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The Carlsbad Amateur / Ham Radio Exam Team
Providing Service to the Greater San Diego Area
1386 Hams served since 2003
Facilities sponsored by the Palomar Amateur Radio Club (PARC)

The Carlsbad team conducts ham radio exams every second Saturday of the month on a regular basis.

If you would like to take a Ham Radio exam, please follow the following instructions:
1) Before the exam
2) Reservation
3) Exam day
4) After the exam
5) Miscellaneous comments
6) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
7) How to get to the exam
8) Online exam preparation resources

Announcements, 2017-03-14:
1) To register for an exam please visit http://exam.kk6nlw.com
2) This page will remain active for archival purposes only.

If you would like to find a class+exam in the San Diego County area please check the list of scheduled classes. Most classes taught in the County are one day classes combined with an exam at the end.

The following is a real time candidate roster for the upcoming exam session. It is updated automatically when a registration is submitted online. Please keep in mind that if less than three candidates are signed up, most likely that the session will be canceled.

The next exam date is: 2-12-2022

Applicant #NameElements Registered For

* The candidate roster closes at midnight the before the exam.
Administrative interface(requires authorization)

1) Before the exam

2) Make a reservation

3) Exam day

4) After the exam

5) Miscellaneous comments

6) Frequently asked questions

Q: I am not sure I will be ready for the exam, should I just wait for the last minute to register?
A: If we don't have a critical mass of registrations by Thursday on the week of the exam, we will in all likeliness cancel the session. Please register early to avoid being disappointed.

Q: I already have a valid FRN, do I need to reapply for a new FRN when I upgrade?
A: No, if you already have a valid FRN, that is your personal identifier with the FCC and all licenses/upgrades are done using that same FRN.

Q: When I upgrade, will I be assigned a new callsign automatically?
A: Form 605 allows you to choose what happens when you upgrade using the checkbox ""CHANGE my station call sign systematically". If you do not check it - you will keep your current callsign. If you do check it and initial the box below it, the FCC will assign you a new callsign per your new license class automatically. In other words, the FCC assigns you the next available callsign for that class. Please note that your VE team and VEC have no control what so ever as to what callsign you will be assigned. You always have the option to apply for a vanity callsign after your upgrade has been processed.

Q: I downloaded the 605 form from another site, can I use it?
Q: I downloaded the 605 form from the FCC, can I use it?
Q: I downloaded the 605 form from the ARRL, can I use it?
Q: I was given the 605 form by my instructor/mother/wife/kids/dog/etc, can I use it?
A: Absolutely not. Only form 605 obtained from this page will be accepted.

Q: The form says I can put in my SSN or FRN, should I ignore your instructions to obtain an FRN and just use my SSN?
A: Absolutely not, we will not admit you without an FRN. Further more, we do not want to know your SSN, too many bad things can happen when your SSN is circulated. We respect your privacy, please follow the rules to help yourself. Even further - further more, the FCC will not accept your application with an SSN.

Q: The instructions ask to bring $15 in exact change, can I just bring whatever I have and ask for change?
A: We don't carry change. If we can't make change, we won't admit you.

Q: Can I pay with a check, credit card, debit card, traveler's checks, foreign currency, IOU, stock, bonds, T-bills, precious metals, livestock, my first born?
A: Absolutely not.

Q: I do not have the required identification as explained in the instructions, can I still take the exam?
A: Absolutely not.

Q: My minor child (under 18) wants to take the exam, can I just ignore the identification requirements as explained in the instruction and show you my ID instead (after all he/she look just like me)?
A: Absolutely not.

Q: If I fail the exam, can I try again the same day?
Q: If I pass the exam, can I try for the next element the same day?
A: There are no legal limitations or restrictions for taking several exams (elements) per session. However, the team leader will inform you if the VE team can administer another exam based on class size, time limitations, VE availability, material availability and other factors.

Q: When you say "absolutely not", do you really-really mean it, or are you just busting my chops?
A: Yes, when I say "absolutely not", I absolutely, whole heartedly mean it.

Q: Why are the requirements so strict?
A: Because we are empowered by ARRL VEC, which in turn is commissioned by the all-mighty FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to conduct exams per Part 97 (i.e. the law). If we violate the law, it would reflect poorly on our hobby, it would reflect poorly on our integrity, we may lose our licenses, and we may have to sit in jail and pay large fines.

Q: Is Morse code still required for Technician / General / Extra class license?
A: Morse code is no longer needed for any license class. As a result, VEs no longer offer Morse code exams.

Q: I still have questions, I don't understand something, how can I get in touch with you?
A: The contact information above contains an email and daytime phone number, feel free to use those.

7) How to get to the exam

The exam takes place at the Carlsbad Safety Center located at 2560 Orion Way, Carlsbad CA 92010.

From Interstate 5:
From Highway 78 - Oceanside area:
From Highway 78 - Escondido area:

Here is a map to the exam location:

View Larger Map

This is the conference facility where we administer the exams:
Conference facility

8) Online exam preparation resources

We would like to encourage you to use online resources and take practice exams provided free of charge by any of the following excellent sites:

Are you an instructor looking for an exam team?
If you are planning on teaching a class and wish to conduct an exam at the end of the class, please drop me a note using the contact information. Please schedule an exam team at least a month prior to the exam date to help us get VE support.

Looking to become a VE and assist us?
We can always use additional Extra Class Volunteer Examiners in support of regular and special sessions. If you would like to join us as an ARRL Volunteer Examiner, proceed to the ARRL site to download the manual, and complete the open book review. Accreditation is easy! If you just recently upgraded tp Extra Class, please wait for your upgrade to take effect before applying to become a VE. The ARRL provides automatic accreditation to VEs who are accredited with other VECs. If you would like to get accredited with them, please use the link above to download and complete the required form.

License renewals and vanity callsigns:
Both license renewals and vanity callsign requests can be done online directly with the FCC. There is no fee associated with either. Licenses can be renewed within 90 days of the expiration date for the license and up to two years after the license expires.

To learn more about the vanity callsign application process go to the FCC's vanity callsign instruction page. Also, AE7Q has a pretty good page explaining the whole process of vanity callsign research and request process. Please note that I find the idea of silent key callsign harvesting pretty disturbing. While having a "cool" callsign is nice, stalking aging hams for the purpose of being the first to apply for their call is disgusting.

To learn more about renewing your license, go to the FCC's license renewal instruction page.

To renew your license or apply for a vanity callsign proceed to the FCC Universal Licensing System.

Attention webmasters:

Last updated: 06/15/2016