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Want a Mexican (XE) amateur radio permit?
(Updated 27 Apr 07)
This is not an easy, or inexpensive, process. Mexico is not currently a party to the (initially) European CEPT licensing scheme nor has Mexico entered the inter-American IARP scheme. Mexico's telecommunications authorities (originally, the Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes - Secretariat of Communications and Transport, abbreviated to SCT; now the Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones - Federal Telecommunications Commission, abbreviated to CoFeTel) have signed reciprocal-operating agreements with a few countries, and has been known to issue permits to amateurs from countries where no such agreement exists. The process involves lots of paperwork, and - for the typical length of time these permits are issued (6 months) - money. I will detail the process I followed to obtain my XE permit using the SCT office in Mexicali, instead of shipping my paperwork to CoFeTel in Mexico City. I was able to obtain permission to operate quickly following this process, and do it myself.
The application forms indicate that the completed applications have to be sent to Mexico City, but that is not the only way to get a permit. Amateurs may choose to file their applications directly with CoFeTel in Mexico City, but this may take up to 2 months or more before you obtain your permit. I will not detail the process to obtain the permit in this manner, but will detail the process I followed to obtain my current permit. It has taken less than 60 minutes for me to obtain the FMT ("tourist card", like an entry visa but not requiring a passport) at the Migracion (immigration) office at the border and then drive across Mexicali to the SCT office to file the paperwork for my permit. The receipt issued by the SCT office, after submitting the paperwork and depositing the fee payment at a nearby bank, is considered by SCT sufficient permission to operate while waiting for the actual permit document to arrive from Mexico City. SCT offices, located in each Mexican state capital and also in other Mexican cities, will accept the applications and send the information on to CoFeTel in Mexico City.
Although the majority of these web pages detail the process I followed to get the XE permit at the SCT office in Mexicali, the process should be similar at any SCT office across Mexico. Since CoFeTel only has offices in Mexico City, SCT offices are used by Mexican hams when they need to submit paperwork destined for CoFeTel (applications for new licenses or renewals, yearly reports on their radio activity, etc.). A limited grasp of Spanish is helpful when visiting SCT offices, as these offices may not have English speakers available.
Documents needed to obtain a permit...
Once you have your application and FMT (or other immigration papers)...
Once the paperwork is submitted...
In addition, I have prepared PDF files with the Mexican ham-radio regulations, as issued in 1988 with revisions in 1988 and 1994 (all in Spanish). All permits issued to foreign hams mention that operations must be done in accordance with these regulations, along with any international regulations and other agreements Mexico is party to related to amateur radio.
Additional thoughts and comments...
Don't want to pay for the XE amateur-radio permit?
Updated 29 July 2003 - Patrick Stoddard VA7EWK, WD9EWK, XE2/WD9EWK
Additional information related to Mexican amateur-radio permits...
Please note that the fees charged by SCT/CoFeTel are periodically adjusted. As of May 2001, the fee is 786 pesos for the 6-month permit.
Updated 27 Apr 07
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