License Testing

What's on this page?

What is an Amateur Radio License?

About Amateur Radio Licenses

Getting licensed, or upgrading to the next level, can feel like an intimidating adventure.  But, it comes down to a little bit of study and an exam to get started!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that Amateur Radio Service "The amateur and amateur-satellite services are for qualified persons of any age who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest." (source:  Currently, there are three levels of license available and the American Radio Relay League outlines the license levels at this site ( and included below:

The Technician License

The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above 30 megahertz, allowing these licensees the ability to communicate locally and most often within North America. It also allows for some limited privileges on the HF (also called "short wave") bands used for international communications.

The General License

The General class license grants some operating privileges on all Amateur Radio bands and all operating modes. This license opens the door to world-wide communications. Earning the General class license requires passing a 35 question examination. General class licensees must also have passed the Technician written examination.

The Amateur Extra License

The Amateur Extra class license conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. Earning the license is more difficult; it requires passing a thorough 50 question examination. Extra class licensees must also have passed all previous license class written examinations.

All amateur radio operators in the United States MUST be licensed.  There is an exam for each level and each exam requires progressively more knowledge to pass.  Exams are administered by Volunteer Examiners (VEs) and coordinated by Volunteer Examinator Coordinators (VECs).

Study Resources

No matter what your license level, these study and practice resources will help you be ready for your exam!

Get Licensed!

Scheduling an Exam in Detroit Lakes

The Detroit Lakes Amateur Radio Club is affiliated with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and offers testing on an as requested basis.  Tests are typically scheduled following a regular meeting on the 3rd Saturday of a given month.  We offer testing for all license levels authorized by the FCC.

If you are interested in scheduling a test and would like to get notified when one is scheduled, please fill out our contact form and our Volunteer Exam Coordinator (VEC) or another club member will get in touch with you!

Federal Registration Number (FRN)

If you are planning on testing for your first Amateur Radio License, go to the following website and obtain a Federal Registration Number (FRN) first, and bring it with you to the testing session:

If you already have a license, you already have an FRN; you do not need to register again.