License Exams

Starting on 4/19/22, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began charging a $35 fee for new licenses issued or license renewals. License upgrades and address changes are still free of charge. However, the Lake Wales Radio Amateurs VE testing itself will remain FREE OF CHARGE.

New and upgrade candidates will pay the new, $35 application fee directly to the FCC by using the CORES FRN Registration system (CORES – Login).

When the FCC receives the examination information from the VEC, it will email a link with payment instructions to each successful candidate who then will have 10 calendar days from the date of the email to pay.  After the fee is paid and the FCC has processed an application, examinees will receive a second email from the FCC with a link to their official license or explanation of other action.  The link will be good for 30 days.

See the full ARRL News article concerning this implementation of license fees:


Be sure to study the right questions:

Element 2: Technician – Expires June 30, 2026

Element 3: General – Expires June 30, 2027

Element 4: Extra – Expires June 30, 2028

The Lake Wales Radio Amateurs (LWRA) is proud to represent the Laurel Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) to provide FREE Volunteer Exam sessions.

These are normally scheduled for the First Saturday of every month, at 9 AM for those applicants who have pre-registered. The registration form is on this web site under the tab: “VE Exam Request Form.”  Instructions for obtaining a FRN for first time applicants are at the bottom of this page.  If you are licensed, and are upgrading to General or Amateur Extra you already have a FRN.

Remember that the cutoff day and time for registering is no later than the Thursday at 6 PM immediately before the Saturday test date.

Exam sessions are held at:

Polk County Chapter American Red Cross
147 Avenue A NW
Winter Haven, FL 33881

Anyone wishing to take an exam at our sessions must contact us in advance.  There is a cut off time to request an exam and that is 6 PM the Thursday before the Saturday exam.  We do not accept walk-ins.  This will allow us to have the appropriate number of VE’s present in order to certify exams.

Feel free to contact our VE coordinator, John Thacker, at 863-221-4711 or via email at ve at lwra dot us   Substitute “@” for at and “.” for dot.

What’s next? Keep reading!

For a PDF copy of the below instructions with illustrations:  Laurel VEC – FRN Registration Instructions – 11/01/21

The FCC will not accept a SSN on your application.  You must have a Federal Registration Number (FRN) in lieu of your SSN. Obtaining this FRN is very fast and simple.  You can get a FRN as follows:

You must first register a Username and password.

  1. Go to the FCC CORES website at
  2. Click on “Register” and provide the information. Required data is marked by an asterisk.

                      Your USERNAME is your EMAIL ADDRESS.

  1. Enter a password and confirm it. Then click on “Create Account”.

Almost immediately you will receive an email containing a verification link.  You must verify within 24 hours.

Once you have verified you can LOG INTO CORES at the same link shown above –

An instructional video provides step-by-step instructions on how to establish a CORES account, which is necessary for licensees to make administrative updates and download electronic license authorizations.

  1. Enter your Username and Password.
  2. Click on “Login”.
  3. From the menu, click on “Register New FRN”.

Click on “Register as an “Individual” and click on “YES” and continue.

On the next screen click on “CORES FRN Registration” and continue.

Enter the required information including SSN and any optional information desired.

Click on “SUBMIT”

Print the page or write down your FRN number and Password.

Once you have obtained an FRN, send the following information to us by using the pull down menu labeled “VE Exam Request Form” under this tab. (Just hover over the “License Exams” and it will appear right underneath.)

  1. Your FRN number.
  2. Your call sign if you have one.
  3. Your name exactly as you registered for the FRN.
  4. Your complete mailing address to include street, city, state, and ZIP.
  5. Your primary telephone number
  6. Your email address.
  7. Check which exam you wish to take: Tech/General/Extra
  8. Indicate which session (regular First Saturday one is default).
  9. Test date.  There is a pull down list (use the pull down arrow to the left of the box and select the requested date.
  10. Any remarks or questions you might have.  For example, any special needs.

What to bring on Exam day:

1.  A legal photo ID (driver’s license, passport).

When no photo ID is available, two forms of identification must be presented:
a.  Non-photo ID/driver’s license (some states still have them).
b.  Birth certificate (must have the appropriate seal).
c.  Social security card.
d.  Library card.
e.  Utility bill, bank statement or other business correspondence that specifically names the person; or a postmarked envelope addressed to the person at his or her current mailing address as it appears on the Form 605.

2.  Students may bring any of the above items and/or a school ID, minor’s work permit, report card, or a legal guardian may present a photo ID.

3.  Two number two pencils with erasers and a pen.

4.  A calculator with the memory erased and formulas cleared is allowed.  Because of Covid concerns please bring your own calculator.

You may not bring any written notes or calculations into the exam session. Slide rules and logarithmic tables are acceptable, as long as they’re free of notes and formulas. Cell phone must be silenced or turned off during the exam session. The phones’ calculator function may not be used.

For more information on what to study and for links to on line examination sites, check the “Becoming a Ham” tab.