San Antonio HamsSan Antonio Area Hams Operator


Serving the Amateur Radio Community
in San Antonio and South Central Texas
since 2003

ExamsAmateur License, Auto Plates,
VE Exams

License Renewal / Texas Auto Radio Operator Plates
/VE Test Sessions


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License Renewal?
How to avoid losing your license...

The USA Callsign database contains about 750,000 listings and at any given moment, approximately 30,000 of these callsigns are expired! Over 1,000 old callsigns are returned to the unused pool each month!

With Amateur Licenses being good for ten (10) years, we often forget to check our expiration dates, especially if we haven't been real active. If you are a member of ARRL, they will send you notice. For that matter, the FCC will send you a ninety-day notice as well. Renewing your license is your responsibility and choice. With today's Internet options, you can renew your license online via the FCC's web site, or use a service such as ARRL or W5YI to renew it for you.

For more information about renewing your Amateur Radio License, please visit the FCC's web site found at this link: Amateurs may renew their FCC-issued licenses "on line" via the FCC web using FCC ULS. FCC permits on-line renewals at 90 days or less before a license will expire, and when the license has expired but is still within the grace period for renewal. Licenses that have been expired for more than 2 years are not eligible for renewal or reinstatement. Amateurs may continue to renew their licenses within 90 days before the license expiration date, or within the two-year license grace period after expiration, using FCC Form 605 by mail to: FCC, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg PA 17325-7245.

In your spare time, if you want to see who has a license up for expiration / renewal within the next thirty-days, or who has already passed that point within the past month, check out this page at QRZ.Com. We provide this information for your humor and education in the hopes that it might prevent someone from losing their hard earned license due to a moment's lapse in concentration. If you see your name on the list, or a friend's name, do something about it today!

Ham License Plates

$2 application Fee
$1 Annual Renewal Fee

We're talking about Ham Plates
- not Green Eggs and Ham or China!

License Plate


Ham and EggsWell.. in this case we are really talking about License Plates for your personal vehicle. One common question that new hams ask those of us who have been around for awhile, at least long enough to get our ham plates on our car or truck, is how to get such a license plate for their vehicle, and how much does it cost?

You can legally have up to four (4) personal vehicles with the same identical license if you put Amateur Radio Operator plates on them. Some restrictions apply, such as size of vehicles are limited to one ton or smaller if we remember correctly. Don't run out and try to put one on your Semi-Truck please! You must be the registered owner of the vehicle, not simply one of the drivers.

It does take a bit more effort than simply getting out your screw driver and changing the plates on the front and back. Amateur Radio Operator license plates are ordered by mail, but you can get the proper application form through the tax office where process your normal license plate registration, title or pay your property taxes, or download it here in PDF format. For more detailed info about this "perk" for Ham Operators, please visit TxDoT's website.

Simply fill out the form, attach a photo copy of your current FCC license showing your eligibility to apply for such license, write your check for $2 (don't send cash) and mail it in. They can't take the order at the local tax office, you have to mail it in to the Texas Department of Transportation.

When your tags come up for renewal each year, you will receive a letter from the Texas Department of Transportation billing you for $1.00 to keep your Ham Plates. Until you send them that check for one dollar, you won't get your paperwork to renew your tags. You must send in that $1.00 in advance upon receipt of this letter to keep your ham radio plates active. This fee is in addition to the normal fees you will pay for your plates, but still a lot less than paying for those vanity plates that cost so much more above and beyond normal fees.



You can also use on-line practice sessions at sources such as:


Quick Index To Area VE TEst Sites

Amateur VE ExamsExams

LATEST Information updated as of September 2013.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS: Always check in advance with the VE Team before assuming anything about the test schedule since schedules have been known to be changed occasionally by outside factors. Some VE Teams will cancel their test session if no candidates have preregistered or if none have shown up within the first 15-30 minutes of the test session. It is always better to be there a bit early and to preregister if possible.

Current Fee in 2016 is:

  • $15 per test session for ARRL VE Teams
  • $14 for W5YI VE Teams (ACARC only).

You can keep testing upwards (i.e. pass technician, go for general) for the same fee if you pass the previous test. Additional testing of same level license (i.e. you almost made it, so you want to try again during same session) will require the payment of additional fees and may be limited in availability during same session. Ask the head VE about their policy if you are so interested. Some VE Teams accept personal checks, others may prefer or require cash. All applicants MUST present either a photo ID or two other forms of positive identification. Some VE Teams always require two forms of ID. Applicants already holding a license must present the ORIGINAL plus a photocopy of it. Any applicants holding a Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam (CSCE) must bring the original and a photocopy (i.e. you took the test and passed some level, but don't have an updated original license back from the FCC as of this test day).

