CARC sponsored VE test sessions are ARRL VEC sessions.
We also use the Hamstudy.org site as a registration portal. This site also serves as an excellent 'mock' test site and will help you track your progress and focus your studies.
Please, visit HamStudy.org, Filter the listed sessions using a Casper zip code - such as 82601 - and register to attend
This is how we know you're ready to sit your exam, as well as this begins all the paper work and should help avoid any errors or problems. If you have questions about all this - please ask!
You must have a working email address to register. The FCC all but requires you to have an email address as well (Their term is "Highly Encouraged"). Without an email address associated with your FRN, it's almost impossible to get things done.
Scheduling and Location
See the VE Schedule page for scheduling and location information.
We try to hold at least quarterly sessions (about every 3 months). But, we also depend on expressed interest. We will not schedule or hold a session for fewer than 3 candidates. Look for scheduled sessions using the instructions above, and get registered. If there are any groups or organizations that would like to have a session setup, just reach out and let us know. So long as you've 3 or more candidates, we will work something out.
Who can test?
Anyone who is eligible for and wants to test for their FCC Amateur Radio license, or currently licensed hams wishing to upgrade their license are welcome!
Unless you're a representative of a foreign government, chances are you're eligible. If you have any questions, please contact us.
There are no age limits (upper or lower).
If you can't read the test materials for whatever reason, or if you will need any special accommodation - please, contact us ahead of time so we can prepare!
* EACH CANDIDATE MUST BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS TO THE EXAM SESSION *
- Testing Fee
A legal photo identification card/document.
This requirement is usually met with a driver's license, but it can be a passport, other legal identification with the candidate's photo on it.
When no photo ID is available, the candidate must present any two of the following:
- Non-photo ID/driver's license (some states still have them);
- Social Security Card;
- Official Birth certificate (must have the appropriate seal);
- Minor's work permit, school report card, school ID card or library card;
- Utility bill, bank statement or other business correspondence that specifically names the person; or
- Postmarked envelope addressed to the person at his or her current mailing address as it appears on the Form 605.
If the candidate is a minor or student that does not have a state-issued driver's license or other photo ID card, an official document bearing the name of the minor (such as a social security card, birth certificate, etc.) must be provided, and the parent/guardian accompanying them must also provide the VE team with a photo ID.
Don't forget the FCC's $35 administration fee or that we do not collect that fee.
Acceptable forms of payment are cash, a current personal check, money order or cashiers check made out to "Casper Amateur Radio Club VE Team." (CARC VE Team)
Retests of an element failed at the same test session will require payment of an additional test fee.
Candidates will be allowed only one re-test attempt (total of two attempts) of any one element in one day.
Check cards, debit cards, credit cards, ATM cards, gift cards or any other cards CAN NOT BE ACCEPTED. Please come prepared.
FCC Administrative Fee
Yes, this is listed under "Required to Bring" - but this isn't something you'll need to bring to the exam. Even if you bring it to the exam session, we can't accept it. This fee is strictly between you and the FCC
This is kind of new to the Amateur Radio world, so there's likely to be a bit of confusion or mis-information floating around. Here's the ARRL article explaining things.
In a nut-shell, we do NOT collect the $35 FCC administrative fee at the Exam Session. That'll be handled directly between you and the FCC. We DO collect the $15.00 testing fee and you must bring that $15 to the exam session.
FCC Registration Number (FRN).
If you already hold an FCC licences of any kind, you likely already have an FRN. Log into the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS), search for your license and find out. If you're upgrading, you should bring a copy of your existing license (a reference copy from the ULS will suffice) to give to the VE team at the exam session. Your FRN should be on that copy. After finding your license in the ULS, you can print a "Reference Copy" to bring to the VE Test Session.
If you don't, yet, have an FRN, please register with the FCC and get one well before the VE Test Session date. It can take some time for an FRN to be issued and we will NOT be able to register you at the VE session. Getting an FRN is not always an obvious, or clearly intuitive process.
* First, register in CORES. Create a username (your email address) and password. Save your password and do NOT share it, ever - with anyone. * Next, login to CORES (choose the Updated CORES if you've the option) and request an FRN. Look to the right side of that page, for me it's a box with a yellow border. There's a link in there to request an FRN. * If you are having difficulties, first, please visit the FCC's "How to get an FRN" web page. Follow those instructions. If after following those instructions, you're still having problems, please contact the VE time well in advance of the test date!
There is also a page and video on the FCC's web site that details how to go about getting your FRN.
Currently Licensed Amateur Operators
If, on the day of testing, you have a valid FCC issued Amateur License and intend to upgrade, you must bring a copy of your current license and your FCC Registration Number (FRN). You do not need to bring your original license. A "Reference Copy" printed from the FCC's ULS or a photocopy of your original will suffice. If you are currently registered, a Reference Copy will have your FRN on it. 605s for a Request to Upgrade without an FRN will be rejected by the ARRL VEC. Sorry, we won't have access to a photo copier.
If you don't know your FRN, you can look it up using the License Search option on the FCC's ULS web site. Licenses issued since the advent of the ULS will have your FRN printed on them, and of course any reference copy recently printed from the ULS should as well.
If you discover you don't have an FRN shown on your listing in the ULS or Reference Copy, that means you're not yet registered. Please register through the FCC's COmmission REgistration System (CORES) ASAP! The issuance of an FRN can take several days - please allow adequate time before the VE session.
If you need help registering, finding your FRN, printing a reference copy of your license or in any other way using the ULS (including, updates, renewals and vanity call sign applications) - please contact the CARC VE Team Liaison (see below), any of the club officers listed on the 'about' page. Many of us have quite a bit of experience with these tools.
