A while back I did an episode comparing various types of radios to help you decide which is right for you. You can see that episode by clicking here.
This time I want to go into a little more detail about one of the radio services that I mentioned, General Mobile Radio Service, or GMRS and a glitch in the system when it comes time to renew your license.
As I stated in the previous episode, the FCC operators license requires a fee of $75 and is valid for 10 years.
At the end of the 10 years many GMRS licensees are shocked when they try to renew their license and run into a glitch in the system that the FCC is well aware of, but are seemingly unwilling to resolve.
If you go online to renew your expiring GMRS license you will notice that the fee to renew the license is not the same $75 that you originally paid, but is now a whopping $200. Yes, that is correct, it will now cost you $200 to renew the license that you paid just $75 for.
Personally I believe this is a scam that was set up intentionally by some unscrupulous bureaucrats within the FCC to collect additional money from unsuspecting and less knowledgeable licensees.
However, there is another optional reason that I will get into in a moment that also leads me to believe that this system was set up this way on purpose to defraud the citizens.
I have conducted an experiment in which I called the FCC on the phone on several occasions, speaking with different FCC representatives each time about renewing my GMRS license and the fee listed online. Sometimes I was told that $200 is the correct renewal fee and there was no way around it to keep the license valid. Other times I was told the truth that it is a ridiculous fee and that there is a way around it. That way around the $200 renewal fee is what I want to talk about today.
At the end of your 10 year license period, do not renew the license, simply let it expire and apply for a new license to be issued for the same $75 fee as you paid last time. The only downside is that you will receive a new callsign, but you save $125 doing it this way.
The other reason I believe that the GMRS license renewal system was set up the way it was is being used to defraud the citizens is the FCC keeps track of how many license holders it has issued licenses to for each radio service each year. It is not tracking how many of those license holders are renewing their licenses versus applying for new licenses.
Anyone reading their statistics would be lead to believe that these are all new operators applying for licenses for the first time, in addition to all the renewals from prior licensees that were counted in previous years therefore showing an artificial increase and defrauding the citizens about the popularity of the GMRS service.
Why they would want to do this I do not know, but this is the conclusion that I am coming up with after going over their license statistic information. A lot of what the government does, and why they do it we are left in the dark about, but there is always a plan in the works. Many times we do not find out what the actual plan was until years later.
Either way, I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this deception before you renewed your GMRS license so that you can save $125 and apply for a new license instead of renewing your expiring license.
I have some news about an additional piece of equipment that I am adding to my Emcomms setup that I want to let you know about, but I will put that in my next article.
Until next time,
Aloha & 73