next, enter "Silent Key" as the search string. This action produces a listing of about 1,000 calls. Many are non-US hams and many also have the call holder writing about an Elmer or friend who is now a SK. Let's assume you find several acceptable vanity calls where the holder is a SK but the call is still listed in the name of the holder in the FCC database.

The FCC will not reassign a call sign that is presently licensed to an individual or club, unless they receive a signed written request to have the license canceled--or until two years have elapsed since the license has expired. Only one person or club can hold a call at a time. The Procedure for Canceling a SK Call The FCC requires receipt of a signed request indicating that the current licensee is now deceased (include the deceased licensee's name and call sign in the letter). Either of the two following supporting documents are acceptable as proof:

    1. Copy of a dated obituary (must include date of death)
    2. Copy of a death certificate

Although not technically required, contacting the next-of-kin for permission to cancel a license is a nice gesture. Where ever possible I contact the next-of-kin and asked if a licensed family member would be interested in acquiring the call and offering help with the application.

Requests for cancellation of a deceased Amateur's license along with the supporting information can be submitted through the FCC website :", or by mailing the request to:

FCC - Attn: Amateur Manager
1280 Fairfield Rd
Gettysburg, PA 17325-7237

You can also fax the request to 717-338-2690. On the cover sheet address the fax to: Attn: Amateur Manager.

Allow the FCC one to two weeks to cancel the license. You can verify the FCC has canceled the license by looking up the FCC license call sign data at the link below. FCC Call Sign Lookup Good Luck If the license has been canceled, the FCC database listing shows the license status as "CANCELED".

Happy Hunting
Urb W1UL

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