by Sea-Tech Systems


International regulations require that the FCC properly license all U.S. vessels carrying VHF or SSB radios operating outside of U.S. waters. FCC regulations also require that any U.S. ship/boat operating within U.S. waters carrying a marine SSB radio have a Ship's Station License.  Two FCC licenses are required to be properly licensed:

  1. A Ships Station License (assigns the radio station call letters & MMSI number to the vessel).

  2. A Restricted Radio Operators Permit (Permits the person named on the permit to operate marine & aeronautical radio equipment).

The current fees and periods of validity for these licenses are:

Required FCC Marine Radio Licenses

Marine Licenses

Commercial Shipping / Boating

Operator Permit
Ship's Station License


Period of Validity

FCC Fees
Effective 1 Jan 2024


Ship Radio Station License
(includes MMSI number)


Renewal & New Licenses
Restricted Radio Operators Permit Lifetime of the Holder $35 -----

Attn. Cruisers
If your Ships Radio License will expire within the next 90-days, DockSide Radio can file the license renewal application for you. Contact Sea-Tech at [email protected] and let Sea-Tech do the rest.  Filing fees are the same as filing for a new license. The benefit to renewing an existing license is that you're able to keep your current call sign.
You must have a ships call sign before you can sign up for a Sailmail account

International regulations require that US Pilots and US registered aircraft landing in foreign countries or communicating by radio with foreign ground radio stations, e.g., Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, be properly licensed by the FCC.  While the aircraft owner is responsible for securing the proper radio licenses for the aircraft, pilots are responsible for securing and having in their possession a Restricted Radio Operators Permit. The current fees and periods of validity for these licenses are:

Required FCC Aeronautical Radio Licenses

Aeronautical Licenses

Commercial and General Aviation

Pilot's Operator Permit
Aircraft Station License


Period of Validity

Effective 19 April 2022


Aircraft Radio Station License
(Aircraft owning entity is responsible for securing this license)


$135 per aircraft
Renewal & New Licenses
Restricted Radio Operators Permit
(Pilot's are responsible for securing their Permit)
Lifetime of the Holder $35 -----

There are two ways of filing for FCC radio licenses; via the mail, and over the Internet. The FCC discourages filing by mail. Filing by mail, can take from four to six weeks to received your license and assigned call from the FCC. The actual time required depends upon how long it takes the mailed application to reach FCC offices, and the internal processing time at the FCC. When properly filed through the Internet, you can expect to receive your license within a day or two of filing. 

Filing online is a complicated and time-consuming process. The interactive online form has many java applets that must be downloaded and run on your computer, and there are more than 100 choices for you to consider. If you want to learn about unfamiliar issues such as FRN’s, MMSI's, etc., have lots of time on your hands, enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to deal with government bureaucracies, and have a high-speed Internet connection, this is the exercise for you. If on the other hand, you are getting ready to go cruising, or applying for a flight position and time is short, for $150 Sea-Tech Systems will do the filing for you. 

If you are short on time and need your license in a hurry, click on Marine Licenses or Aeronautical Licenses to access the appropriate one-page worksheet, or give us a call at 206-792-9540. Either way, get the information to us and we'll make it happen.

A note of caution: If you are considering submitting an application by mail, be sure to use the current version of FCC form 605. Applying for a FCC license on any form 605 version other than the current version of FCC form 605 can result in your application being denied, and the probable forfeiture of the submitted license application fee (Translation: The FCC keeps your $$ and you don't get your license).

Printout Your Official Radio License

When your online license application is processed, per Public Notice DA 15-72 the FCC licensing system will automatically e-mail an "Official Copy" to the license .pdf file to you.  The FCC no longer mails "original" printed licenses to licensee. Be sure to keep a copy of the license .pdf file on board so you can print additional copies of your  license(s) when you need them.

The instructions for downloading and  printing an “Official Copy” of your FCC radio license are:

  1. Log into the FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS) page at

  2. Log into the FCC License Manager page. To do this, click on the log in button next to Online Filing.

  3. Log into the FCC License Manager. Enter your FCC Registration Number (FRN), and password. Note: passwords are case sensitive

  4. On the left-hand side of the License Manager page, click on Download Electronic Authorizations.

  5. On the License Manager's Download Authorizations page select/add the authorizations/licenses you want to print.

  6. Print and/or save the authorizations you selected.

© 2024 DockSide Radio, Mobert Marine LLC, Sea-Tech Systems