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Amateur radio licences

You must be qualified to operate an amateur radio and operate under a licence. There are also rules for the equipment you use.

If you want to operate and communicate via an amateur radio, you need a licence.

There are 2 types of licences:

You cannot operate an amateur radio without being qualified. Find out more about qualifications we recognise or how to get qualified.

Devices (like amateur radios) operated under amateur licences must comply with the Radiocommunications Equipment (General) Rules 2021. If a device does not comply with relevant standards, you must have a permit to supply, operate and have the device. This is separate from getting a licence. Find out more about permits and fees under the General Equipment Rules.


Non-assigned licences


From 19 February 2024, we will no longer renew any non-assigned amateur licences.


If you have a non-assigned amateur licence, you can surrender it and operate under the class licence. Surrendered licences may be eligible for a refund. Find out how to surrender an existing licence.


If you want to keep your licence, you can operate under it until it expires. Conditions in the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015 will continue to apply. Once it expires, you will be required to operate under the class licence.

Amateur class licence

The class licence allows you to operate a station on shared frequencies.

You don’t need to pay any fees or apply to operate under this licence. 

You also don’t need your ‘own’ licence. You need to hold a recognised qualification and use a call sign to operate under the class licence. Find out more about qualifications and call signs.

Find out more about the class licence.

Amateur assigned apparatus licences


You can operate a station that repeats transmissions from other amateur stations. This is usually to increase coverage.

Operators with repeater licences may use:

  • one frequency, where you receive and transmit on the same frequency
  • 2 frequencies, where you receive on one frequency and transmit on another.


Beacons provide notification of changing propagation conditions that can be used for experimentation.

Qualifications for an amateur beacon or repeater station

To operate an amateur beacon or repeater station under an apparatus licence, you must hold a recognised standard or advanced qualification. Find out more about qualifications we recognise.

Conditions for an amateur beacon or repeater licence

If you have an amateur beacon or repeater licence, you must follow the conditions of your licence. These include any conditions on your individual licence and those listed in the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015.

We include information you should be aware of under the heading 'advisory notes' on your licence.

Apply for an amateur beacon or repeater licence

You can apply for an amateur assigned licence using an accredited person.

They can:

  • carry out the required coordination
  • apply for your licence for you.

Call signs for repeaters and beacons

Call signs for repeaters and beacons are not listed on the call sign register. The ACMA’s amateur call sign policy specifies the format of repeater and beacon call signs.

To check the availability of a particular repeater or beacon call sign, you will need to search the Register of Radiocommunications Licences to see if the call sign has been allocated to an existing service.

You can request a specific call sign when you apply for the repeater or beacon licence. If you do not apply for a specific call sign, the next available call sign will be allocated. There is no charge for repeater or beacon call sign allocations.

Transfer an amateur beacon or repeater licence

You can apply to:


We charge fees for apparatus licences.

High-power amateur station operation

You can apply to operate an amateur station at a high power for certain uses, such as earth-moon-earth. 

Find out about more about scientific licences.

Amateur radio qualifications

You’ll require an ACMA recognition certificate or equivalent to operate. Read more about qualifications.

International arrangements

There are reciprocal arrangements for operating a radio overseas. 

Find out more about the arrangements for overseas visiting amateurs and Australians going overseas.

Get more information

For questions about amateur apparatus licences, email us.

See technical details for amateur apparatus licences.

Check your non-assigned or assigned licence on the Register of Radiocommunications Licences (RRL).

Keep up-to-date—subscribe to our Amateur radio update e-bulletin for the latest amateur service information and notifications about consultations.

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