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Silent Key Callsign Harvesting

In addition to the callsigns that appear to be currently available according to FCC records, there are callsigns that can be made available because the holder had died, pursuant to FCC rules, US Title 47 CFR §1.948(g): "Amateur station call signs assigned to the station of a deceased licensee shall be available for reassignment pursuant to § 97.19 of this chapter." Such callsigns can be canceled and then applied for. The following steps are recommended for obtaining such callsigns:

  1. Search for likely candidates:


  2. Verify deceased status:


  3. Obtain proof of death. Currently, the FCC is known to accept:


  4. Send a notice of cancellation to the FCC. There are several ways to notify the FCC:


  5. Wait until the FCC cancels the callsign. DO NOT call the FCC to find out about when they will cancel the callsign! The relatively prompt cancellation processing they do is a favor they do the amateur radio community; please don't abuse it by calling them. Generally, the FCC cancels a callsign within one to two weeks after your request, although it is not uncommon to happen on the same day.

  6. Wait another 30 days after the effective date of the cancellation.

  7. Make sure that TWO YEARS AND ONE DAY have elapsed since the date of death, and then file your application.

For further help, or if you have any problems or suggestions, please use the AE7Q  message board.



If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please use the AE7Q message board. I've spent a considerable amount of time documenting the vanity application process and publicly answering very common questions, so that I don't have to repeatedly answer them.
Private messages on these topics will be rebuffed.

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