VE Testing

Amateur Radio Testing

Welcome to the world of amateur radio! Our VE (Volunteer Examiner) team is accredited with the ARRL to provide in-person testing for candidates seeking their Technician, General or Extra class license. Of the $15.00 we collect for administering the exam 100% of the money goes to the ARRL to cover their expenses. We are truly ‘Volunteer Examiners’. We can arrange for your test at one of our pre-determined locations or a location of your choice in McCreary County KY, Fentress County, Morgan County or Scott County TN.

We are also working with the ARRL and ExamTools to offer remote testing for candidates living in the counties noted above that are unable to attend in-person.

Meet our ARRL accredited examiners:

  • Julian Bankston W5EDQ Extra Class
  • Dale Brown KO4DHA Extra Class
  • Virgil Gibson W4OME Extra Class
  • Joy Gibson WA4JOY General Class
  • Bill Green* KF4TY Extra Class
  • Paul Lay KT4PN Extra Class

* ARRL VE and Emcomm Field Examiner

As of May 2021 the testing is by request only as we are transitioning to computer based testing and plan to have scheduled dates posted later this summer.

What to Bring to an Big South Fork Amateur Radio Club/ARRL Exam Session:

1.  One legal photo ID (identification):
           a. State Driver’s License
           b. Government issued Passport
           c. Military or Law Enforcement Officer Photo ID card
           d. Student School Photo ID card
           e. State Photo ID card

 2.  If no photo ID is available, two forms of identification:
           a. Non-photo State ID card (some states still have them)
           b. Birth certificate (must have the appropriate seal)
           c. Social security card
           d. Employer’s wage statement or Minor’s work permit
           e. School ID card
           f. School or Public Library card
           g. 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.

 3.  Students/minors without a photo ID need to bring only one of the above items if a legal guardian presents their photo ID; otherwise two non-photo IDs are required.   Minor children (under the age of 18) should be accompanied in the room by an adult during the test.

4.  FCC Registration Number (FRN):  The Big South Fork Amateur Radio Club and the ARRL are required by the FCC to submit your FRN with your license application form.  New license applicants must create an FCC user account and register their Social Security Number (SSN) in the FCC Commission Registration System (CORES) before attending exam sessions. Registrants will be assigned an FRN which will be used in all license transactions with the FCC. For instructions on how to register your  SSN and receive an FRN from the FCC, visit the FCC’s Registration  page and the FCC’s Registration instructions page. Per FCC rules, a valid email address is also mandatory on the application form.

First-Time Exam Applicants MUST Obtain FCC Registration Number Before Taking Exam

As of May 20, 2021, all amateur examination applicants are required to provide an FCC Registration Number (FRN) to the Volunteer Examiners (VEs) BEFORE taking an amateur exam. This is necessary due to changes the FCC has made to its licensing system. Applicants will create an FCC username and account, respond to the verification email from FCC, and then register for the FRN.
Register on the FCC’s COmmission REgistration System (CORES):


Amateur candidates who already have an FCC license, whether for amateur radio or in another service, already have an FRN and can use the same number. All prospective new FCC licensees, however, will be required to obtain an FRN before the examination and provide that number to the volunteer examiners on the
Form 605 license application. An FCC instructional video ( provides step-by-step instructions on how to obtain an FRN through the FCC’s CORES system.

The FRN is required for all new applicants to take an amateur exam and is used afterward by the applicant to download the license document from the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) (, upgrade the license, apply for a vanity call sign, and to submit administrative updates (such as address and email changes) and renewal applications.

Email Addresses REQUIRED

In addition, after June 29, 2021 all applications will be required to contain an email address for FCC correspondence. Applicants will receive an email direct from the FCC with a link to the official electronic copy of their license whenever a license is issued or changed. ARRL VEC suggests that those without access to email to use the email address of a family member or friend. Licensees will be able to log in to the ULS using their FRN and password to download the latest version of their license at any time. The FCC no longer provides paper license documents.

5.  If applicable, bring a printed copy of your Amateur Radio license.  Acceptable copies or printouts of licenses are available from the following sources: the official license or reference license printed from the FCC website or license data printed from the ARRL website or QRZ website. 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 the FCC, the CSCE showing license credit is not needed. The candidate is require to show proof of the current license to the team but the team is no longer required to submit the proof to the VEC. Expired license proof must be submitted to the team and to the VEC for processing to FCC. These photocopies will not be returned.  Instructions on how to obtain an official FCC license copy are on the ARRL’s Obtain License Copy web page.

6. Complete the NCVEC Quick-Form 605 Application for Amateur Operator/Primary Station License and either email to KC8SPV at gmail dot com or bring a hard copy with you to the testing site.

7.  Two number two pencils with erasers and a pen for in-person sessions. 

8.  A calculator with the memory erased and formulas cleared is allowed. You may not bring any written notes or calculations into the exam session.  Slide rules and logarithmic tables are acceptable, as long as they’re free of notes and formulas. Cell phone must be silenced or turned off during the exam session and the phones’ calculator function may not be used. In addition, iPhones, iPads, Androids, smartphones, Blackberry devices and all similar electronic devices with a calculator capability, may NOT be used.

9.  Bring a check or cash to cover the exam session fee(s) ($15.00 for each test. The check should be made out to Big South Fork Amateur Radio Club.

10.  Be aware that some information about you will be made publicly available           on the FCC’s website: FCC Licensee Privacy