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RARS License Classes and License Exams


RARS Resumes Licensing Classes

RARS is pleased to report that we recently completed teaching a Technician licensing class over three Saturday mornings in March 2024, leading up to the testing session at RARSfest on April 6. Twelve students attended all three sessions.

We are currently planning to offer another Technician class in September 2024 and considering future classes for all license levels. Please contact Denny Oestreich, the RARS Education Director,, to express your interest in future classes. And tell those friends whom you have been trying to get to join the hobby!

Exams Conducted by the RARS VE Team

Amateur radio licenses in the United States are issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but the examinations are administered by teams of licensed amateur radio operators who have been accredited as Volunteer Examiners (VEs) by a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC). The RARS Volunteer Examiners are accredited through the Laurel VEC.

The RARS VE Team conducts exams on the fourth Tuesday of even–numbered months (February, April, June, August, October, and December) prior to the RARS Gathering at the Ridge Road Baptist Church, 2011 Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607. You do not need to be a RARS member to test with us.

  • If The Gathering is canceled for any reason, such as a conflict with a holiday, there won't be an exam session, either.
  • Preregistration is preferred and may be done by submitting the registration form below (use the scroll bar, and select the Ridge Rd location and date), or by messaging the RARS VE Chair.
  • Exams begin at 6:00 pm so exam applicants may attend the RARS Gathering after they complete their exams.

The RARS VE Team also conducts exams at the annual RARSfest and Cary Swapfest events. For hamfest exam sessions, see the appropriate hamfest webpage, flier, or other publicity information for information about the test session.

FCC Requirements


License exams administered by Laurel VEC examiners, including RARS, are free. However, once you pass a test that results in a new license being granted, you are required to pay a $35 fee to the U.S. Department of the Treasury before the license will be granted. Information on how to pay this fee will be given to successful applicants at the test session and will also be sent by email from the FCC to directly to the applicant. (Note that changes to an existing license, including upgrades and changes of address, do not result in a new license being granted, so no fee is charged.)


You must have a FCC Registration Number (FRN) before you can take any license examination. If you are already licensed, you already have a FRN; it's on your copy of your license. If you do not have a FRN, you must apply for one on-line, directly from the FCC. This page explains how to obtain a FRN. While you may apply for a FRN at the test session, it is highly advisable to obtain it in advance of the session, as the FCC website is often down for maintenance during non-business hours and on weekends, which is when we administer most of our exams.

Other Required Information

In addition to the FRN and your name, address, and call sign (if any), you must provide your email address and daytime phone number. All correspondence with the FCC, including issuing licenses and disseminating information on collection of fees, is done via email. Also, problems with processing your application can be expedited by contacting you by phone using the number you provide.

Other Exam Sessions Given in the Area

There are several other VE teams operating in the area, so exam opportunities are available throughout the year. To locate exam sessions that are convenient for your location and schedule, go to the ARRL's license exam search page. There you will find sessions being conducted by both RARS and other VE teams.
Dick Bitner Benevolent Fund
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