How to get FCC Radio Operator Permit for FAA Commercial and Private Pilots

Steps get your

FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit

FAA certificated pilots operating VHF radios and flying within the United States do not require any aircraft radio licensing or operator’s permit. Private or Commercial Pilots who fly outside of the United States, or who wish to operate an HF Radio need to obtain a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit from the Federal Communications Commission or FCC.

FCC’s website is not easy to navigate and hunting for information there is not an easy feat. Here are the 2 easy steps one needs to follow to secure your Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit (RROP).


Steps to Obtain

Step 1 – With FCC, you have to first register for FRN Number – FCC Registration Number on CORES (Commission Registration System) Here is a link to get one –

Step 2 – Log on to FCC’s license management system(using the login information you created in step 1), and select RR – Restricted Radiotelephone from the drop down menu. Here is a link to license management site –

Answer No to all 3 questions on the next page, go through couple other steps including certification, pay the fee and you are done. (click the pic on the right)

Hope this helps.


Post Date: November 1, 2018


  • S A says:

    Prince – Thanks for putting this out there!

  • Nick says:

    Just to clarify (I’m a little dense some times) its log into the second link.
    Click “Apply for new license” at top of right hand bar.
    Then “RR restricted operator” not “AC aricraft” correct? Both lead to the same 3 yes/no questions with just one extra one in between for AC

    • Prince Singh says:

      Yes Nick, it is RR Restricted Operator. The other one is if you need a license for the aircraft, which is not what you would need as a pilot. As a pilot, we are an operator.

      • Richard Chan says:

        I got my paper official copy of the RR Operator license. Would the FCC send me the official card later?

        • Prince Singh says:

          No. The paper official copy is the one! :-). Laminate that and save it. That is your permanent one.

          • Richard Chan says:

            Thanks for your reply.

          • Matthew Myers says:

            Im confused. I see that this person somehow got a printable version of the licenses but I can not seem to find it anywhere. Iv been scrolling through the comments and it seems like it will be mailed to the address? What one is it? Print it out or it will be mailed. Im looking for a RR license for my ATP-CTP.

          • Prince Singh says:

            I know it comes in the mail. It is on this special and official looking cheap paper.

      • Gabrielle Disanza says:

        Hey there Prince!

        I appreciate this article as it helped guide me to applying for my RR just now! Only question I am trying to figure out now is what is the difference between the RR that I now have obtained and the aircraft A/C one? Do you need both a “pilot” radio license and then an “aircraft” license (to be kept in the airplane) in order to conduct international travel? TIA!

  • arturo says:

    hi, I just did everything, form, payment. what do i get? do i get anything at all in the mail? or what’s next?

  • Danielle says:

    How long does it take for the card to come in the mail? Do you get a temporary one until then?

  • Sandino Santos says:

    Beautiful thanks…

  • George Quill says:

    Thank you for your directions. There site was not very informative. When I found your directions it made life much easier. Thanks again!

  • Ben says:

    How can I get a copy of my FCC (RROP) license that I lost and don’t remember license number do I need to apply for a new
    license. I trayed with my name and no records found

  • Thad says:

    Very helpful article! If you need to search for your FRN number, use this page and select RROP from the drop down and your last name and state.

  • David Foss says:

    First, thanks for the info.
    I just went in. On the second step under the RR drop down, one of the statements is that this is needed for radio stations except those that operate only on vhf and do not make foreign flights. It looks like we do not need this if using vhf frequencies only and not making foreign flights.

  • Sean Stephenson says:

    Thanks for the info. The website has next to no instructions. This was clutch.

  • Greg Fisher says:

    I used your direction to get FCC license, follow your instructions. after payment I print form 159 and payment. Now wait for mail to come with card. Thankyou. Not happy about the money cost, but need fcc license.

  • Michael says:

    Thank you so much. Honestly the only useful information on this out there. Much appreciated!

  • Cj says:

    Very well presented, otherwise it would be impossible to navigate through this site.
    My only question is, without any test, what value this permit has? There was no question about what type of flying license one has, or if the person is proficient enough in radio communication?
    Any one used in countries abroad?

