So you just passed the Tech license exam and your new call sign just appeared on the FCC ULS database. Congratulations!
Let’s say you were assigned KG5ZXY, but that’s both hard to remember and hard to pronounce phonetically. Or maybe you’ve been licensed for years but just don’t like the call sign you have.
Either way you would really like something different; maybe a catchy one or a call that has your initials or something shorter or easier to remember. Don’t despair! You can request a specific call sign if it is available, termed a vanity call.
Vanity call signs typically include alphabetical characters of personal significance (e.g., licensees initials, parts of names, hobbies, etc), or sometimes are simply chosen because they are shorter calls, or sometimes they have double or triple duplicate characters (e.g., W1WWW).
Note: this information is valid for USA hams. Many other countries have vanity call programs but the details and rules will be different.
Now there are limitations to call signs, of course. This is a good time to review our call sign variations topic where you can learn about valid prefixes, suffixes, formats, and quantity of characters.
It goes without saying that you cannot request a call that is already issued (for two years Continue reading