FRN vs. SSN

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FCC Registration Numbers vs. Social Security Numbers

The FCC now requires that everyone corresponding and conducting business with them must use their FCC Registration Number (FRN), not their Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

The only time your Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number is used with the FCC is to apply for the FRN.

If you do not have an FRN, the FCC will not conduct business with you.  They no longer accept Social Security Numbers as identification.

If you have an FRN, you should use it on the Form 605 at all future exam sessions, when you apply for a license upgrade, and when renewing your license.

Your FRN can be found in fine print on your Amateur Radio License.
It is public information and is posted on the FCC's license database.

Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is confidential and is not retained by the exam team.


How this applies to your Amateur Radio license:

  1. When you apply for your first (Technician) license, the VEC will conduct a search on the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) to find your FRN.

  2. If you've ever held a license in another radio service (Commercial, Marine, GMRS, etc.), your FRN will be retrieved and the VEC will then process your Amateur license application.

  3. If you've had no prior dealings with the FCC, no FRN will be found and the VEC will use your Social Security Number (or Taxpayer Identification Number) to have an FRN assigned to you.  The VEC will then process your Amateur license application.

  4. When you apply for your next (General or Extra) license or renew your license, you should use your FRN on Form 605.  Using your SSN requires the VEC to search for your FRN; this delays the application process and exposes your personal identity to greater risk of theft.

  5. Your FRN is public information; like your call sign, it is posted on the FCC's license database.

  6. Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is confidential and is not retained by the exam team.