How to Get Your Ham Radio License

IMPORTANT INFO!!! FCC License Fees Increase April 19, 2022

Ham License Test Exam Fees Are only $15 right now.  If you want to get your license for $15 you should study for and take your exams ASAP! 
 The price will eventually increase to $50 per test.

BVARC Ham License Testing

In order to legally operate a ham radio, you need to get a license.  There are three levels of ham radio licenses, Technician, General & Extra.  You start and study for your Technician license first and then decide if you wish to go further into ham radio by upgrading your license to the other two levels.  It is entirely up to you.

Studying for these tests is not overly difficult, but will be challenging depending on your understanding of the material being taught.  However there are excellent study guides available to help you study and pass your exams.  We have a few suggestions below that will get your started.

**The ARRL site is also a resource for finding BVARC test sessions, and that of other test sessions in the region, checkout:


Technician Study Books

This series of books is a no nonsense approach to learning the questions and answers for the test, however, it doesn’t give a lot of explanation and detail about what you are learning.  If you want to take the test fast and pass, then this route is for you.

The Gordon West series of books to study for your Ham license are among the most read books on the topics.  These books give you great insight and the how and why of what you are learning when studying for your Ham license.  If you are more technical , this is the book for you.

From the main organization that advocates for  Ham Radio in the United States, the ARRL books are the original study manuals for learning and studying for your Ham Technician license.  This book goes in-depth and is very detailed.  Might be harder to follow for first timers, but still a great resource.

Study and Practice Exam Resources

There are numerous online resources for you to use (most are free) in order to help you pass your exams.  After you take some time to study for your exams and before you commit to taking them, you should take a couple practice exams to identify where you are strong and weak in your knowledge for the test.  

Everyone learns differently and you need to find the way that works best for you to retain the information.  We have a few suggestions below for helping you take those practice exams.  There are online tools and apps for your phone that will help you along.

Don’t stress out over not having a perfect score your first time around.  Pay attention to the data given to you and study the sections were you might be a little weak.  Come back and take the practice exam again.  If at some point you see your score between 75%-85% consistently, you are most likely good to go and ready to take the test.  This is a general consensus in the ham radio community.

Online Resources

Practice Apps for Your Phone (FREE)


Amateur Extra

US Amateur Radio Bands

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Technician Formulas

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The Metric System

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The Phonetic Alphabet