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Amateur radio licences

An amateur apparatus licence is for hobby radio and technical experimentation. You must be qualified to get an amateur licence.

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

Amateur non-assigned

Advanced

You can operate on any amateur frequency band in Australia.

Standard

You can only use these frequency bands: 3.5, 7, 14, 21, 28, 52, 144, 430, 1240, 2400 and 5650 MHz.

Foundation

You can only use these frequency bands: 3.5, 7, 21, 28, 144 and 430 MHz.

Amateur assigned

Repeater

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

Beacon

You can experiment with radio waves, and their relationship to natural elements.

Licence conditions

When you have an amateur licence, you must follow the conditions of your licence.

These include:

These conditions help you communicate safely and without interference.

We will include information you should be aware of under the heading 'advisory notes'.

You should also be aware of our electromagnetic energy (EME) rules that are applicable to you.

Call signs

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.

They can:

  • 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:

Transfer an amateur apparatus licence

You can apply to:

Fees

We charge fees for apparatus licences.

In some circumstances, you can apply for a licence fee exemption or concession.

Get more information

To ask questions about amateur apparatus licences, you can email us.

Or, see technical details for amateur apparatus licences.

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.

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