Getting your GMRS license

Hulk

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I went ahead and paid the $70 to get a GMRS license. This is not required to operate an FRS radio, so don't be fooled. Anyone can buy and use one of those super common FRS handheld radios with no license.

Very brief comparison of FRS vs GMRS:
  • The FRS (Family Radio Service) is authorized 22 channels in the 462 MHz and 467 MHz range, all of which are shared with GMRS. You can operate at 0.5 W or 2.0 W depending on the channel.
  • The GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) has 30 authorized channels in the same range. You can operate at 0.5 W, 5 W, or 50 W depending on the channel. So the benefit is more channels and more power for some (not all) of the channels.
One thing to note if you want to apply for your GMRS license: the FCC lists the radio service as ZA not GM when you apply. This is super non-intuitive... your government at work!

ZA-GMRS.jpg
 

Romer

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Hmm, so apparently I have two GMRS radios and never knew it. Didnt know it requires a license, or does it?
 

Hulk

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Differences between FRS and GMRS are transmission power & bandwidth for 15 of the 22 channels, plus 8 repeater frequencies. So for a trail run, it may not be significant enough to warrant getting GMRS.

I pulled this chart from here and added a few notes of my own.

Note: Updated chart on 1/18/2022 with better info concerning channels 8-14.

FRS-GMRS-frequencies.png
 
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Inukshuk

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Romer

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I went ahead and got my GMRS license. I looked around for a while for the right location as my last visit was to renew my license which is a different link

Here is where you go and you can login with the same info you use for your HAM

 

FJCDan

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Received my call sign today, WRNM292. Still charging $70 for license, that sucks. Waiting for radio to come.
 

AimCOTaco

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I want to get licensed as well but waiting for them to get the fee corrected first.
 

DaveInDenver

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I want to get licensed as well but waiting for them to get the fee corrected first.
The gate keeper was that the FCC had to go to Congress with a new fee schedule for them to approve before going into effect. I don't know if that's happened or not. But I'm assuming that it did not as July 1 was the start of the 4th quarter of the Federal government fiscal year and it would have probably been put into place then. At this point I gotta think October 1 being the next possible date for implementation and it sure seems like revising FCC fees is at the very bottom of anyone's to-do list in Washington. In August the FCC and FEMA are focused on some huge emergency alert system test, for one example.

ETA: By the way, I meant with this rant to say if you're considering whether to pay for a GMRS license you will not be more glacial than the FedGov when it tends towards glaciation. The difference between getting it now or waiting is less than a penny a day (e.g. at $70 it costs 1.9¢/day over 10 years).

I know, it's the principle. On the flip side when this goes into effect ham licenses and renewals won't be free so since you're dual service licensee think of that $70 you spend now to augment your $0 ham ticket as offsetting. Your average cost was $35 per service. :)
 
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DaveInDenver

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ARRL VEC said:
FCC Application Fees Unlikely to Go into Effect Until 2022

08/16/2021

The schedule of FCC amateur radio application fees likely will not go into effect before 2022. FCC staff confirmed during a recent virtual meeting with Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) that the agency is still working on the necessary changes to the Universal Licensing System (ULS) software and other processes and procedures that must be in place before it starts collecting fees from amateur applicants. Earlier this year, the FCC said it would not start collecting fees from amateur applicants before this summer. The new estimate is that the fees won’t go into effect until early next year.

As a GMRS commenter said, "If you're holding your breath for the FCC to act you better have really big lungs."
 

PhillyB77

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I need to get my license, thanks for the info. Been looking into this for a while. Also....

Everywhere I've checked: GMRS is SUPER Serious, rules rules and more rules. You'll F stuff up!! You'll mess with Aircraft or something!

The Army:

- Gives an 18 year old a Pelican case with like 5 grand worth of radios that talk to airplanes, um yea just do the radio check or something.

- Pathfinder school: Here are radios and you can "technically" bring in those C-130's or CH47 / Blackhawks, final approach or tell them when to release or something.

Wait, you want me to talk to those aircraft?

Sure, they won't listen but blast all of your shit out there on the airwaves.

Uh, ok then.
 

3rdGen4R

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Unless your MOS was in the 25 series the radios you got are basically FRS radios that can tolerate being run over by a MRAP. They cost so much because all the engineering was done up front so you couldn't screw up anything.
Kind of. I had to deal with radios in my company and while they are impressive sometimes, other times simple things were not so simple. Dave, were you a 25 series? When did you serve?
 

3rdGen4R

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I see. 25 series it really all depends on what kind of unit you fall into with what will be asked of you.
 
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