Contact the VE Team in advance if you have questions about their policies. Two of the VE groups, ROOST and SARC, usually have a copier available to make copies as needed on site. Others might need you to bring your own extra copy (they must attach it to your test papers to be submitted, so make sure it is an extra copy, not your only original).

News AlertDo I need to pass the CW (Morse code) exam to get a license? No. The FCC issued a ruling eliminating the CW test requirement completely for all classes of amateur radio licenses. The change took effect February 23, 2007.

Remember... All VE's are volunteers! They are there to help you get your new license or license upgrade, but you need to know your stuff as well. They strive to provide you with an environment that will help you concentrate without outside distractions. Each VE Team is a bit different from the others in how they conduct their sessions. Contact the VE Team before driving out to their test site if you have any questions. Many offer phone #'s and/or email contacts and we have those listed below.

Quick Index To Area VE TEst Sites

San Antonio Radio ClubSan Antonio Radio Club W5SC





Date: 4th Saturday of even months, Starts at 10:00AM

Location: Great Northwest Library
9050 Wellwood, San Antonio, TX 78250 (Grissom Road, 1 block east of Culebra & Tezel)
Google Map: Click Here
Contact: Pat Knight, AD5BR
Phone: 210-273-5927
Affiliation: ARRL
Walk-ins: Please RSVP - but Walk-ins are allowed
Club Website:

Alamo Area Radio Organization AA5RO

Date: 3rd Saturday of odd numbered months, Starts at 9 AM. (Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Nov)
American Red Cross HQ, 3642 E. Houston St
Mapquest Map: Click Here
(Note: Google Map shows incorrect location for the American Red Cross for some reason. It incorrectly displays as being on the other side of IH-10, so we're providing MapQuest link for this address instead.)
Contact: Bruce E. Parkes, KA2ZGW
Phone: (210) 654-0317
Walk-ins: Walk-ins allowed
Special Requirements:
Applicants must sign-in between 9AM-10AM. Testing will continue until noon or all testing is completed, whichever comes first.


Atascosa Amateur Radio Club

Date: 3rd Saturday of March, June, September and December
Start time: 10 AM - email or call first to confirm test session
Location: First United Pentecostal Church of Atascosa County
        70 County Road 431, Pleasanton, TX 78064
Google Map: Click Here
(Just south of Poteet, TX)
Contact: Hugo South, KK5BZ
Phone: ( 830) 281-2408
Walk-ins: Walk-ins allowed, Pre-registration preferred
Club Website:
Special Requirements:
W5YI-VEC affiliated. Youngsters without a photo ID need two documents for identification. Suitable documents include a school ID, School report card, birth certificate, and a Social Security card.

ROOST Radio Operators of South Texas

Date: 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 1PM, all testing completed by 3PM.
Location: 7201 Palm Park Blvd. off Hwy 181, inside Loop 1604
Google Map: Click Here
Chris Koehler, K5VCR
Phone: (210)635-8790

Affiliation: ARRL
Walk-ins: Walk-ins are always welcomed.
Club website: W5ROS.ORG

Special Requirements: None.

McCarc Medina County Amateur Radio Corp. (MCARC)

Date: 2nd Saturday of the month @ 10:00AM. Test candidates must sign in at the test site beginning at 10:15 AM until 10:45 AM Testing begins at 10:45 AM. Note that if no candidates pre-register the test sesion will be cancelled. Similarly, if no candidates sign-in by 10:45 AM, the VE team will be released, the session closed, and the site secured.

Location: Hondo Community Center, located at 1014 18th Street, Hondo Tx
Google Map: Click Here
Contact: Raymond Martinez, N5VRE
Phone: (830) 931-3307
Affiliation: ARRL
Walk-ins: Walk-ins are accepted, however, prior arrangements must be made if special needs are to be accommodated.
Special Requirements: Persons wishing to take an examination for a new license or upgrade must pre-register not later than ten (10) days prior to the test day by contacting Ray Martinez, Jr./N5VRE, at (830)931-3307. Bring a valid picture ID, appropriate cash fee ($15) for testing, plus (if applicable) current Amateur Radio License w/ photocopy and/or original CSC with photocopy (we keep the photo copy).

Club Website:

KARSKendall Amateur Radio Society KB5TX

Date: Pre-Registration Required, Sessions Held Upon Request, but usually available after their monthly membership meeting on the FIRST Thursday of each month.
Location: Boerne, TX (Kendall County)
Google Map: Not Available since location may vary
Contact: Steve, N5SV
Phone: 830-336-3324
Affiliation: ARRL
Walk-ins: Pre-Registration Required
Club Website: or on (member only)

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