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Why I got a GMRS license, and why you should, too.

Dec 24, 2021
So I got a GMRS

license

. I'll tell you why, and why it couldn't wait, and how to get one. Coming up today at Ria's shack. Hello, this is Ria, and welcome to the cabin. Here we are mainly talking about amateur radio, but there are some other personal radio services as well. And I've talked about them briefly, mainly in how they differ from amateur radio. But today I am going to tell you why I personally got a

license

for GMRS and even some GMRS radios. My friends at Retevis kindly sent me these radios and very soon I will be doing a full review of all these radios so if you don't want to miss anything hit the subscribe button and notification bell and you will be notified of every new video.
why i got a gmrs license and why you should too
So, we're going to talk a little bit about GMRS, the General Mobile Radio Service, and FRS, the Family Radio Service. What is GMRS? Well, remember in my CB radio video, I talked about how the FCC wanted to put CB radio in the UHF bands, but due to cost reasons they had to go down to 27 MHz. But actually, the FCC enacted a UHF CB service. . The FCC reserved frequencies from 450 to 470 MHz and enacted Class A Citizens Band Radio Service. Between then and now, FRS and GMRS shared some channels and frequencies, with FRS being lower power and GMRS being higher power.
why i got a gmrs license and why you should too

More Interesting Facts About,

why i got a gmrs license and why you should too...

GMRS required a license and FRS did not. But it was getting harder to enforce that, so... in 2017 the FCC changed the rules, FRS radios went up to 2 watts of power, but the FCC also removed radios that could be used on both FRS and GMRS . So no more combined FRS and GMRS radios, apart from the ones that were protected before this new regulation. And I know a lot of people ask me why we can't have one radio to rule them all, but the FCC doesn't like that. They don't think that way. So why did I get a GMRS license?
why i got a gmrs license and why you should too
Well, the first reason has to do with an important restriction in amateur radio. As you may know, I'm a part 107 drone pilot. In fact, I do a fair amount of commercial drone projects and it's a good side job. I really enjoy flying drones and taking awesome videos from above, as well as photos. But sometimes I don't work alone and I may have a visual observer or someone else on my flight crew. And yes, these are FAA legal definitions. So, amateur radio doesn't really allow commercial activity on amateur radio frequencies, with very rare exceptions. Those are for teachers, a limited exception for hospital drills, and finally the bulletin station control operator from ARRL headquarters at W1AW in Newington, Connecticut.
why i got a gmrs license and why you should too
GMRS, on the other hand, can be used for commercial purposes. But there is a nuance that you

should

know. One of these nuances is that a company itself cannot have a GMRS license. At least not anymore. Some have vested rights. But a person can have a license, and it is perfectly legal to do business in GMRS. And indeed, he can use a whole-home license. Looking good. Especially since it's $70 today, but it'll drop to $35 in the future. But that is not the only reason. One of my brothers moved a bit close. He is now in Connecticut and asked specifically about radios.
He is not interested in ham radio, but he wants to keep in touch with his immediate family when he is there. And that is valid. So I got to thinking. My kids will get their license eventually, but for now, I'll probably want to give them a radio when we're away from home so we can communicate. And if we're doing business, because, spoiler alert, sometimes they're my drone flight crew, we can use GMRS, legally. But perhaps another, more important reason: it's a must-have tool in your communications toolbox. There may come a time when you need to have people who want to help with communications but may not necessarily want to do a ham exam.
That's where GMRS fits right in. Some people told me that GMRS radios are already being used in some public events like the New York City Marathon and others. Of course, the marathon also makes extensive use of amateur radio, but GMRS has its place. Or if you like to gear up and need radios that are not on the ham bands, because hams are very particular about trespassers, and with good reason. So you get into GMRS and hopefully those you talk to also have a license. So how do you get a license? You must first register for an FCC Registration Number or FRN.
Basically, it's a digital ID that the FCC uses to conduct business with you. The old method, especially for amateur radio licenses, was to provide your social security number and the FCC would track it that way. No more. They now require FRN, and I think this is better for many reasons, especially privacy. If you have an amateur radio license, you already have an FRN and can go to the FCC website, log into the Universal Licensing System, or ULS, with your same FCC registration number or FRN, and then apply for the license over there. You are looking for the service code ZA which is for GMRS.
Fill out the information, then proceed to certification, pay your fee, and you're done. Your license will be issued in a day or so. By the way, you need an email address, because the FCC has gone completely paperless. It saves them a ton of money on printing and postage, so they have pretty much eliminated all paper forms and license documents. The callsign format is basically four letters and a number. I have the callsign WRNY816. It's different from my amateur callsign. And yes, you have to use this in the air. Once your license appears in the FCC database, you can stream immediately.
You have to identify your station and say your callsign at the end of your transmissions, and every 15 minutes in between. It is the same concept as amateur radio, but a little more relaxed. It has repeaters on GMRS, some of them run by off-road clubs, because it is popular with off-road enthusiasts. Some of these repeaters are closed, others are open. Better ask permission. There is a website below that I will link to with details on repeaters. But anyway, that's why I got a license and that's why I got into GMRS. I will be posting reviews of these radios soon so stay tuned.
Thanks for watching, if you liked the content please hit the subscribe button and give us a thumbs up. Until next time, this is N2RJ... and WRNY816. See you!

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