Dump GRMS license fee since FRS only radios are not available anymore.
Why should we have to pay $85 for a license to use an FRS radio when all you can buy today is an FRS/GMRS radio that nobody is getting a license for anyway?
The license was to keep GMRS from turning into the same mess as Class D CB, the irony being that GMRS was Class A CB in the first place. By keeping licensing, at any price, one must agree to abide by rules they might not abide by otherwise. I agree with other posters, charge $10 for 10 years...at least the FCC will get SOME money out of the deal.
I am a ham I listen to the local uhf and vhf frequencies. I have never, not once, heard someone use a call sign on GMRS. No one gets the license. Simply compare the number of bubble pack radios sold to the total number of licensees. This has been a pending rule change for half a decade. Get rid of the requirement.
I've seen several posts here that say there is a fee for a a ham (amateur) license. That is not true. The FCC DOES NOT CHARGE 1 PENNY FOR A HAM LICENSE OR IT'S RENEWAL. Some confusion may exist because the volunteer examiner is permitted to charge a fee to cover his expenses for administering the licensing test. The FCC does not receive any of this money. When I was licensed, the tests were administered by the FCC for no charge. Under certain circumstances, and for certain license classes, the test would be supplied by the FCC to be administered by a volunteer licensed ham for free. I seem to also recall that all FCC licenses were at one time free, then sometime during my lifespan in the 20th century, congress authorized the FCC to collect license fees, but the $9 testing and renewal fee for amateur licenses was dropped in 1977, along with the $20 CB license fee.
As far a GMRS goes, I don't believe there has ever been a case of the FCC busting anyone for the use of an unlicensed bubble pack GMRS radio. There is even less chance of that happening now, as the FCC has greatly reduces it's number of field agents. Unless someone is intentionally, repeatedly causing interference, I think the chances of them being fined or prosecuted is totally nil. They should just admit that it won't happen and drop the fee.
Bruce Parshall commented
Licensed amateur radio operators should not be required to obtain an additional license when using GMRS radios.
If that is not workable, at least make the fees the same. $15 for 10 years would be a reasonable fee, would encourage compliance and would be more readily perceived as being in line with the other licenses.
Please allow licensed amateur radio operators to operate GMRS radios without a GMRS license.
utter foolishness of charging $85 or $90 for a GMRS license when an Amateur Radio License is just $15. Set the license fee at $10 for ten years so it will encourage others to get licensed.
John Spitta commented
Please drop the fee. Or lower it to $5. It is out of scale.
Remove the GMRS license requirement for public volunteer groups such as CERT, ARES, etc. Furthermore, allow licensed amateur radio operators to operate GMRS radios without a GMRS license.
Set the license fee at $10 for ten years so it will encourage others to get licensed.
The FCC screwed up letting the combo FRS/GMRS radios go to market. Since the cat is out of the bag, a more sensible proposal would be to unlicense the simplex channels and limit them to 2 watts like MURS. And then keep the repeater pairs and 5+ watt simplex operations to licensed users.
UHF Cb like Australia would be real fun.. Just my 2 cents
Carlos Trujillo commented
GMRS should be free, please drop the license requirement.
Waldorf Astoria commented
I highly concur with the March 2, 2015 12:38 PM comment made by Anonymous, and would like to reiterate the utter foolishness of charging $85 or $90 for a GMRS license when an Amateur Radio License is just $15.
That's beyond absurd.
Given the relative benefits between GMRS and Amateur Radio, a $5, 5-year license would be acceptable.
The "Redlight Review" is probably what's eating up all the funds. What moron of a criminal or a subversive element is going to apply for a license, anyway? Perhaps 2%? Probably the same moronic onesies and twosies that get caught in the firearms background checks.
Both systems are horrendous and grossly ineffective wastes of American citizens' dollars.
Christopher Nordstrom [W7CFN] commented
Why does the FCC charge a license fee for GMRS but no license fee for Amateur Radio operators which actually takes a lot more resources?
Per my previous comment, The GMRS/FRS system is primarily a standby emergency network and cost for licenses should be FREE ! That being said, perhaps a repeater should have a license fee of $12 every 8 years.
As it sits right now, FRS and GMRS radios have been sold to the public for some time. These radios are fairly short range dependent on terrain. The FRS frequencies do have a bit of low power chatter on them and the first eight channels of GMRS channels have a bit less. This is more so in summer when people are out and about. In reality, a short time after FRS and GMRS radios are purchased, they find themselves in a drawer somewhere until the next family trip to the ski resort of hiking trip. All in all, they are used pretty much as intended. I noticed by previous comments that many disapprove of the first eight of the repeater output channels being allocated to newer FRS/GMRS radios. I think it was a great move for the FCC as it allows limited communication between the 2 services. Where this can become a powerful tool is in an emergency. It is my understanding that in an emergency, large cities can link multiple GMRS repeaters together (as in Seattle, there are three) and operate an emergency network over a city wide area. It would be possible for FRS users to input emergency information to GMRS operators who can then broadcast city wide to all FRS/GMRS listeners on the GMRS repeaters. Not even the radio amateurs can boost this kind of network participation. The FRS/GMRS emergency network infrastructure is in place now and ready to use!
I am a licensed amateur (extra class). I do sympathize with numerous other posts regarding the high cost. For an amateur (ham) license it's about $15.00 which is for the test & materials.... and it gives you way more privs. And for those that think the GMRS high cost will limit the 'CB' like over usage, I laughed.... I think virtually all users do not have a GMRS license, & I don't know of an FCC abuse/no license case for GMRS usage w/o a license....
Most consumers don't even know they need a license and if they did know and then found out the price most would not pay the FCC fee. Who is going to pay an $85 fee to only talk 1 or 2 miles? GMRS repeaters are almost a thing of the past since the cost of setting one up and the fees are so high. So, since the hybrid radios have been allowed to be sold without much forethought of what the radios would do to the intended use for them... Rough question...!
I agree that the fee should be lower, but if you drop the licensing completely, you're dooming GMRS to the same fate as CB.
Jorge Morales commented
Dump the liscense requirement.
Hams should not have to pay. Repeaters should require a ham license. The first 8 GMRS & 7 FRS should be free and the FRS channels should be 2 watt maximum. The FRS channels don't need 5 watt GMRS people stomping on people on motorcycles or paint ball games.
Cody Marshall commented
I am a licensed Amateur Operator and licensed through my father's GMRS license (yes it's license can extend to others in the family, making the $80+ fee no so bad for large families)
Whoever said that GMRS does not require the use of a call sign is in error, a GMRS call sign is issued and it is legally required to use when on the air. Besides all that GMRS is very different from FRS in that it allows for
a) Repeaters b) Much higher power (up to 50w on ch 15-22), c) Changeable antennas.
These things alone are much much different than FRS, I certainly would like to see the license fee reduced, but think that opening the band to non licensed use is a mistake, unless of course we can somehow be promised that we with be allow repeaters so other way. I love the family license that GMRS allows and the other options. The FCC only allows for a few bands to be open (outside of amateur) for the public use, lets not so readily ask for changes, when the likely consequence is loss of privileges overall. Whatever happens I want to keep the privileges available. Maybe allowing for unlicensed use for the simplex - low power - frequencies is not a terrible idea. I don't know, but certainly lower the fee.