All holders of a radio license issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), amateur radio or otherwise, are issued an FCC Registration Number (FRN).
Beginning May 20, 2021, all amateur examination applicants will be required to provide an FRN to the Volunteer Examiners (VEs) before taking an amateur exam. This is necessary due to changes the FCC has made to its licensing system.
Amateur candidates who already have an FCC license, whether for amateur radio or in another service, already have an FRN and can use the same number. All prospective new FCC licensees, however, will be required to obtain an FRN before the examination and provide that number to the volunteer examiners on the Form 605 license application. An FCC instructional video provides step-by-step instructions on how to obtain an FRN through the FCC's COmmission REgistration System (CORES).
The video is available at, https://www.fcc.gov/rofrn (4:22).
The FRN is required for all new applicants to take an amateur exam and is used afterward by the applicant to download the license document from the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS), upgrade the license, apply for a vanity call sign, and to submit administrative updates (such as address and email changes) and renewal applications.
In addition, after June 29, 2021, all applications will be required to contain an email address for FCC correspondence. Applicants will receive an email direct from the FCC with a link to the official electronic copy of their license whenever a license is issued or changed. ARRL VEC suggests that those without access to email to use the email address of a family member or friend. Licensees will be able to log in to the ULS using their FRN and password to download the latest version of their license at any time. The FCC no longer provides paper license documents.
Note that all future correspondence with the FCC must include your FRN. In fact, it's used as your User ID when you log into the FCC web site to apply for or modify your license. Further, you should have only one FRN. Once you receive one, never go back and apply for another. Use the same FRN for all FCC business. This includes events such as applying for an amateur radio license upgrade and/or applying for a license in another service, such as GMRS.
Detailed instructions for obtaining an FRN are on the FCC web site at:
To Register for an FRN, Log In to your FCC account, Search for licenses and other activities, go to: