Ham Radio Exams

Free ham radio exams on the second Saturday of each Month!

How To Prepare

Before the Exam:

  • Make sure to give yourself time to study for the exam (at least a week, a couple hours each day). There are many excellent forms of free study material. We recommend the “No-Nonsense Study Guide to Ham Radio” by KB6NU and HamStudy.org (both excellent!).
  • Make sure to register for an FRN (FCC Registration Number). This is the number that identifies you to the FCC (instead of using your social security number).
  • Pre-register with us for our next upcoming exam session. While we do allow walk-ins, pre-registering allows us to estimate head count and have all the paperwork you need pre-filled out for you.

Day of the Exam:

  • Bring a vaild government issue photo ID. (For minors without a state or school ID, other forms of ID will be accepted. Contact us for more information if needed.)
  • If you have an outstanding CSCE from another exam session that hasn’t been processed by the FCC, you’ll want to bring that.
  • A calculator if you need one. (Calculator apps on cellphones/tablets can not be used, sorry).

After the Exam:

  • If you pass your exam, your call sign or upgrade is usually issued/processed fist thing Monday morning (unless it's a holiday). We will email you letting you know when your callsign has been issued or you can look yourself up in the FCC’s ULS Database.
  • Once your callsign has been issued, you may go on air right away with your new privileges.


Next test:

All exams cancelled until a new location has been found to hold them.


These free ham radio exams are made possible by three generous sponsors. The Palomar Amateur Radio Club, who makes the testing space available. The Laurel VEC, who offers no cost Amateur Radio License Exams all across the country, and TriARC, who administers the exam session.

These three organizations provide their time and resources every second Saturday to offer free amateur radio testing.


Carlsbad Safety Center
2560 Orion Way
Carlsbad, CA 92010

Jon Rick