How To Get Your Radio License

Getting your amateur radio license is easy, you just have to learn some basic electronics theory, radio regulations and then pass a simple multiple choice exam. Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult. To get the introductory level Foundation License, you have 25 multiple choice questions covering both theory and regulations, which you have 30 minutes to complete. 18 correct answers will give you a 70% pass. Morse code is no longer a requirement.

Theory and Regulations
You have the option of learning online or buying books, a few of the more popular websites and publications are listed below.
Ron Bertrand’s on-line video series is a great way to learn and highly regarded, as are his books.

On Line
Below is a list of links that will help you study the theory and regulations needed to pass your license:
WIA outline of the Foundation License:

The AMC Foundation License syllabus:

Ron Bertrand Foundation License video tutorials:   (click on the Foundation License link)

Or YouTube channel:

If you prefer to learn from books, below is a list of publications you can download and print or buy that will help:
The WIA Foundation License Manual ($34.50)

Radio Theory Handbook – beginners to advanced – Ron Bertrand ($55) Advanced-ebook/dp/B083JHVK7P

Australian Ham Radio Handbook – Peter Parker VK3YE ($25)

Trial Exams:
A good way to see how your progressing is to do trial exams. The Wireless Institute of Australia has put together several trial exams, each consisting of 25 question. On completion you can review your wrong answers.

The Radio Society of British Radio, (RSGB), has a similar licensing system and trial exams. While not the same questions you will find in Australian exams, they can be a good resource to test your knowledge.

The American Amateur Radio League (ARRL) offers online practice exams. You must first set up a free login. While not the same questions you will find in Australian exams, they can be a good resource to test your knowledge.

Club Help
One of the best ways to find answers to questions, explain theory or regulations you’re not sure about and judge your learning progress, is to join the Hervey Bay Amateur Radio Club. This friendly group have a wealth of knowledge and are keen to help you get your license. They meet every Saturday morning at 9.30am, at the back of the SES complex in Old Maryborough Road, Pialba. You can also listen in to members on air meetings at 10.15am every Sunday on the Club 2m repeater – 146.650 (-600) and Thursday nights 8pm on 3615Khz, 80m.

The Foundation License examination fee, prescribed by the AMC, is currently $90. There is an AMC Callsign Recommendation Fee of $25 for the next available callsign or $35 to select your preferred callsign (If available).
Once you pass the exam, the Amateur Radio license fee is $80, the annual renewal fee is $55.

When you’re ready
You have several options to sit the exam.

Classroom Examination:
The traditional way, in a classroom with an accredited examiner. Once you’re answered the questions, you paper will be sent to the AMC for marking. it can take several weeks before you are notified of your results.

On-Line Examination:
For those situations where you can not attend an examination or they are not available in your area, it is possible to sit your exam on-line. In order to sit an on-line exam, you will need a PC or laptop, a Skype account and a good internet connection for screen sharing etc. (must be over 18 years of age to sit on-line exams)  You can register for an on-line examination at this link:

Once You have passed your exam
Regardless of where you did the exam, on-line or an examination centre, you will be notified of your result, you just have to wait. Your callsign will be allocated to you based on the license level you have achieved and the State you live in. You also have the option to pay the prescribed fee and choose a callsign if it is available. Your callsign will start with VK representing Australia followed by a number 0-9 representing the State and then a three letter suffix. Advanced license holders have the option to choose a two letter suffix. You can check available callsigns at this link:

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) is the National Association for Amateur Radio in Australia. They offer 12 months complimentary membership for new radio operators. You can register at this link:

What if you don’t pass
First time failure is a temporary setback, you only truely fail if you give up. Next attempt you’ll know where you went wrong, and what you need to brush up on.

members would live to help you get your license – just follow the CONTACT link to start the ball rolling.