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Author Topic:   VHF Licenses
Taylor posted 04-03-2002 07:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for Taylor   Send Email to Taylor  
Just what, hypothetically speaking, do folks do about licenses for Marine VHF. It seems as if I would need a station license ($120) and a restricted operator permit ($50). Seems like overkill for a 17 foot boat with a $180 radio. Do people actually get these things, practically speaking?
jimp posted 04-03-2002 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Taylor -

Hope I remember this right, but the FCC no longer requires licenses for CBs or VHFs.


EasyE posted 04-03-2002 08:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for EasyE  Send Email to EasyE     
I was thinkin the same thing. Wasn't that posted here before?
newboater posted 04-03-2002 08:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for newboater  Send Email to newboater     

The FCC did indeed "do-away" with the requirement for a VHF licenses for recreational boaters. If you travel to a foreign country, you need one though.

Out of San Diego, I seriously doubt that many of the recreational boats that go fishing in Mexican waters have the required FCC license, much less the Mexican boat and fishing permits.

I guess if one got boarded by the Coast Guard while they were in Mexican waters, and didn't have the license they would be in trouble. I haven't heard any stories of this happening. I suspect a couple of guys in a Boston Whaler aren't Coast Guard's prime target for a boarding.

Dave Smith
San Diego

djahncke posted 04-03-2002 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for djahncke  Send Email to djahncke     
Dave you are correct. Details can be found here on the FCC website:
triblet posted 04-04-2002 01:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Licenses haven't been required for CBs for
many years. Back when CB use exploded in
the '70s, the FCC found they couldn't keep
up with license apps, and gave up. I believe
the logic behind not requiring them for VHFs
was about the same as Taylors, except that
the radio side should be a $99 handheld.

Not requiring them for VHFs
(on US recreational boats in US waters) is
about five or six years old. I don't think
they are required for EPIRBs or radar either.
I think they are required for HF (anybody
putting HF on their Defiance?? ;-)

Actually, it's not "recreational boats" but
rather "boats that are not required to have
a radio", which includes recreational boats
and a very few classes of commerical boats.


jimh posted 04-04-2002 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you launch your boat in the Detroit River, foreign water (Canada) is only several hundred yards away. Yet I have never heard of any enforcement action by the FCC on the thousands of US boaters with VHF Marine radios who are boating in the river.
flieman posted 04-04-2002 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for flieman  Send Email to flieman     
You also have to have a license if you take people for hire such as a charter boat. If takes forever and a day to get it done because the FCC does not know the rules and they keep telling you that you do not need a license but Mr. Coast Guard says you gotta have one. I finally got them for my charter boats after 7 mos of work. Just thought I would pass this on.
Taylor posted 04-04-2002 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Interesting, so (hypothetically) one needs a US license to use a radio in Canada?

Anyway, I think I understand the situation. 'nuff said. Thanks.

dfmcintyre posted 04-05-2002 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
And the FCC could care less if your using your VHF in Canada. It's up to the Canadian authorities to enforce whatever laws they've got on the books.


Tom W Clark posted 04-05-2002 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Yes, you need a license to use your VHF in, say Desolation Sound in British Columbia. As Don points out, the FCC has nothing to do with that but the Canadians do.

Now having said that, and without telling you what to do, I would point out that thousands of US boaters use their VHF's in Canada without licenses. It's not a big deal.

jimh posted 04-05-2002 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Yes, I should have written "Royal Ministry of Marine-Telecommunications" or whatever the agency in Canada that controls radio usage on boats.

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