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Canadian Amateurs Wishing to Operate Abroad

RAC Logo Foreign Amateurs Wishing to Operate in Canada
RAC Logo Download Industry Canada Radio Information Circulars (RICs)
RAC Logo Amateur Radio Service Centre

Q - Where can I obtain information on the requirements for an amateur radio call sign?

A - The information is contained in Industry Canada documents RBR-4 (formerly RIC-2), RIC-3 , RIC-9 and RIC-24, as well as the Amateur Certification - Fact Sheet available on the Industry Canada web site. Please send questions about documents to or contact the Amateur Radio Service Centre at the following address:

Industry Canada
Amateur Radio Service Centre
P.O. Box 9654
Postal Station "T"
Ottawa, ON
K1G 6K9

E-Mail address:
Telephone: 1-888-780-3333 (Toll free in Canada)
Fax Number: 1-613-991-5575


Q - Where do I go to take an Exam to get an amateur call sign?

A - There is a list of accredited examiners with their names and addresses on this web site, or at www.callsign.ca.


Q - How do I find out what call signs are available?

A - RAC maintains a copy of the official Industry Canada "Call signs available list" on this web site.


Q - For how long are the Canadian Amateur Radio Certificates valid?

A - The Amateur Radio Certificates are valid for your lifetime.


Q - I hold a Canadian Amateur Radio Certificate but have not had a callsign for several years. What do I have to do to get a call sign?

A - Contact the Industry Canada Amateur Radio Service centre at the following address:

Industry Canada
Amateur Radio Service Centre
P.O. Box 9654
Postal Station "T"
Ottawa, ON
K1G 6K9

E-Mail address:
Telephone: 1-888-780-3333 (Toll free in Canada)
Fax Number: 1-613-991-5575


Q - Where is the Industry Canada District Office nearest to me?

A - See RIC-66 available on the Industry Canada web site.


Q - Do I have to be a Canadian citizen to have a Canadian Amateur Radio call sign?

A - No, but you must have a Canadian address for your station and call sign. 


Q - How can I find out the Certificate level of a radio amateur whose call sign I know?

A - Check the Official Callsign Database on this web site. Note that if the amateur's name is followed by (+), that amateur has Basic with Honours status.


Q - I hold an amateur radio certificate with only a Basic qualification (not Basic with Honours). May I transmit between 29.5 and 29.7 MHz into a 10 metre FM repeater?

A - No. Amateur radio operators cannot transmit between 29.5 and 29.7 MHz in any mode unless they hold either: (a) the Basic with Honours qualification; (b) both the Basic and Morse qualifications; or (c) both the Basic and Advanced qualifications.


Q - I hold an amateur radio certificate with only a Basic qualification (not Basic with Honours). May I transmit into a 2 metre voice repeater which outputs in the 29.5-29.7 sub-band on 10 metres?

A - Yes. The Basic qualification permits you to transmit on 2 metres. The 2 metre voice repeater which outputs from 29.5 - 29.7 MHz would be licensed to an amateur who also would have the qualifications necessary to transmit on 10 metres, and who must be in control of the repeater. In order to install and operate a repeater on 10 metres, the repeater licensee must be the holder of the Basic and Advanced qualifications. The licensee is permitted to link a 29.5-29.7 MHz output repeater with a VHF or UHF repeater without concern for the user qualifications.

However a qualified amateur is not permitted to allow you to remote control his station, nor to repeat your signals below 29.5 MHz unless you hold qualifications to transmit below 29.5 MHz.


Q - I hold an amateur radio certificate with only a Basic qualification. Can I set up and operate a radiotelephone repeater with 70 cm input and 2m output?

A - Yes. Section 44 of the Radiocommunication Regulations stipulates that an Advanced qualification must be held by the licensee of a voice repeater repeating in the same band. Note however that to control the repeater remotely (as opposed to simply using it), an Advanced certification is required.


Q - I hold an amateur radio certificate with only a Basic qualification. May I set up and operate a digital repeater (digipeater) on the 2 metre or 70 cm band?

A - Yes. The holder of a Basic qualification can set up and operate a digital repeater on the VHF and higher bands. Section 44 of the Radiocommunication Regulations stipulates that an Advanced qualification must be held by the call sign holder for a voice repeater repeating in the same frequency band. Note however that to control the repeater remotely (as opposed to simply using it), an Advanced certification is required.


Q - I am the holder of a Basic Amateur Radio Certificate. I own two dual-band transceivers, one of which I use as a base station and one as a mobile station. Am I allowed to to use the mobile radio as a one way or two way cross-band repeater?

A - Yes. In accordance with the section 44 of the Radiocommunication Regulations, you are permitted to use your equipment as a cross band repeater; that is to say, that it has its input frequency on one band and output on another.
Section 44 states that the call sign holder of a voice repeater with input and output on the same band must be the holder of an Advanced qualification.


Q - I am a Canadian citizen living temporarily in another country. I do not have a Canadian callsign but I have obtained a licence in the country in which I am living. When I visit Canada on vacation or business, can I operate using my "overseas" licence and call sign?

