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Amateur radio call signs

We assign call signs for amateur radio.

Call signs are a unique series of letters and numbers used to identify a station.

If you do not have a call sign or want to change your call sign, you must apply to the ACMA.

Using call signs

It’s important that amateurs understand the procedures for using call signs. Refer to information in the:

Call signs assigned under the class licence will be specified in a call sign certificate, issued by the ACMA.

Applying for a call sign

We recommend you read our call sign policy before applying.

You must hold a recognised qualification to apply for a call sign.

You can search for an available call sign on the call sign register.

To apply:

Amateurs with existing call signs

If you had a call sign linked to an active licence before 19 February 2024, you can continue to use your existing call sign and your call sign is included on the call sign register. The call sign will be associated with the highest level of qualification you held – for example, if you held both a standard and advanced licence, your call sign/s will show as being assigned to an advanced amateur).

Operators holding active non-assigned amateur licences before 19 February 2024 should have received a letter confirming their qualification level and the 2, 3 and/or 4-letter call sign/s they hold and their highest level of qualification. This letter can be used as proof of your qualification level when applying for a call sign.

We will assign a call sign consistent with the class licence and the call sign policy.

If you wish to transfer your call sign that is on your active non-assigned amateur licence, you will need to surrender your non-assigned licence as part of the call sign transfer process.

From 19 February 2024, if you are assigned a new call sign, we will issue you a certificate specifying your call sign.

Get information about your call sign/s by logging into your ACMA Assist account.

Register of call signs

Our online call sign register shows:

  • whether a call sign is assigned, available or reserved
  • for assigned call signs, the qualification level of the amateur to whom it is assigned.

Personal information such as name, address and contact details are not available.

Call sign checks and reassignment

Under the class licence, most call signs will be assigned on an ongoing basis (unless the call sign holder surrenders, transfers, or the ACMA cancels the assignment of the call sign). For permanently assigned call signs, we will check every 5 years whether you still require your call sign/s.

Call signs with the prefix VK0 or VK9, special event call signs and contest call signs are assigned for 12 months.

From 19 February 2024, expiry dates for contest call signs on the AMC’s contest call sign list were extended by 12 months. For example, on 19 February 2024, if the expiry date for the contest call sign was listed on the AMC contest call sign list as 24 March 2024, the new expiry date is 24 March 2025. 

For call signs with the prefix VK0 and VK9 and special event call signs, we will contact holders of these call signs before July 2024 to confirm the call sign/s they hold and their expiry date/s. 

Holders of call signs with the prefix VK0 or VK9, special event call signs and contest call signs will be able to apply to have their call sign re-assigned before expiry.

Transfer or cancel your call sign

You can apply to transfer your call sign to another amateur operator, or cancel an existing call sign. 

Find out how to transfer or cancel a call sign in the call sign policy.

Reserved call signs

If an amateur operator dies, the amateur operator’s representative can apply to reserve, transfer or surrender their call sign. Refer to the call sign policy for further information.

If you need assistance, please contact the Customer Service Centre.

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