What an apparatus licence is for
An apparatus licence lets you operate the transmitters or receivers that you get a licence for.
You can only use them at the place or in the area we specify on your licence.
An apparatus licence may be:
- an assigned licence
- a non-assigned licence
Some apparatus licences can only be assigned licences.
You cannot use or get a licence for prohibited equipment.
Who can get an apparatus licence
We only give apparatus licences to a:
- incorporated company
Usually only one person can be named as the licence holder. In special circumstances, we may allow more than one person.
A person cannot be:
- a trust (only a trustee for the trust)
- an unincorporated association
- a superannuation fund
- a business name
We may issue an apparatus licence for up to 20 years. We issue most apparatus licences for one year.
We review requests for longer licences on an individual basis. Further details about apparatus licence periods is available in Our approach to radcomms licensing and allocation information paper.
We will send you 2 notices when your licence is due for renewal. The first will be a validation notice that reminds you your licence renewal is coming up. It gives you the chance to make changes to your licence before the renewal.
After the validation notice, we will send you a renewal notice. You will need to pay this if you wish to keep your licence. We will not make any changes to the licence, or process the surrender or transfer of a licence during the renewal period.
You will need to pay the renewal notice in full before changes will be made. You will need to take action because renewal is not automatic.
Once you receive a licence, we will not cancel it unless you:
- give up your licence
- break the rules for your licence
- break the law.
Our policy on apparatus licences says why we may refuse to give you or renew an apparatus licence.
How to apply for an apparatus licence
To apply for an assigned licence, contact an accredited person.
You can apply to us for a non-assigned licence. Choose the licence you need from the list below, then download the application form on the licence page.
We will issue you a licence if your application is successful.
You will need to pay a licence fee.
List of apparatus licences
- 16 transmitter licences
- 5 receiver licences
The licence you need depends on the equipment you want to use, and your reason for using it.
You must have a licence to use a transmitter, unless the device is covered under a class licence.
License a station on the ground that communicates with aircraft.
License radio equipment that is fixed to an aircraft.
For hobby radio and technical experimentation.
Licence to operate multiple radiocommunications devices for any service in a specific geographic area and frequency band.
Transmit TV and radio programs to the public.
Only for Defence activities.
License an earth station that communicates with a space station.
License transmitters that are in fixed positions.
License fixed to mobile or mobile to mobile transmitters.
Licences for niche radio broadcasting services.
License radio equipment that uses maritime frequencies on land.
License radio equipment that uses maritime frequencies on water.
Offer emergency radio services in remote places.
License a station that provides a mobile telecom service.
License equipment that uses radio waves to find or track objects.
Research or test radio waves and radiocommunications equipment.
License a space station that communicates with an earth station.
You only need to licence a receiver if you want an assigned frequency.
Defence receive licence
Only for Defence activities.
License a receiver in an earth station.
License a receiver in a fixed station.
License a receiver in a maritime coast station.
License a receiver in a space station.