We are now offering FREE testing for amateur radio licenses! How? I’m glad you asked. The FCC does not charge for the licensing service.
VEC groups such as the ARRL and W5YI set their fees based on a ‘not to exceed’ amount agreed upon by all of the VEC groups. Currently W5YI is $14, ARRL is $15. The local VE teams get to keep a portion of that fee to cover their expenses, the rest goes to the VEC group for their processing fee.
We found a group that does not charge any processing fees. http://www.laurelvec.com/
The sponsoring club agrees to cover administrative costs or printing and postage, and the VEC simply forwards the info to the FCC for free. Instead of the local VE team sending the paperwork to the VEC to process, the team enters it into the computer itself and at the end of the session, they send that file via email to a regional processor.
We still send in the paper tests for them to have on file for verification. it takes a little more time for the local VE team leader, but it is worth it.
Currently, all of our printing is donated, and the postage for the sessions is less than $2 per session.
Laurel also utilizes regional processors to verify and forward their files to the FCC. This means that the workload is distributed, rather than sent to a single location for processing like ARRL and W5YI do.
This makes the process much faster; Laurel has the license on the FCC site sometimes within 48 hours!
We hope that by removing the expense to get licensed, it will open doors for many more to enter into this exciting hobby. It also gives the Club great exposure; there are no other clubs in the area offering free testing. Perhaps they will invest that $15 into a club membership or their first radio.
We need your help. We need VE’s willing to volunteer an hour of 2 of time once a month for testing. There is no fee to be a VE, just fill out the application attached, scan and email it back to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have a scanner, contact me and I will arrange to pick it up.
We prefer to have Advanced or Extra class as VE’s since they can test at all levels, but if you are a General, you can also sign up, but are limited to candidates you can score. You can be a VE for all of the VE groups, there is no exclusivity.
If you have not completed a application for Laurel, you need to do one, even if you are already ARRL and/or W5YI.. A Laurel VE application can be downloaded by clicking here.
If you have any questions or need more info, please feel free to contact Alan Slaughter.
email@example.com or 850-933-1574.