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Amateur radio licenses in the United States are issued and renewed by the Federal Communications Commission without charge, although the private individuals who administer the examinations may recoup their expenses by charging a fee. Licenses currently remain valid for 10 years from the date of issuance or renewal. Renewal can be done on-line.
The entry-level license, known as Technician Class, is awarded after an applicant successfully completes a 35-question multiple choice written examination. The license grants full operating privileges on all amateur bands above 30 MHz and limited privileges in portions of the high frequency (HF) bands.
The next level, known as General Class, requires passage of the Technician test, as well as a 35-question multiple-choice General exam. General class licensees are granted privileges on portions of all amateur bands, and have access to over 83% of all amateur HF bandwidth. However some band segments often used for long distance contacts are not included.
The top US license class is Amateur Extra Class. This license requires the same tests as General plus a 50-question multiple-choice theory exam. Those with Amateur Extra licenses are granted all privileges on all US amateur bands.
source: Wikitionary / Wikipedia and Related Sources (Edited)
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