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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 21, 2014

Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 97—AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE


Subpart F—Qualifying Examination Systems


Contents
§97.501   Qualifying for an amateur operator license.
§97.503   Element standards.
§97.505   Element credit.
§97.507   Preparing an examination.
§97.509   Administering VE requirements.
§97.511   Examinee conduct.
§97.513   VE session manager requirements.
§§97.515-97.517   [Reserved]
§97.519   Coordinating examination sessions.
§97.521   VEC qualifications.
§97.523   Question pools.
§97.525   Accrediting VEs.
§97.527   Reimbursement for expenses.
Appendix 1 to Part 97—Places Where the Amateur Service is Regulated by the FCC
Appendix 2 to Part 97—VEC Regions

§97.501   Qualifying for an amateur operator license.

Each applicant must pass an examination for a new amateur operator license grant and for each change in operator class. Each applicant for the class of operator license grant specified below must pass, or otherwise receive examination credit for, the following examination elements:

(a) Amateur Extra Class operator: Elements 2, 3, and 4;

(b) General Class operator: Elements 2 and 3;

(c) Technician Class operator: Element 2.

[65 FR 6550, Feb. 10, 2000, as amended at 72 FR 3082, Jan. 24, 2007]

§97.503   Element standards.

A written examination must be such as to prove that the examinee possesses the operational and technical qualifications required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee. Each written examination must be comprised of a question set as follows:

(a) Element 2: 35 questions concerning the privileges of a Technician Class operator license. The minimum passing score is 26 questions answered correctly.

(b) Element 3: 35 questions concerning the privileges of a General Class operator license. The minimum passing score is 26 questions answered correctly.

(c) Element 4: 50 questions concerning the privileges of an Amateur Extra Class operator license. The minimum passing score is 37 questions answered correctly.

[54 FR 25857, June 20, 1989, as amended at 61 FR 41019, Aug. 7, 1996; 65 FR 6550, Feb. 10, 2000; 72 FR 3082, Jan. 24, 2007]

§97.505   Element credit.

(a) The administering VEs must give credit as specified below to an examinee holding any of the following license grants:

Operator classUnexpired (or within the renewal
grace period)
Expired and beyond the renewal
grace period
(1) Amateur ExtraNot applicableElements 3 and 4.
(2) Advanced; General; or Technician granted before March 21, 1987Elements 2 and 3Element 3.
(3) Technician Plus; or Technician granted on or after March 21, 1987Element 2No credit.

(b) The administering VEs must give credit to an examinee holding a CSCE for each element the CSCE indicates the examinee passed within the previous 365 days.

[79 FR 35291, June 20, 2014]

§97.507   Preparing an examination.

(a) Each written question set administered to an examinee must be prepared by a VE holding an Amateur Extra Class operator license. A written question set may also be prepared for the following elements by a VE holding an operator license of the class indicated:

(b) Each question set administered to an examinee must utilize questions taken from the applicable question pool.

(c) Each written question set administered to an examinee for an amateur operator license must be prepared, or obtained from a supplier, by the administering VEs according to instructions from the coordinating VEC.

[54 FR 25857, June 20, 1989, as amended at 58 FR 29126, May 19, 1993; 59 FR 54834, Nov. 2, 1994; 65 FR 6551, Feb. 10, 2000; 69 FR 24997, May 5, 2004; 79 FR 35291, June 20, 2014]

§97.509   Administering VE requirements.

(a) Each examination for an amateur operator license must be administered by a team of at least 3 VEs at an examination session coordinated by a VEC. The number of examinees at the session may be limited.

(b) Each administering VE must:

(1) Be accredited by the coordinating VEC;

(2) Be at least 18 years of age;

(3) Be a person who holds an amateur operator license of the class specified below:

(i) Amateur Extra, Advanced or General Class in order to administer a Technician Class operator license examination;

(ii) Amateur Extra or Advanced Class in order to administer a General Class operator license examination;

(iii) Amateur Extra Class in order to administer an Amateur Extra Class operator license examination.

(4) Not be a person whose grant of an amateur station license or amateur operator license has ever been revoked or suspended.

(c) Each administering VE must observe the examinee throughout the entire examination. The administering VEs are responsible for the proper conduct and necessary supervision of each examination. The administering VEs must immediately terminate the examination upon failure of the examinee to comply with their instructions.

(d) No VE may administer an examination to his or her spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.

(e) No VE may administer or certify any examination by fraudulent means or for monetary or other consideration including reimbursement in any amount in excess of that permitted. Violation of this provision may result in the revocation of the grant of the VE's amateur station license and the suspension of the grant of the VE's amateur operator license.

(f) No examination that has been compromised shall be administered to any examinee. The same question set may not be re-administered to the same examinee.

(g) [Reserved]

(h) Upon completion of each examination element, the administering VEs must immediately grade the examinee's answers. For examinations administered remotely, the administering VEs must grade the examinee's answers at the earliest practical opportunity. The administering VEs are responsible for determining the correctness of the examinee's answers.

(i) When the examinee is credited for all examination elements required for the operator license sought, 3 VEs must certify that the examinee is qualified for the license grant and that the VEs have complied with these administering VE requirements. The certifying VEs are jointly and individually accountable for the proper administration of each examination element reported. The certifying VEs may delegate to other qualified VEs their authority, but not their accountability, to administer individual elements of an examination.

(j) When the examinee does not score a passing grade on an examination element, the administering VEs must return the application document to the examinee and inform the examinee of the grade.

(k) The administering VEs must accommodate an examinee whose physical disabilities require a special examination procedure. The administering VEs may require a physician's certification indicating the nature of the disability before determining which, if any, special procedures must be used.

