The Laurel VEC
Administering FREE Amateur Radio License Exams since 1984
 Amateur Radio Call Sign Information

Amateur Radio Call Signs

By international agreement, an amateur radio call sign consists of 3 parts:

  1. A prefix consisting of one of the following combinations:
    • A single letter.
    • 2 letters.
    • A single letter followed by a 1-digit number.
    • A 1-digit number followed by a single letter.
  2. A number.
  3. A suffix consisting of 1-4 letters.

Amateur Radio Call Signs in the United States

In the USA and its territories:

  • The prefix can be any of the following:
    • The single letter "K", "N", or "W".
    • 2 letters where the 1st letter is "A", "K", "N", or "W".
      • If the first letter is "A", the second letter must be in the range "A" to "L".
  • The number is a single digit.
  • The suffix can be 1, 2, or 3 letters.

Not all possible combinations are available to the Amateur Radio Service. Also, some call signs that are avaiblte to amateur radio stations are restricted to certain geographical areas or to certain operator license classes.

Click on the button button below for a detailed description of which call signs are available for assignment and which are not.

Vanity Call Signs

Any licensed amateur radio operator may request a "vanity" call sign. This may be any available call sign as long as it is authorized both to the operator's geographical region and to the operator's license class. In general, a call sign must be unassigned for a minimum of 2 years before it is available for re-assignment.

Click on the button below for more inforation about vanity call signs.

The following non-FCC sites provide additional information and resources about vanity call signs:

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