There are a number of rules that pertain to the FCC’s requirements to collect personal information in granting licenses. This is a summary of some of them.
Communications Act of 1934
Title III – Special Provisions Relating to Radio, License for Radio Communication or Transmission of Energy.
SEC. 303 GENERAL POWERS OF COMMISSION
(l) Have authority to prescribe the qualifications of station operator, to classify them according to the duties to be performed, to fix the forms of such licenses, and to issue them to such citizens of the United States as the Commission finds qualified;
(n) Have authority to inspect all transmitting apparatus to ascertain whether in construction and operation it conforms to the requirements of this Act, the rules and regulations of the Commission, and the license under which it is constructed or operated;
Title 47 CFR Chapter 1
§1.5 Mailing address furnished by licensee
(a) Each licensee shall furnish the Commission with an address to be used by the Commission in serving documents or directing correspondence to that licensee. Unless any licensee advises the Commission to the contrary, the address contained in the licensee’s most recent application will be used by the Commission for this purpose.
(b) The licensee is responsible for making any arrangements which may be necessary in his particular circumstances to assure that Commission documents or correspondence delivered to this address will promptly reach him or some person authorized by him to act in his behalf.
§1.923 Content of applications.
(a) General. Applications must contain all information requested on the applicable form and any additional information required by the rules in this chapter and any rules pertaining to the specific service for which the application is filed.
§1.8001 FCC Registration Number (FRN).
(a) The FCC Registration Number (FRN) is a 10-digit unique identifying number that is assigned to entities doing business with the Commission.
(b) The FRN is obtained through the Commission Registration System (CORES) over the Internet at the CORES link at www.fcc.gov or by filing FCC Form 160.
§1.8002 Obtaining an FRN.
(a) The FRN must be obtained by anyone doing business with the Commission
47 CFR Part 97
§97.23 Mailing and email addresses.
Each license grant must show the grantee’s correct name, mailing address, and email address. The email address must be an address where the grantee can receive electronic correspondence. Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct email address.
What does this all mean?
This means that YOU must apply for a FRN. In the past it was possible to apply using your social security number and the FCC would then automatically issue you your FRN. We have rarely accepted a SSN, and have always provided a laptop for walk-in applicants to apply for their FRN. Our registration process through hamstudy.org does take you to the FCC site to obtain your FRN.
If you have a GMRS license you already have a FRN. Use that FRN for your Amateur Radio license application.
§97.23 states your “correct name.” There has been some discussion as to whether than means your legal name, your name on your state issued ID or something else. It isn’t defined in the rules, at least not that we or anyone else has been able to point to.
The Volunteer Examiners (VEs) have to be satisfied that the person who is taking the exam is the applicant.
Prior to the revision of §97.23 it used to say that the address you listed had to be one where mail sent by the US Postal Service could be received. There was no specification that it had to be your address, as long as you could get the mail. If you failed to respond to a letter your license could be suspended. That language was removed when §97.23 was revised in May 2021 and email was listed as a requirement, with the provision that email that was rejected could cause your license to be suspended.
Now as you probably know anyone can search the FCC’s ULS database and find you as a ham. If you do not want your address public you can get a post office box or similar and list that.
There is no requirement in the rules to provide your phone number. HOWEVER we ask for it because if there is an issue with your application, perhaps you need to re-sign it electronically, it is faster for us to call you.
The FCC does not list your phone number in the ULS, no one can search you and get your number.
If you do not want to list it on the application you can still provide it to the session manager, who can keep it on a scrap of paper we retain, just in case there is an issue. We’ve only had a couple of these over the years, but they do happen. If there is some kind of issue we cannot submit your application until it is fixed.