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How to become an Amateur Radio Operator.

To operate a HAM radio transmitter in Canada, you need to have a license issued by the Government of Canada.

Applications and all matters related to Amateur Radio are handled by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Be aware: Major fines and penalties exist if you do not have a license, and are found operating on the Amateur Radio Network.  It is not worth the risk.  Become properly licensed.

The Government of Canada has an excellent resource for learning what you need to become a licensed amateur. It is a good idea to look at this website first, and get an idea of what you will need to do.

Licensed amateurs should have available to them the ‘Radio Information Circulars’ and ‘Radio Branch Regulations’ provided by ISEDC. The following is a list of those circulars that provide all/most of the licensing and regulatory information may be needed to responsibly operate stations. 

The following documents can be found on the ISEDC website for review:

Here is an easy path for you to follow, concerning getting your license, in three simple steps:

It is highly suggested that if you are interested in obtaining your license, that you come to a meeting and see what it's all about.

Once you have decided that Amateur Radio is what you would like to involve yourself with, your next step is to look at getting your basic license.

When you are ready to write your exam, we can help you make arrangements to write the exam. We have a volunteer examiner within our club that administers exams for us. You will need a minimum of 70% to pass the exam, for the basic license. 80%+ would give you a Basic with Honours license.  To pass the Advanced License, you will need a minimum 70%.  Morse code requires 100% to pass.

Once you are licensed, you can go out and purchase a radio (within the guidelines you can operate under) and start making contacts. Don't forget to make sure you contact our Club Treasurer and pay your membership dues.  You can even purchase license plates through Service Ontario with your callsign.

Please note: Service Ontario representatives sometimes do not understand how to process the Amateur License Plates, as they do not get a lot of requests for these.  The plates should cost you about $32.00 -- if they tell you it's over $300, you can ask them to contact their team lead or their helpdesk for assistance.  You will need to have your Driver's License and a copy of your Amateur Radio License to be eligible to order these plates.

Part of the fun when you get a license, is looking up members callsigns and seeing where they are from, when you're out and about, or hear an unusual callsign in a net. Our fellow amateur operators at the Festival City Amateur Radio Club have given us permission to link to their callsign database to do lookups.  Feel free to check it out.