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Amateur Radio License Exam

Amateur radio (or “ham radio”) is used by people all over the world to communicate over radio waves. Some people use ham radio for emergency preparedness, to provide communications support for community events, to report on severe weather and natural disasters, as a social activity, and even occasionally to contact crew members on the International Space Station. If you are interested in ham radio, consider taking a class to prepare for the ham radio exam to get your license.

We administer amateur radio license exams both online and in-person, having proctored over 2,600 exams. We’ve taught amateur radio classes for over 17 years with tremendous success. Hundreds of people have taken our classes with 99% having passed the exam to become licensed operators. We offer classes for all three levels of amateur radio license exams: Technician, General, Amateur Extra, as well as Morse Code. Plus, if you take a class with us, you will have downloadable lecture study guides and charts, free access to our weekly Online Radio Shop Talk sessions, and a free pass to one of our Morse Code courses. You also get a guest pass to the NEAR/STARS Radio Rooms and ONLINE radio club meetings for 3 months, online or in-person.

Online Exams

  • NOTE:  We are no longer offering regular online exams since they are available everywhere in person now with no COVID restrictions. If you really need an online exam, register with one of our associate teams, PARC Radio & Technology by scheduling here: for more information go to:

In-Person Exams

  • Candidates please follow the procedures below for IN-PERSON Ham Radio Exams given in Natick, MA. 
  • Volunteer Examiners please sign up to help at exams directly from the Events Calendar.


  • The VE Team of New England Amateur Radio, Inc. (NEAR) offers regular in-person amateur radio license exams at New England Sci-Tech, 16 Tech Circle, Natick, MA. Doors open approximately 10 minutes before exam time.
  • Schedule an appointment for an exam AFTER you have read and agreed to the exam protocols on this page.
  • Consider taking one of our ONLINE Courses since memorizing answers is not really learning the material.
  • After you take the exam on a Tuesday evening, you are welcome to stay for the radio club meeting which often includes a guest speaker on a cool radio technology topic.
  • After you take the exam on a Sunday afternoon, you are invited to visit the radio room for a quick tour and discussion of what to do next with your new license or upgrade. You may even try out a radio and make some contacts.
  • Get amateur radio club news by signing up for the newsletter: Newsletter Signup
  • Parents, download a concise HAM RADIO FAQ for Parents discussing exams, how your child may participate, the benefits and opportunities. A “must read” for parents who have children who want to get a ham radio license.
  • For more information email or call 508-720-4179.
Upcoming Exams
Upcoming Exams

View Calendar 

Warning: You must be fully prepared for a ham radio test

  • Practice! Be sure you are consistently scoring above an 85% on practice tests.
  • Know the material! You should be able to complete the exam within 15 minutes. Most questions are short and simple concepts.
  • Practice Sites: We recommend either, a free site with lots of tips, or ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio™, a free site from the national ham radio group that you may want to join.
  • One Exam per Session. Due to tight scheduling of other events after the exams, you may normally take only ONE exam per session, unless you have prearranged for multiple exams with the exam team. You must have studied, practiced, and are scoring passing grades for the exams you want to take. Email us in advance.
  • Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam (CSCE): The Exam Manager will email you a CSCE that includes your digital signature that you will keep for your records when you pass any element.