A - In Canada, you may operate radio apparatus in the amateur radio service if you are an individual who holds a radio licence in the amateur radio service and an amateur radio operator authorization, issued by the responsible administration of a country other than Canada, provided:

i) you are a citizen of that country, and

ii) a reciprocal arrangement that allows similar privileges to Canadians exists between that other country and Canada. (Information regarding reciprocal arrangements is contained in Industry Canada document entitled RIC-3  Information on the Amateur Radio Service)

If you are not a citizen of the country that issued your amateur radio licence and operator authorization, you will need to obtain a Canadian operator's certificate and callsign to operate in Canada.

Authorization procedure for reciprocal operation:

If you are a holder of a valid CEPT permit (Conférence Européenne des administrations des Postes et Télécommunications) or a valid IARP (International Amateur Radio Permit) issued in your country of citizenship (other than Canada), no prior approval from Industry Canada is required.

If you are a citizen of the United States and hold a valid radio licence for a radio station in the amateur service issued by the Government of the United States, no prior approval from Industry Canada is required.

In other cases you should apply well in advance for an authorization to operate while in Canada from the Industry Canada Amateur Radio Service Centre
P.O. Box 9654
Postal Station "T"
Ottawa, ON
K1G 6K9

E-Mail address:  Spectrum.amateur@ic.gc.ca
Telephone:  1-888-780-3333 (Toll free in Canada)
Fax Number:  1-613-991-5575

Provide a copy of your radio  licence and amateur radio operator authorization, your itinerary in Canada as best known and include the address(es) where you will be staying. Industry Canada will review your request, and if approved, will provide a letter authorizing your operation during your visit to Canada under the reciprocal arrangement or agreement. 

Please note that:

a) all radio stations for the amateur service operating in Canada must comply with the Canadian Radiocommunication Regulations and the Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service, RBR-4. (See Industry Canada documents RBR-4 and the Radio Regulations (RR)), and

b) an individual authorized to operate while temporarily in Canada ceases to be authorized should his or her foreign radio licence or amateur radio operator authorization cease to be valid.


Q - The RAC Operating Manual (Chapter 3.1 - WHO MAY OPERATE AN AMATEUR STATION) says:

42. An individual may [obtain a callsign] in the amateur radio service where the individual is the holder of one or more of the following Certificates or licences 
a) an Amateur Radio Operators Certificate with Basic Qualification 
b) a Radiocommunication Operators General Certificate (Maritime) 
c) a Radio Operators First Class Certificate 
d) a Radio Operators
Second Class Certificate 
e) a Radiotelephone Operators General Certificate (aeronautical) 
f) A Radiotelephone Operators General Certificate (Maritime) g) a radiotelephone Operators General Certificate (land) 
h) a First-Class Radioelectronic Certificate 
i) a radio licence referred to in paragraph 9(2)(i) and
j) a radio licence for a radio
station in the United States
issued by the government of the United States. 

I was told by Industry Canada that Radiotelephone Operators General Certificate was replaced with the Restricted Operators Certificate. I already had my Restricted certificate but they will not let me operate an Amateur Radio Station, can you tell me why?? 

A - In the mid 1990's, Industry Canada restructured a number of radio operator certificates by eliminating some and renaming  others while at the same time changing the qualifications required to obtain some of these certificates. 

The restructuring was based on the actual requirements to operate specific type of equipment. The Department had found that as technology had changed, the technical and operational requirements for different types of radio services also had changed. As a result, the Department took under consideration the qualifications of existing operators and added Schedule I to the Radiocommunication Regulations to provide and equivalencies between the certificates issued under the Repealed Radio Operator's Certificate Regulations (ROC) and certificates issued under the Radiocommunication Regulations.

 The certificate equivalency's table is only an indication that  holders of certificates issued under the ROC ( listed in column  I) are deemed to have at a minimum the same qualifications required for the equivalent certificate under the Radiocommunication regulations (listed in column II). However, the reverse situation is not applicable, the holder of a certificate listed in column II does not necessarily have the equivalent level of qualifications as his counterpart in column I.

 Schedule II of the Radiocommunication Regulations is the document that provides the type of station that various types of certificate holder may operate. Industry Canada quoted the section from Schedule II for the Restricted Operator's Certificate which defines what kind of station you may operate:

 " 12. Restricted Operator's Certificate. Any authorized station on board a ship that is voluntarily fitted with radio installations or on board a ship that is compulsorily fitted with radiotelephone installations and that is not fitted with Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) equipment. "

 Industry Canada thus does not consider a Restricted Operators Certificate, which was issued under Schedule II, to be equivalent to the Amateur Radio Operator Certificate which relates to a different kind of radio station and for which there are different certificate requirements. 

 

   Radio Amateurs of Canada
  
720 Belfast Road, Suite 217, Ottawa, ON, K1G 0Z5
    Phone: (613) 244-4367             Fax: (613) 244-4369
   
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