How to get a Amateur Radio Ham Vanity Call Sign Online
You may be in the position of wanting a amateur radio HAM call sign that was issued to a late relative. The best solution to obtain the call sign (if it is not already issued to someone else) is to apply for it through a vanity application. You can do this however, I would recommend checking the FCC call sign database first to see if the call sign has been reissued. If it has, you are almost guaranteed not to get it. You've got a 2 year grace period after the former holder has died to apply as a family member. After that, it's possible that anyone from the community may apply for the call sign.
Apply for a Vanity Call Sign
I highly recommend the W5YI Group vanity call sign application process. This is how I obtained my own vanity call sign. It was painless and very easy to complete. They are also recommended by the famous QRZ.com organization.
VERY IMPORTANT! Under the new Universal Licensing System (ULS) all licensees are required to be registered in the CORES system before modifications can be made to their FCC record. Licensees may register themselves or are (in most cases) automatically registered by a VEC whenever their license data is modified -- such as when a name, address, call sign or license class changes.
How much does a Vanity Call Sign Cost?
Each application processed is $29.95. Please also keep in mind that if you give more than one call, they MUST become available on the same day to be filed together on one application. Example: If you give 4 calls available on 4 different dates, that is 4 applications at $29.95 each that you will be charged for separately.
Once the application is completed, it can take up to 18 days but usually it's much quicker. Once the call has been issued and added to the FCC database, you can begin using it.
When does the Vanity Call Sign Expire?
Every license issued has a grant term of 10 years. Vanity or not, your license will expire 10 years from the issue date. You can easily renew your amateur radio license online.