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Redding ARRL VE Team



Did you hold a Technician class license prior to March 21, 1987?

If so, the FCC will offer you credit for the General (Element 3) written exam. If you still hold a Technician class license, you would qualify for an Instant Upgrade to a General class license.


Even if your license has expired, the FCC will give you credit for Element 3.  All you would need to do is pass the current Technician class exam (Element 2) and you would receive a General Class license.


You would need to provide evidence that you held a Technician class license prior to March 21, 1987.


The following is from the ARRL’s web page:



Pre-1987 Technician License "Grandfather" Element Credit-

The FCC does not offer any credit for expired Novice, General, Advanced or Extra class licenses. However, per FCC Rule 97.505(a)(4), the FCC does offer partial credit to pre-1987 Technician licenses. If an applicant was ever a "Technician" prior to 3/21/1987, and has proof, the FCC will afford credit for the General (Element 3) written exam only. The FCC does not require the applicant to have been continuously licensed. At VE exam sessions it is the applicant (not the VEs or coordinating VEC) who is responsible for supplying the evidence of holding valid grandfather credit.  


The Redding ARRL VE Team does own a 1987 Radio Amateur Callbook that can be used to verify Grandfather eligibility.

If you qualify, be sure to read the very next section which is on the same web page:

Valid Forms of Exam Element Credit for Pre-1987 Technician Licenses


If you think that you might qualify, please contact your local Volunteer Examiner group.  If you don’t know who to contact, please use the ARRL’s web page:




We recommend contacting them in advance of an exam session so that you can obtain the necessary proof prior to the exam session.