Radio Regulations

and Standards

International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

The ITU Regulations were developed from intergovernmental treaties, intended to coordinate and standardize the operation of telecommunication networks and services and to advance the development of communications technology. They form the basis for most of the planet's regional and national telecommunications laws and regulations. The Radio Regulations, cover both legal and technical issues, serving as a supranational instrument for the optimal international management of the radio spectrum.

The ITU-R Recommendations constitute a set of international technical standards developed by the Radiocommunication Sector of the ITU. They are the result of studies undertaken by Radiocommunication Study Groups.

The ITU-R Recommendations are approved by ITU Member States. Their implementation is not mandatory; however, as they are developed by experts from administrations, operators, the industry and other organizations dealing with radiocommunication matters from all over the world, they enjoy a high reputation and are implemented worldwide.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The following U.S. Federal Communications Commission regulations are relevant to amateur radio operators in the U.S.

Below are links with additional information and resources.

  • FCC Amateur Radio Service A general information page on the Amateur Radio Service as regulated by the FCC.

  • Universal License System (ULS) Search Search the FCC database for licenses by call sign, name, location and other parameters.

  • Using the ULS and CORES. An ARRL page on how to use the FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS) and COmission REgistration System (CORES).

  • Antenna Structure Registration Some antenna structures (e.g., towers) must be registered with the FCC. Additional requirements may apply in Tribal areas and in or near Historic Preservation sites. See this page for more information.

  • FCC TOWAIR Most towers over 200 ft tall and many near airports must be registered. See this site to determine if you pass the slope calculation.

  • Emission Designators An explanation of the emission designator codes used by the FCC.

  • How to Obtain an Official FCC License Copy Instructions of getting a copy of your license, now that the FCC has gone paperless.

  • Obtaining an FCC Registration Number (FRN) Information on obtaining an FRN, needed for applying for a license and all other correspondence with the FCC.

  • European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) How to use your U.S. amateur radio license in many European nations.

  • International Third-Party Traffic Rules and procedures for passing third party traffic with people in other nations.

  • Symbolism in the FCC Seal From the Ham Radio Answers podcast by Dave Casler, KE6OG (YouTube, 0:6:32)

OET Bulletin No. 65

Evaluating Compliance With FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields

  • Bulletin 65 (PDF, 84 pages)

  • Supplement A Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields; Additional Information for Radio and Television Broadcast Stations (PDF, 43 pages)

  • Supplement B Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields; Additional Information for Amateur Radio Stations (PDF, 654 pages)

  • Supplement C; (Supplement C has been superseded by KDB Publication 447498 D03)

Note: The FCC's Office of Engineering Technology (OET) bulletins are not regulatory in themselves, but are often referenced by the regulations.

Other Resources