What an amateur licence is for
Amateur licences are intended for:
- hobby radio
- technical experimentation
You need an amateur licence to communicate on amateur frequencies. You can do this in many ways, including Morse code and data.
You must be qualified to apply for an amateur licence.
The Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015 defines amateur licences.
Options for amateur licences
Options for amateur licences
There are 5 options for amateur licences:
- 3 allocated on a non-assigned basis
- 2 allocated on an assigned basis
You can operate on any amateur frequency band in Australia.
You can only use these frequency bands: 3.5, 7, 14, 21, 28, 52, 144, 430, 1240, 2400 and 5650 MHz.
You can only use these frequency bands: 3.5, 7, 21, 28, 144 and 430 MHz.
You can operate a station that repeats transmissions from other amateur stations. This is usually to increase coverage.
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
We may not give a repeater licence for various reasons. If we don't approve your application, you may ask us to review our decision.
You can experiment with radio waves, and their relationship to natural elements.
When you have an amateur licence, you must follow the conditions of your licence.
- conditions of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act)
- Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015
- other conditions that apply to you under ‘special conditions’
These conditions help you communicate safely and without interference.
We will include information you should be aware of under the heading 'advisory notes'.
Call signs are a unique series of letters and numbers. They make it easy to identify a station.
The Australian Maritime College (AMC) recommends call signs for amateur licences.
If you do not have a call sign or want to change your call sign, you must first apply to the AMC for a call sign recommendation. There is a fee to apply for a call sign recommendation.
Your licence will show your call sign.
You should use your call sign:
- every time you start to transmit
- before you transmit in a series
- when you test
Apply for an amateur apparatus licence
To apply for an amateur assigned licence, you should contact an accredited person.
- assign you a frequency
- give you a frequency assignment certificate
- apply for your licence for you
You also need to contact the AMC for a call sign recommendation for your amateur assigned licence application.
To apply for an amateur non-assigned licence, you need to:
- complete an application form for an amateur non-assigned licence
- contact the AMC for a call sign recommendation for your licence application.
Transfer an amateur apparatus licence
You can apply to:
Get more information
To ask questions about amateur apparatus licences, you can email us.
Download our fact sheet: Amateur radio—Regulatory roles and responsibilities
Keep up-to-date—subscribe to our Amateur radio update e-bulletin for the latest amateur service information and notifications about consultations.