Ummmmm …the license costs three times as much as the hardware. Following this formula, a $250 commercial-grade handheld should require a $750 license fee:eek:
I recall back in 1976 when I bought my first CB radio, a 4 watt mobile unit I had attached to a power supply and an 18 foot quarter wave antenna on the roof of the house and used as a base unit. I regularly got 10 miles range when talking to other bases.
I paid $79 for the radio, and the license fee was $4.
Or 1977 when I was in school and taking a comm course. We all went to downtown Chicago and got our 3rd Class Radiotelephone licenses. I think we paid $5 or something equally inconsequential. The license allowed use of commercial radios with an output power of 20W or 50W, I don’t recall which. And the radios were considerably more expensive than $79.
So why is the FCC so heavy-handed with the fees for GMRS? Do they have a hidden agenda to discourage its use, or are they counting on generating revenue through the draconian fines they have proudly announced?
I don’t think it’s fair, and I’m trying to come to grips with it. It surely doesn’t cost them that much to process the paperwork internally, even adjusted for inflation. I would expect at most a fee of about $20 or $25.
I’m new to this forum and just started using 2 way radio’s because of the amount of snowboarding we do. I purchased some cheap Audiovox ($25) radio’s, but the clarity sucked and they didn’t have much range. I ended up doing research on this site and got the Midland GXT-900 after reading some of the forum commments and good information on the website. (hope they work better.)
Anyway, I have to agree that $85 is very high… I think it’s very discouraging to new users of two way radios. (Maybe that’s the point?)
Also, do both users need to have a license, or just 1? I go with a bunch of different people and if everyone needed a license, it would be way too cost prohibitive…
A license holder can allow members of his immediate family to legally use the radio, but non-relatives need their own license:
The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a land-mobile radio service available for short-distance two-way communications to facilitate the activities of an adult individual and his or her immediate family members, including a spouse, children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and in-laws (47 CFR 95.179).
There IS a proposal for rulemaking before the FCC that would remove one of the fees from the cost of the license… this would lower the license costs to $55-$65 range.
These fees date back to when commercial users could use GMRS. They haven’t got with the times.
Honestly, I think they don’t care. They know millions of unlicensed “pirates” are out there. I figure, in a few years, the license requirements will be dropped, the repeaters will be told to come down, and their input frequencies used for a new, reconfigured, CB service.
Still… the rules are on the books, and we must get our licenses. I have mine.
I don’t have an issue with getting a license. I have an issue with the staggering inflation of license fees. In 1976 I had no problem paying $4 to legally operate an $80 radio.
Today I have real heartburn paying a license fee that is several times as expensive as a radio. I guess it’s a case of government seeing licensing as a cash cow to fund their other favorite social assistance programs. Great if you happen to be an unmarried female albino multiple-amputee Eskimo who needs free college tuition, but not so good when you’re whitebread male middle class like me who can’t qualify for any assistance