Please verify you are correctly registered in CORES, have your FRN and copy of your current license before arriving at the VE session!
We'll do everything we can to help, but due to how the FCC's ULS system operates, we can't get you newly registered in CORES and receive your FRN on the same day as the VE session. It can take a couple days to get your FRN after registering. Please, plan ahead and verify your registration and FRN now. As an additional caveat, not every testing site has Internet access. You must arrive prepared as we may not be able to help you at the Exam Session.
Renewals and Administrative Updates
If you need help getting your license renewed or performing an Administrative update (address, email update or the like), you're welcome to come by without registration. These types of things can usually be done for free using the FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS) online. VE Sessions can be busy and a bit hectic, but if you need help - we'll do our best to get things done! You will need your FRN and login password. If you don't have a password, you'll need to contact the FCC's support online to get that sorted.
At the Session
Leaving the Test Area
Once you are checked in and have been given your testing materials you will not be permitted to leave the testing area and resume your exam. This includes bathroom/smoke breaks, phone calls, etc.
If you leave your seat during your exam, your exam will be scored "as-is".
To complete an exam, you would be required to take a different exam (if one is available). This would also count as your second attempt at that element. As such, there would be another testing fee charged. If you don't pass this second attempt, you will not have the opportunity to re-take that element at this session.
At the discretion of the VE team and depending on the nature of your departure from the testing area, you may be denied the opportunity to re-test at that exam session.
Notes, Cheat-sheets, Extraneous Papers
No notes or other papers will be allowed in the testing area, other than the VEC provided testing materials.
Scratch paper will be provided by the VE team if you need it - just ask!
Any scratch paper used during testing - even if you didn't write on it - must be left at the test site.
Electronic Devices & Calculators
Please be ready to turn off all cell phones, pagers, radios (amateur or not), smartphones, tablets, music players, laptops or any other non-calculator devices while in the testing area. You will also be required to remove headphones and Bluetooth earpieces. This is not only a requirement, but a courtesy to the people testing around you.
Calculators will be allowed but are not required.
Please note that any and all calculators brought in will have to have its memories cleared - and such demonstrated - before being allowed into the testing area.
If you have important things on your calculator that you don't want to erase, it would be best not to bring it.
This includes watches, cell phones, MP3 players or any other device with a memory, audio output or video display. They must either be totally erased or left outside the testing area.
I'm sorry we even have to address this, but here goes anyway...
CHEATING (OR SUSPECTED CHEATING) WILL NOT BE TOLERATED AT ANY VE SESSION AND WILL BE GROUNDS FOR IMMEDIATE TERMINATION OF THE EXAMINATION PROCESS - YOUR EXAM WILL BE SCORED "AS-IS" AND YOU WILL BE DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEST AGAIN AT THAT EXAM SESSION
Cheating can include, but is not necessarily limited to the following activities:
- Failure or Refusal to follow any of the established rules regarding the exam process.
- Use or attempted use of any prohibited electronic device(s) while testing.
- Reading or attempting to read from another individual's test answer sheet - Even if their test is a different version than your.
- Asking questions during the exam of ANY person other than one of the Volunteer Examiners (VEs): We will be clearly identified.
- Possessing notes, cheat-sheets and/or flashcards on or about your person while testing.
Bottom line is: don't cheat. We will catch you, and cheating is not the way of the radio amateur.
While not technically cheating, we also will not tolerate behavior(s) that are potentially dangerous or disruptive to the testing environment or the other candidates. This includes coming to the exam session with active cold/flu symptoms, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs (prescription or not).
- All exams will be scored on site at the conclusion of each attempted element.
- Unless there's some unexpected problem, you'll be notified of your 'pass' or 'fail' status on site.
- If you pass an element, you will be given the opportunity to attempt the next sequential element WITHOUT having to pay an additional fee.
- If you fail an element, you will retain credit for any elements you have alrady passed.
- If you fail an element, you may choose to re-take that element, after paying another testing fee and if a second version of the element is available.
- Each candidate will be allowed no more than 2 attempts at any one element.
You'll receive a Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam (CSCE) stating which elements you passed and your new license class - if any.
Remember, if this is your FIRST license, you may not use your new privileges until your call sign is published in the FCC ULS database.
If you've successfully upgraded your license class, use the appropriate designator when using your new privileges.
On phone, such a designator would be your call followed by saying "A.G." (alpha golf) for "Authorized General" or A.E. (alpha echo) for Authorized Extra. Using the club's call sign for example, say you upgraded to Extra - but that upgrade is not yet published in the ULS - you'd ID as "W7VNJ AE". The only time you need to use the stroke "/" or other separating character or other separator is when you're operating CW or other text mode (PSK31, RTTY, etc). Again, using the club's call sign as an example, you'd type or key "W7VNJ/AE".
As soon as your listing in the ULS reflects your new license class, you don't need to use any designators.
If you have any questions on how to properly identify when using your new privileges, please ask before getting on the air.
All Elements/License Classes
CARC sponsored VE sessions will normally offer all three exam elements:
- Element II: Technician
- Element III: General
- Element IV: Amateur Extra
See the VE Scheduling page for clarification. If by chance a session won't offer all 3 elements, it'll be noted on the schedule.
This means that you could walk into A CARC VE test session without a license and walk out with your Amateur Extra - we've had folks do it!.
If you've any questions about the process or preparing for a test session, just ask. Our VE team is dedicated to helping YOU succeed!
Anyone with concerns or questions should contact the VE Team Liaison - by phone or text
If you've a dire concern (or can't find the VE session!), you can leave a message for Tate, KA7O at the number on the right.
Tate will call you back as soon as he can.
Please note that what's offered here is guidance, not rule of Law. We want you to be informed, but conditions at the session may demand 'adjustments'. We do our best!