Welcome to W5PC - the official website of the Amateur Radio Club of Parker County, Texas

"....serving the Community through Public Service."

Radio Volunteer Examiner (VE)

The Amateur Radio Club of Parker County (ARCPC) is a non-profit educational and service organization chartered under the laws of the State of Texas.

ARCPC is affiliated with the American Radio Relay League, a national association of Amateur Radio clubs.

Hopefully you have made the decision to pursue an Amateur Radio License to operate on radio frequencies known as the "Amateur Bands." These bands are radio frequencies allocated by the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) for use by 'ham radio' operators.

Before you can get on the air, you need to know the rules to operate legally and be licensed by the FCC.  Amateur radio licenses are valid for 10 years before renewal and anyone may hold one - except a representative of a foreign government.

License Restructuring

In December 1999, after a lengthy review of the Amateur Radio licensing system, the FCC began issuing major changes. In April 2000, the number of license classes dropped from six to the current three. In addition, in February 2007, the FCC discontinued requiring Morse code proficiency tests. The FCC issued these new regulations to streamline the licensing system and bring the Amateur Radio service into the digital age. While the new license system might not make it easier to get into Amateur Radio, licensed operators can move from the beginner to expert level more quickly.

The Technician License

The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above 30 megahertz, allowing these licensees the ability to communicate locally and most often within North America. It also allows for some limited privileges on the HF (also called "short wave") bands used for international communications.

The General License

The General class license grants some operating privileges on all Amateur Radio bands and all operating modes. This license opens the door to world-wide communications. Earning the General class license requires passing a 35 question examination. General class licensees must also have passed the Technician written examination.

The Amateur Extra License

The Amateur Extra class license conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. Earning the license is more difficult; it requires passing a thorough 50 question examination. Extra class licensees must also have passed all previous license class written examinations.

Note:  The Morse Code test requirement was dropped on February 23, 2007.



Brief History on Amateur Radio Licensing

Some of us remember when we had to go to a FCC Field Office in a major metropolitan city to take an Amateur Radio license exam.  You often sat in a wooden student chair desk in an office while the examiner scrutinized your effort. Others were lucky enough that the FCC came to smaller towns once or twice a year to administer exams, perhaps in a corner of the local Hamfest.


In late 1982 all that changed when Congress passed the Goldwater-Wirth Bill (sponsored by Senator Barry Goldwater, K7UGA). This bill became law and the Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) program was born. It permitted the FCC to accept voluntary and uncompensated services of licensed radio amateurs to prepare and administer examinations. In late 1983, Congress passed another K7UGA sponsored bill which provided for recouping VEC expenses by charging a fee to each candidate taking one or more exam elements. The maximum permissible fee amount is set each year by the FCC based on the Consumer Price Index. In 1984 the FCC began certifying VECs to coordinate these volunteers in preparing and administering exams for Amateur Radio licenses, and in July 1984 the ARRL was granted certification as a 'VEC' for all 13 regions of our country.



So what's a VEC?

It's an organization that has entered into an agreement with the FCC to coordinate the efforts of volunteers in preparing and administering examinations for Amateur Radio licenses. Volunteer Examiners (VE's) are individuals accredited by a VEC and are the people who actually administer the exams. Exam sessions must be coordinated by a VEC, but are conducted by VE's.

Every VE Team must have at least three accredited examiners who must be present at all times during an exam session. All three examiners must grade each test and agree on the test results. Most VE teams have a contact/liaison person who chooses the questions from the appropriate question pool, secures the exam elements and answer keys at all times, and then checks all paperwork from the session before sending all successful exam elements by mail to the ARRL VEC. The ARRL then files the appropriate licensing paperwork with the FCC.


Amateur Radio Club of Parker County - VE Testing

The ARCPC VE Team utilizes volunteer examiners accredited by the ARRL VEC

It conducts monthly examinations at 7:00pm on the Third Monday of each month for Amateur Radio licenses. Pre-registration is not necessary and “walk-ins” are always welcome.

Examination Location:

Whataburger Restaurant

110 E. Interstate 20, Weatherford TX 76087

Goggle Map to Whataburger Restaurant

Please note that the ARRL Examination Fee for 2015 is still $15.00 (for one attempt at all three license elements).

Exact change is appreciated and cash is preferred, we are unable to accept credit or debit cards.

If you ARE NOT currently licensed, you will need to bring TWO forms of photo identification. A valid State issued Driver's License or Identification Card is preferred. Please bring a copy of your identification to be filed with your application for License..

You should also previous to taking the test - register on the FCC website to obtain a FCC Registration Number (FRN) - which is used instead of your social security number - to track your individual FCC licenses.  Bring your assigned FRN to the test site.

If you ARE currently licensed, please bring a COPY of your current license along with the original, and one other form photo identification (please bring a copy of this identification also).

2016 ARCPC VE Team Examination Schedule
January 16, 2017
February 20, 2017
March 20, 2017
April 17, 2017
May 15, 2017
June 19, 2017
July 17, 2017
August 21, 2017
September 18, 2017
October 16, 2017
No Testing In November, 2017 due to Holidays
No Testing in December, 2017 due to Holidays
January 15, 2018


What to expect at a VE Test Session

When you arrive, you'll be greeted by one of our VEs who will ask to see your photo ID and sign you into the test session.  You will be given all the paperwork you'll need to complete.  Once it is reviewed by a VE and approved, you will be asked to put away any study materials you have brought with you - and the VE in charge will give you your test.  There is no pressure to finish quickly, so take your time.

Don't rush through it!

Once you have finished, please check your answers for accuracy - hand in the test materials to the VEs.  They will score your test and report the results to you.  We are not able to tell you which questions you missed - only your final score. 

When you pass, you will be given a Certificate of Succesful Completion (CSCE) as your record of passing!  Any new license or upgrade should appear on the FCC ULS system withing 7 - 10 days.

The FCC will no longer issue you a paper amateur radio license by mail after February 17, 2015.  Once your license appears in the FCC ULS System - you will need to download and/or print the "Reference Copy" of your license from the FCC website.


Take A FCC License Practice Exam To Prepare Yourself...!

If you would like to take a practice test to see if you are ready, the following links may help:

Practice Exams


If you want to get your amateur radio license but feel you need some help, the ARCPC holds informal evening or weekend classes during the year to help you learn what is necessary to successful pass the written test - and also hosts monthly license exams right here in Weatherford.

If you are already licensed and wish to upgrade to the next level or are a new 'ham' and need help with your equipment and/or have other operational questions, we can help with that too...!

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the FCC Amateur Radio testing procedure - please contact by e-mail the ARCPC VE Testing Chairman - Doug May, WB5VQQ

  We will help you get your first Ham license or upgrade to the next level...!

From all the hams here at W5PC, a hearty 73!! (best wishes)



Copyright © 2015-17 Amateur Radio Club of Parker County

Website Last Updated: 17 OCT 2017