  • Sven says:

    THANK YOU – I would have never figured that out – starting with FRN vs FCC user name (apparently two separate user databases) and the myriad of options.

  • Juan Antonio Rodriguez Campos says:


    I did all your steps and pay $70.00. After that the page still says my application is Pending and I have no license yet.

    What should I do?

  • Bryan says:

    Thank you Prince Singh!

  • Nina Marousek says:

    So, just to clarify, if I’m flying my C172 from Florida to the Bahamas, I need to file for the FCC Radio Operator Permit for myself, the PIC, as outlined above AND… (here’s the question) do I also need to obtain some sort of radio license permit for the airplane? One permit for the operator and one permit for the airplane?

    • Prince Singh says:

      Hello Nina. Yes that is correct. There has to be a Radio Operator License, which is the process listed in this article, and then there has to be a ship radio license. You can get one of those from the FCC’s website as well.

      • Timothy Juntunen says:

        I went through the process for a ship’s operators license. There were 2 fees listed, one for $70 and another for $100. Since I already paid $70 for the operators license is that redundant or is the total cost for the operator and ships license $70+$70+100 = $240?

  • I am trying to fill out the application for a new RR license. However, United States on not listed in the drop-down menu. What am I doing wrong.

  • Luiz says:

    Does the FCC has any kind of expiration date?

  • Jonah says:

    Thanks for the info! Typically how long does it take to be delivered after complete the new application?

  • P H says:

    I am applying RR-Restricted Radiotelephone as an individual. Do I need to pay both the application fees and regulatory fees?

  • Vince Smith says:

    My permit is tattered and worn since being issued in 1992. I read that I could get a new one if I changed my address with FCC. I now have a FRN. How to I trigger a new permit?

  • Scott says:

    If you own and pilot your aircraft do you need one for yourself as well as the airplane?

  • Joy says:

    I followed the link and paid the $70 fee three months ago, but I have not received anything in the mail. Am I supposed to get a physical license to carry?

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for your tutorial. I was always told that the hardest thing about getting your FCC License is navigating the FCC website.

  • Skip says:

    Hi There, My wife and I fly our own aircraft together here in the United States on our FAA pilot certificates. We both have a Flight Radiotelephone Operator License included on our ICAO issued Australian Commercial and ATP certificates, which we had to sit an exam for at the time. Will that be sufficient to cover the FCC Radio Operator Permit when we fly our N registered aircraft in another country?

  • Bob Davis says:

    Had a restricted radio operator’s license for private pilot many years ago. Wanting to get back into flying now after several years and cannot find it. Can I apply to the FCC for a copy or do I need to get a new one? Don’t remember the number on it or the date.

    • Prince Singh says:

      Bob, FCC restricted radio license is not required for flying within the country anymore. You do not need to get a replacement one, unless you are flying for the airlines, or flying bigger airplanes with HF radios, or flying across the borders to foreign countries.

      • Konrad Warner says:

        Hi Prince,

        Excellent responses to all the questions. I was issued a radiotelephony licence in 1980. I still have the original card, but it has an expiry date of 5 years from that September 1980 date. I flew with the airlines between the Caribbean and the USA from 1980-2001, then between the Middle East and the USA from 2001 until the present. There is the possibility that I may be flying in the USA again. How do I generate a replacement FCC Radiotelephony licence? The one I have only has my name and signature on it – no serial number, nothing to make it “unique”. How do best proceed?

  • Mike says:

    I submitted my request but couldn’t pay, i was redirected to a separate window which i was to log into and pay for my application. I couldn’t log in there. Checking my application status though does indicate that i submitted the application. How do i get to the payment screen for a submitted application?

  • Laura says:

    I did the steps as you stated them and for some reason I got to the payment page and the fee was only $35.00. I am not sure where I went wrong. The fee is supposed to be $70.00? How do I proceed from here? Please help

    • Stephen Floyd says:

      Laura, Most of the FCC fees changed in April 2022. Most went down. Stephen

    • Rahul says:

      Hi I did the same steps today and paid $35 as well, I dont know if we get the paper in the mail as I will need it by the end of July for a job. For now I just saved the documents that I applied for it and payment confirmation as proof that I did apply for it and hopefully see something in my mailbox.

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