How do I get an amateur radio license

How do I get an amateur radio license?
How To Get Your Canadian Ham License
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🇨🇦 Canadian Amateur Radio details 


ISEDC  (Canada’s Governing Body)
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Find an Accredited Examiner in your area to test with.

Try a practice exam to judge your progress

For quite a number of years I was interested in ham radio but never seemed to have the time to study what was needed for the Industry Canada exam. Once I retired I decided that it was time to go after that elusive ticket. The requirements had changed somewhat and it was now possible to get a ham ticket without having to learn morse code. Some older hams were not happy with this change stating that "a real ham knows the code". Other hams felt that the change was good as it encouraged more people to participate in the hobby.

If you are interested in obtaining your ham license, here is a bit of information that may answer a few of the questions that you may have had about getting into the hobby.

The first thing that I would recommend is to join an amateur radio club. There are many advantages to joining a club. Many clubs offer very good classes to help you learn everything you need to know in order to pass the Industry Canada exam. Most clubs have very reasonable membership fees. For example, I joined the Mississauga Amateur Radio Club (MARC) with a membership fee of $30. per year. MARC is one of the clubs that not only offer classes for both the basic and advanced license, but two of their members are accredited Industry Canada Examiners, so you can write the exam right there at the club. The other great advantage of joining a club is that there are a lot of experienced hams there who are more than willing to offer a wealth of knowledge and help to anyone who needs it.

The second thing you should do is to pick yourself up a book such as "Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide". This is the book used by MARC for their classes. If you join a club that offers classes, you may want to check to see which book they use first.

The third thing you should do is to download the Industry Canada exam generator (its free). This is a piece of software that generates questions from the Industry Canada exam question database. All exam questions are multiple answer questions and the exam consists of 100 questions drawn at random from this database. The examiner actually uses this software to generate your exam so you can test yourself using this software while you are learning to see if, and where, you may have any weak spots.

🇨🇦 Canadian study guide Exam resource here

To obtain your Basic Amateur Radio license you are required to achieve a passing mark of at least 60%. If you achieve a passing mark of 80% or more, you will receive a Basic + qualification. What is the difference between the Basic qualification and Basic + qualification? The Basic license allows you to operate radio equipment on all bands above 30MHz using a maximum of 250 watts DC input. The Basic + qualification allows you to operate on all bands above and below 30MHz. These additional frequencies are referred to as the HF bands (high frequency bands).

Some of you may be asking if ham radio is an expensive hobby? One of our club members once jokingly told me, "In this hobby you can go as far as you can afford." While it is true that some hams, who can afford it, have some very elaborate ham stations, the average ham does not. Basically, all that you really need to get started is a tranceiver and an antenna. There are many places, such as eBay and Ontario Swap Shop, where you can find very good used tranceivers and antennas at reasonable prices. You can also find some very good deals at local Hamfests. But, in fact, you don't even need a tranceiver or an antenna to get started as a new ham. Once you have passed the exam and received your call sign you can use Echolink. Echolink allows you to talk to other hams all over the world using your computer, and a pair of headphones with a boom microphone or any other type of computer microphone. When I first got my ticket, and I was waiting to get some equipment, I talked to hams in New Zealand, Australia, France, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands as well as many of the U.S. states just using Echolink. In fact, I still use Echolink on a regular basis to talk to some hams who have become good friends.

So if you have an interest in the hobby of ham radio don't hesitate any longer. It is fairly simple to get your Basic or Basic + license. I started the class with MARC in mid October and received my call sign in mid December. Get your call sign and start rag chewing with other hams around the world. Maybe even earn some awards such as WAS (Worked All States) or the DXCC award for working 100 countries. Enjoy the hobby and more importantly,….Have fun!

All stations using our network must have a valid amateur radio license. Choose a country below to find out how to get the license. It's easy and inexpensive!

Getting Your CANADIAN Ham License

Radio Amateurs of Canada
Study Guides

Amateur Radio | Ham Radio Canada
Getting Your Amateur Radio License

All administrative activities for amateur radio, e.g. the issuance of amateur radio operator certificates and call signs, changes of mailing address and requests for special event or special prefix call signs, are carried out from a central location:

Country Number of amateur
radio operators
% population Year of
 United States 801,424 0.248 2016 [2]
 Japan 435,581 0.343 2015 [3]
 Thailand 176,278 0.275 2006 [4]
 Germany 75,262 0.092 2007 [5]
 Canada 69,183 0.201 2011 [2]
 Republic of China 68,692 0.296 1999 [4]
 Spain 58,700 0.127 1999 [4]
 United Kingdom 58,426 0.094 2000 [4]
 South Korea 42,632 0.082 2012 [6]
 Russia 38,000 0.026 1993 [4]
 Brazil 32,053 0.016 1997 [4]
 Italy 30,000 0.049 1993 [4]
 Indonesia 27,815 0.011 1997 [4]
 France 14,160 0.02 2013 [4]
 Ukraine 17,265 0.037 2000 [4]
 Argentina 16,889 0.042 1999 [4]
 Poland 16,000 0.041 2000 [4]
 Australia 15,328 0.067 2000 [4]
 India 15,679 0.001 2000 [4]
 Malaysia 10,509 0.0004 2016 [4]
 Denmark 8,668 0.156 2012 [7]
 Slovenia 6,500 0.317 2000 [4]
 South Africa 6,000 0.012 1994 [4]
 Austria 5,967 0.068 2016 [8]
 Norway 5,302 0.106 2000 [4]
 Finland 5,000 0.090 2016 [9]

HAM Radio Licence
updated : April 2017



Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) EXPLAINED
Despite the growth of the Internet, ham radio is still a popular hobby. How does it work, and how is it still relevant in the digital era?

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Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It's fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.
Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the "Amateur Bands." These bands are radio frequencies allocated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use by ham radio operators.

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