Do you know if all your FCC licenses are still active? When was the last time you looked at your licenses? The FCC no longer sends out license renewal reminders by mail. All license notifications from the FCC is by email to the email address in the official license record. Public Safety FCC licenses are issued for a ten-year period so licenses coming up for renewal can have contact information that is ten years old, or possibly older if it wasn’t updated the last time it was renewed. Is the email contact on your license(s) correct and valid? Is the email on record going to a specific person and that person is no longer in that position or even with your agency? If so, notification from the FCC that your license is due for renewal is not being received and if you don’t renew the license, it will be cancelled by the FCC. Even though your mailing address and contact phone number are on record, ALL contact from the FCC regarding your license is to the email address on record.
Since the FCC’s change in notification procedures frequency coordinators are finding more and more licenses showing up as cancelled during their coordination activities. Six months after a license is cancelled the frequencies on that license can be considered as available for licensure to another agency. Further, the FCC considers continued use of expired licenses as operating without a license and can issue fines to the agency doing so if caught. And in that case, they won’t rely on email, they will contact you directly.
What can you do and what should you do? Review all of your licenses as soon as possible for expiration dates and contact information. You can do that at this link to the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) License Search (fcc.gov) where you can search on each of your call signs. If the contact information isn’t correct, correct it immediately. This can be done by filing an administrative filing (application) with the FCC. It is recommended that an email address that is not tied to a specific person by name is used. See if your IT Administrator can set up a shared email address such as radio.license@… or fcc.license@… Make sure there are several people responsible for looking at that email address on a continual basis. Develop a database of all your licenses and their expiration dates. Set reminders to have them renewed within 90 days of their expiration date (the FCC won’t accept renewals more than 90 days prior to expiration).
If want or need help managing your licenses and updating your information, APCO AFC, APCO’s Spectrum Management Division can do this for you. You can get more information about APCO’s license management service at this link License Management – APCO International (apcointl.org). Don’t let your license be cancelled, make sure your email contact address is up to date.