Welcome to the Bloomington Amateur Radio Examiners Group website. The purpose of this site is to provide information we feel you will find helpful, before you arrive to take your test to become a FCC Licensed Amateur Radio Operator.
The Amateur Radio Exam Sessions scheduled for 2020 schedule is shown shown below:
- February 29 (note this is the 5th Saturday)
- March 28
- April 25
- May 23
- June 20 (note this is the 3rd Saturday)
- July – no exams
- August – no exams
- September 26
- October 24
- November – no exams
- December – no exams
This concludes our exam sessions planned for 2020. Please check back before arriving for the exam session as last minute changes can occur due to weather or examiner availability.
Session Location Information and starting Time:
All Amateur Radio Exams will be held at Bloomington’s Civic Plaza, 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN 55431 in the Haeg Conference Room .
Enter Civic Plaza using the Police Department Entrance accessed on Logan Avenue, west of the intersection of 98th street and Old Shakopee split.
Please arrive by 8:45am to permit time to register. Exams will be handed out at 9:00am.
Signs posted in the entrance and an examiner at the door will direct you to the exam room as building entrance doors are often locked on the weekend.
Session Information: All persons taking exams are asked to pre-register with Dan Royer at KE0OR@arrl.net or phone 952-888-9756 however walk-ins will be allowed, space permitting.
The volunteer examiner (VE) team is sponsored by the City of Bloomington through the Bloomington Auxcomm which operates under the Police and Fire Department’s Office of Emergency Management and the Bloomington Amateur Radio Association. Our examination team includes the following Amateur Radio Operators:
- Dan Royer – KE0OR (Lead Examiner)
- Brian Esmay – AD0MJ
- Bill Mitchel – AE0EE
- Tom Weigel – AB0J,
- Jeff Goodnuff – W0KF
- Jim Hagen – AJ0CM
- Cathy Hagen – AJ0YL
- Fred Steinhaus – AC0FS
- Ed Van Cleave – W0VC
- Lynne Morin – KA1AAM
- Doug Nicholson – AE0BO
You will find the group concerned with your success and be ready to assist you throughout the process.
Most exam sessions take place on the 4th Saturdays of the month. Exceptions are noted in the schedule, above. Please arrive for the exam at 8:45 am.
No Exam sessions are planned for July, August, November and December during 2019.
Session Information: Pre-registration for the Amateur Radio Exam session is requested. You can register by calling Dan Royer at 952-888-9756 or send an e-mail to KE0OR@arrl.net .
Persons with special needs, such as having an exam read to them, are asked to pre-register for the session at least 7 days before the test so we can obtain the necessary support to assist them during the exam session. Persons needing additional assistance are also encouraged to contact “Handiham.org” for additional assistance.
Before you come to the test session:
1. IMPORTANT: If you are Upgrading your license, you need to provide a COPY of any element credit certificate that applies towards your new license. You must relinquish this COPY to be submitted to the FCC with your completed test material. (Please make your copies BEFORE coming to the test session, as copiers are not available at the test site.) Bring either a photocopy of your current, signed, Amateur Radio license, or the original(s) and photocopy(s) of any Certificates of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) you may hold from previous exam sessions. (If your license has already been issued by FCC, the CSCE showing license credit is not needed.)
2. VEC’s are required by the FCC to submit either your SSN (Social Security Number) or your FRN (Federal Registration Number) with your license application form. If you prefer not to give your SSN at the exam session, then you may register your SSN with the FCC before exam day. Once you have a FCC issued FRN, you may no longer use your SSN on the application. To directly link to the fcc universal licensing page and get your FRN, go to http:/wireless.fcc.gov/uls. For instructions on how to register your SSN with the FCC and receive a FRN, visit the FCC’s FAQ page and the FCC’s registration instructions page.
3. Please bring a pencil with an eraser and a pen to the exam session.
What you will need at the test session:
Before Testing Begins you will need to provide or do the following:
1. A government issued photo ID such as a Drivers License or Passport is preferred. If no photo ID is available, TWO alternate forms of identification are required. Acceptable documents include:
- non-photo ID/driver’s license (some states still have them)
- birth certificate (must have the appropriate seal)
- social security card
- library card
- utility bill, bank statement or other business correspondence that specifically names the person; or a postmarked envelope addressed to the person at his or her current mailing address as it appears on the Form 605.
- students may bring any of the above items and/or a school ID, minor’s work permit, report card, or a legal guardian may present a photo ID.
2. You will need to provide the examination test fee of $15.00. All fees are forwarded to the ARRL. If possible, a check made out to the ‘ARRL-VEC’ is the preferred method of payment. Cash will also be accepted however the exact amount for the fee is appreciated.
3. Calculators may not be programmed for solving exam questions and are subject to examination by our VE team. All other materials including paper for calculations will be provided at the session.
4. Put away all books, notebooks, purses, etc. These should be placed on the floor.
The team looks forward to seeing you and meeting you at the exam session. Good luck in your amateur radio endeavors.
The Bloomington-VE Team
Information Regarding Recent FCC Rule Changes
Expired License Rules Revised:
The FCC has revised the Amateur Service Part 97 Rules to grant partial written examination element credit to holders of expired General, Advanced and Extra licenses. The new rules are in effect as of August 21, 2014.
Following is a link to the ARRL web page with further information on these changes:
Paper License available only by request
Starting February 17, 2015 the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. The Commission has maintained for some time now that the official Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that exists in its Universal Licensing System (ULS), although the FCC has continued to print and mail hard copy licenses. In mid-December, 2014 the FCC adopted final procedures to provide access to official electronic authorizations, as it had proposed in WT Docket 14-161 as part of its “process reform” initiatives.
Under the new procedures, licensees will access their current official authorization (“Active” status only) via the ULS License Manager. The FCC will continue to provide paper license documents to all licensees who notify the Commission that they prefer to receive one. Licensees also will be able to print out an official authorization – as well as an unofficial “reference copy” – from the ULS License Manager.
New Licenses will be available by email:
“Under the new procedures, a new license applicant who already has an FCC Registration Number (FRN) and provides a valid e-mail address under “Applicant Information” in the ULS will receive an official ULS-generated electronic authorization via e-mail. New license applicants lacking an FRN will receive in the mail an FRN and a temporary password to access the COmmission REgistration System (CORES). New applicants will no longer automatically receive a license document and must request one by changing their “Paper Authorization Preference” in the ULS License Manager.”
Please note that as of September 2017, Form NCVEC 605 has changed.
The form now asks candidates to certify a “Basic Qualification Question: Has the Applicant or any party to this application, or any party directly or indirectly controlling the Applicant, ever been convicted of a felony by any state or federal court?”
Below are other links which may be of Interest:
Below are links to several practice exam sites. Typically, students passing the practice exams consistently with a score of 80% appear to have success passing tests at the ve exam session. Please check the site to be certain material referenced is regularily updated and currently reflects exam requirements. The ARRL test manuals with the software CD is most helpful.
Other practice test sites include:
- AA9PW.com offers proven accessibility to blind users with its option for “no figures” in the exam.
Click on the following links for help learning Morse Code. Morse Code is no longer required for any license however many people are still communicating with Morse Code and wish to learn how to communicate using the code. Good luck and have fun.
- Morse Code Practice Page
- Morse Code Teaching Machine
- FCC License Data Search (Provided by the ARRL)
- FCC Universal Licensing System Web Page
Don’t worry, just go in and take that exam!