How to get back your old Ham radio licence.

Abstract: recovery of old Ham radio licence in Australia
Keywords: Ham Licence, recovery, WIA, certificate of recommendation.

It was with considerable sadness that in 1995  I did not renew my Ham licence.  There were two little kids and number 3 was yet to
appear .  The excuse was the usual one, the demands of family naturally overide all other considerations, there was no time left to even look after my own health, let alone play radios.  But time does pass, and the relentless demands of spouses and children do abate and children do  grow up. Now I have a few usefull shards of time that are mine.

Things have changed just a little from 1976 when I first earned and was allocated VK3ZZC.  My radio activities were absolutely restricted
to 6 Meters and all above. The contacts with other like minded people thus generated fundamentally altered and directed my life and career. The Ham radio fraternity is a kind of mafia, it does open doors that  are otherwise firmly shut.  It was time to reconnect with my past life and core interest.

The most significant change in the last 15 years is that in Australia morse code proficiency is no longer required for access to the short wave spectrum.  The personal computer is ubiquitous and "exotic" digital modes will focus strongly in my renewed interest. The other real change is the general absence of signals in the short wave spectrum, it isnt how I remembered it. The bands are now, in my suburban setting in Melbournes outer suburbs filled with the garbage of stray digital radiation.  The 27Mhz CB spectrum is now silent. I certainly dont miss the cacophony that was CB in the seventies. The Sun has gone all funny. I cannot show real sun spots to the kids. There are very few short wave broadcasters now.  There is allmost no commercial RTTY actvitiy any more. There is a 137kHz long wave band and the vague possibility of a 500khz allocation.

Extraordinary !

The WIA now administers  both amatuer certification  and callsign allocation has been outsourced by the ACMA to them as well .

step one.   Find your old Novice, AOLCP or AOCP  certificate, the impressive one that describes how on such and such a day you satisfied the  Minister, or Post-Master General that you know which end of a hot soldering iron to hold!  The key number is the certificate number.

step two.  Go to the WIA web site and get the request for callsign  form. Check with the on line available call sign database and select two unallocated callsigns that satisfies your  qualification requirements (advanced, standard, foundation etc ) and personal tastes.  

step three.  Give a postal money order for $22 to the wia  for your callsign recommendation certificate. Assuming all is in order, you will
recieve this certificate which is valid for only 10 ten days and quickly submit it to ACMA.

step four.   Go to the ACMA website and download form RO57. There is no such thing as a Ham licence or amateur radio licence, they are
generic "apparutus licences"  and you tick the "recreational use" box.  

step five.  using the nice callsign recommendation certificate you just recieved from the WIA , add that to your correctly filled out RO57 and include $65 by cheque or better still a postal money order , made out to the ACMA, they cost just $5 and cannot bounce and will cause no further delay.  Your RO57 form will include the certificate number of your AOLCP,Novice,AOCP certificate, but include a copy of it just for
good measure, it seems to speed things up.

step six.  hold breath, wait. If all is good, the ACMA will respond in about 5 working days with your nice new licence. They do have all
your old certifications on record, all they really need is a valid certificate number.

step seven. dont forget to renew it next year! Good DX. Whatever.

What to do if you cannot locate your old certificate?  You need to know about what location and year you got it. This gives the officials some  hope of finding it in their archives.  You need to speak to the WIA in the first instance, it appears that they may also accept other legitimate engineering qualifications like degrees, Broadcast Ops, TVops  and others, but may require you to do a regulations test, but do not take my word for it, the WIA really does want you to get back on air and will help.


this document was created Tue Jun 22 19:32:47 EST 2010