(l) The administering VEs must issue a CSCE to an examinee who scores a passing grade on an examination element.

(m) After the administration of a successful examination for an amateur operator license, the administering VEs must submit the application document to the coordinating VEC according to the coordinating VEC's instructions.

[59 FR 54834, Nov. 2, 1994, as amended at 61 FR 9953, Mar. 12, 1996; 62 FR 17567, Apr. 10, 1997; 63 FR 68980, Dec. 14, 1998; 65 FR 6551, Feb. 10, 2000; 71 FR 66465, Nov. 15, 2006; 79 FR 35291. June 20, 2014]

§97.511   Examinee conduct.

Each examinee must comply with the instructions given by the administering VEs.

[59 FR 54835, Nov. 2, 1994]

§97.513   VE session manager requirements.

(a) A VE session manager may be selected by the VE team for each examination session. The VE session manager must be accredited as a VE by the same VEC that coordinates the examination session. The VE session manager may serve concurrently as an administering VE.

(b) The VE session manager may carry on liaison functions between the VE team and the coordinating VEC.

(c) The VE session manager may organize activities at an examination session.

[62 FR 17567, Apr. 10, 1997, as amended at 79 FR 35291, June 20, 2014]

§§97.515-97.517   [Reserved]

§97.519   Coordinating examination sessions.

(a) A VEC must coordinate the efforts of VEs in preparing and administering examinations.

(b) At the completion of each examination session, the coordinating VEC must collect applicant information and test results from the administering VEs. The coordinating VEC must:

(1) Screen collected information;

(2) Resolve all discrepancies and verify that the VEs' certifications are properly completed; and

(3) For qualified examinees, forward electronically all required data to the FCC. All data forwarded must be retained for at least 15 months and must be made available to the FCC upon request.

(c) Each VEC must make any examination records available to the FCC, upon request

(d) The FCC may:

(1) Administer any examination element itself;

(2) Readminister any examination element previously administered by VEs, either itself or under the supervision of a VEC or VEs designated by the FCC; or

(3) Cancel the operator/primary station license of any licensee who fails to appear for readministration of an examination when directed by the FCC, or who does not successfully complete any required element that is readministered. In an instancce of such cancellation, the person will be granted an operator/primary station license consistent with completed examination elements that have not been invalidated by not appearing for, or by failing, the examination upon readministration.

[54 FR 25857, June 20, 1989, as amended at 59 FR 54835, Nov. 2, 1994; 62 FR 17567, Apr. 10, 1997; 63 FR 68981, Dec. 14, 1998; 71 FR 66465, Nov. 15, 2006; 79 FR 35291, June 20, 2014]

§97.521   VEC qualifications.

No organization may serve as a VEC unless it has entered into a written agreement with the FCC. The VEC must abide by the terms of the agreement. In order to be eligible to be a VEC, the entity must:

(a) Be an organization that exists for the purpose of furthering the amateur service;

(b) Be capable of serving as a VEC in at least the VEC region (see appendix 2) proposed;

(c) Agree to coordinate examinations for any class of amateur operator license;

(d) Agree to assure that, for any examination, every examinee qualified under these rules is registered without regard to race, sex, religion, national origin or membership (or lack thereof) in any amateur service organization;

[54 FR 25857, June 20, 1989, as amended at 58 FR 29127, May 19, 1993; 61 FR 9953, Mar. 12, 1996]

§97.523   Question pools.

All VECs must cooperate in maintaining one question pool for each written examination element. Each question pool must contain at least 10 times the number of questions required for a single examination. Each question pool must be published and made available to the public prior to its use for making a question set. Each question on each VEC question pool must be prepared by a VE holding the required FCC-issued operator license. See §97.507(a) of this part.

§97.525   Accrediting VEs.

(a) No VEC may accredit a person as a VE if:

(1) The person does not meet minimum VE statutory qualifications or minimum qualifications as prescribed by this part;

(2) The FCC does not accept the voluntary and uncompensated services of the person;

(3) The VEC determines that the person is not competent to perform the VE functions; or

(4) The VEC determines that questions of the person's integrity or honesty could compromise the examinations.

(b) Each VEC must seek a broad representation of amateur operators to be VEs. No VEC may discriminate in accrediting VEs on the basis of race, sex, religion or national origin; nor on the basis of membership (or lack thereof) in an amateur service organization; nor on the basis of the person accepting or declining to accept reimbursement.

§97.527   Reimbursement for expenses.

VEs and VECs may be reimbursed by examinees for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in preparing, processing, administering, or coordinating an examination for an amateur operator license.

[66 FR 20752, Apr. 25, 2001]

Appendix 1 to Part 97—Places Where the Amateur Service is Regulated by the FCC

In ITU Region 2, the amateur service is regulated by the FCC within the territorial limits of the 50 United States, District of Columbia, Caribbean Insular areas [Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands (50 islets and cays) and Navassa Island], and Johnston Island (Islets East, Johnston, North and Sand) and Midway Island (Islets Eastern and Sand) in the Pacific Insular areas.

In ITU Region 3, the amateur service is regulated by the FCC within the Pacific Insular territorial limits of American Samoa (seven islands), Baker Island, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Island (more than 50 islets) and Wake Island (Islets Peale, Wake and Wilkes).

Appendix 2 to Part 97—VEC Regions

1. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

2. New Jersey and New York.

3. Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

4. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

5. Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

6. California.

7. Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

8. Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia.

9. Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

10. Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

11. Alaska.

12. Caribbean Insular areas.

13. Hawaii and Pacific Insular areas.



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