  • Exam Application: At the time you make an appointment for an in-person exam (see schedule above), you will follow a LINK to YOUR specific exam session where you will fill out an exam application (an electronic VEC Form 605).
  • Federal Registration Number (FRN): If you do not have an FRN, get an FRN ahead of time by visiting the FCC's Registration Page  and clicking “Register for an FRN.” This number will uniquely identify you in all transactions with the FCC. You will need your SSN# to apply for an FRN. An instructional video provides step-by-step instructions on how to establish an account.
  • Email Address: Applicants must provide an email address on their license application, which will trigger the electronic issuance of the CSCE and an official copy of their license to the email provided. – per FCC statement
  • Privacy Information: Please know that getting a ham radio license will make your name and address become public information when the new license is issued, just like phone book. An alternative address, such as a PO Box, would be acceptable. See details here: Social security numbers, phone numbers, and email addresses are never published.
  • Basic Qualification Question: Applicants must answer the FCC basic qualification question (felony question). If an applicant answers YES, they must submit the required documentation directly to FCC within 14 days as outlined in these instructions The candidate should not communicate any information or documents to the Volunteer Examiner team or the VEC.
  • FCC Enforcement Advisory: “Amateur and Personal Radio Services Licensees and Operators may not use radio equipment to commit or facilitate criminal acts.” “Individuals using radios in the Amateur or Personal Radio Services in this manner may be subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and, in some cases, criminal prosecution.” Download the complete FCC Enforcement Advisory – FCC Public Notice.
  • FCC $35 license Fee: A $35 FCC license fee applies to new, renewal, and modification applications that request a new vanity call sign. When the FCC receives the examination information, it will email a link with payment instructions to each qualifying candidate. The candidate will have 10 calendar days, from the date of the application file number being issued, to pay. After the fee is paid, and the FCC has processed an application, examinees will receive a second email from the FCC with a link to their official license. The link will be valid for 30 days. If the exam candidate is under age 18, visit the national ARRL site for information on a reimbursement program for youth: 


  • APPOINTMENT and Exam Application: Go to this this LINK and select an IN-PERSON EXAM with New England Amateur Radio in Natick. There you will REGISTER to fill out an exam application (an electronic VEC Form 605).
  • Exam Fee: You will pay at the door by cash or check when you arrive for your exam. Normally the exam fee is $15 for one attempt at all three license elements. However, if a candidate does not pass a test and wants to re-test for the same element, they must pay an additional fee. We will forward the fee to the ARRL VEC along with your exam scores and application. Make checks out to New England Amateur Radio, Inc.
  • U.S. PHOTO ID: ONE legal PHOTO ID will need to be shown to the VE Team. Adults must show a U.S. or state-issued driver’s license, non-driver state ID, or U.S. passport. Under-18 students may show one of the above items, or the student shows a school ID or birth certificate and a legal guardian presents a photo ID.
  • Parental Consent: For children under age 13, a parent must download and complete this COPPA Parental Consent Form and email it to the address on the COPPA form. Parent will stay in the room during a child’s exam.


  1. One legal U.S. photo ID.
  2. Check or cash for $15 exam fee. Make checks out to New England Amateur Radio, Inc.
  3. A calculator with the memory erased and formulas cleared. (We have calculators, if you want to use ours.)
  4. You may not bring any written notes or calculations into the exam session. You may not use devices with Internet capability such as smartphones, smartwatches, etc.
  5. Upgrading to a new license class? If your previous license or upgrade is still pending (not yet in the FCC database), bring a photocopy of your current license and/or Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) from previous exam sessions.


The Exam Manager will read to you the PROTOCOL for IN-PERSON Exams:

(*Parent or guardian of a child candidate must be present for the rules and answer questions. If child is under 13, a parent will remain in the room with the child.)

  1. You must complete the test without any interruptions that would raise suspicion about the integrity of the exam.
  2. Keep attention on your exam workspace at all times. You may not leave your seat during the exam session.
  3. Do not read questions out loud or talk to yourself. Silence your cell phone during the exam.
  4. Please remove any drinks, snacks, papers, or anything else from around your exam workspace.
  5. You ARE permitted to use a scrap paper, pencil, and manual calculator. You may not use any other kind of assistance unless pre-arranged and within FCC rules. (We supply paper, pencils, and calculators, but you may bring your own.)
  6. You agree that if the Exam Team suspects a possibility of cheating, the exam may be terminated and the exam fee forfeited.
  7. The exam manger will explain how to take the exam on a computer.
  8. When you finish, the exam manager will show you how to sign electronically.
  9. The exam manager will email your Certificate of Completion of Exam (CSCE) to the address you used to register.
  10. The exam manager will explain how the FCC will email instructions and link to pay the $35 license application fee for new candidates and how upgrade candidates may get on the air right away.