EMTI International

Common FAQs

How long will it take to get my license?
Elkins Institute will file your application electronically with the FCC. Once you successfully pass the appropriate exam(s), you won’t need to do anything further to receive your license. Typically, a license is granted and mailed from the FCC within a couple of weeks, depending on how soon the paperwork arrives in the mail from the Elkins Designated Examiner. If you have an urgent need for quick licensure, Elkins will do all that we can to assist you. Electronic reference copies of licenses can also be easily provided. Should you not receive your license in the mail from the FCC within 30 days of testing, contact our office at 800.944.1603.
Where can I get study material?
Elkins Training Company provides Study Guides for each written Exam element offered by the FCC. The Study Guides contain an extensive explanation of the material covered in the test pool, as well as, a complete up-to-date test pool for each element with answers. Study Guides may be purchased by contacting Elkins Institute at 1.800.944.1603 or 1.800.821.0906.

For your convenience, we have Secure Credit Card Shopping if you order by phone 1-800-944-1603 between 8:00 am and 5 pm, PST, Monday thru Friday.

The question pools can also be purchased through the FCC's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone (202) 488-5300 or (800) 378-3160, facsimile (202) 488-5563 or via e-mail at fcc@bcpiweb.com.
When do you test? How can I set up a time for testing?
There is no set time or date for Elkins FCC testing, except for testing Elkins’ students at the conclusion of the FCC preparatory classes. We’re happy to provide you with contact info on the Elkins Designated Examiner nearest you. To make arrangements for FCC testing, contact Elkins Institute toll free at 800.944.1603.
How much does it cost to take an exam?
FCC tests taken at one time are considered to be one “sitting.” The fee for 1 or 2 tests taken at one sitting is $75. The fee for 3 tests taken at one sitting (for example, Elements 1, 3 & 8 taken all at one time) would be $100.
What is a passing score on the written Elements?
Element One – 18 of 24 questions minimum to pass
Element Three – 57 of 76 questions minimum to pass
Element Five – 38 of 50 questions minimum to pass
Element Six – 75 of 100 questions minimum to pass
Element Seven – 57 of 76 questions minimum to pass
Element Eight – 38 of 50 questions minimum to pass
Element Nine – 38 of 50 questions minimum to pass
Who needs a Commercial Operator License?
You need a commercial operator license to operate, and/or to repair and maintain, specified ship, aircraft, and international fixed public radiocommunication stations. The licensing requirements for operating such radio stations and the licensing requirements for repairing and maintaining such radio stations are discussed separately below.

CAUTION: These listings only describe when a commercial operator license is necessary. A commercial operator license does not constitute or imply FCC authorization to transmit radio signals. Before you operate any radio station, make certain that the station is licensed as required by the FCC.

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Radio Operations

You need a commercial radio operator license to operate the following:

  • Ship radio stations if:
    • the vessel carries more than six passengers for hire; or
    • the radio operates on medium frequencies (MF) or high frequencies (HF); or
    • the ship sails to foreign ports; or
    • the ship station transmits radiotelegraphy; or
    • the ship is larger than 300 gross tons and is required by law to carry a radio station for safety purposes.
  • Coast stations if:
    • the radio operates on medium frequencies (MF) or high frequencies (HF); or
    • the radio operates with more than 1,500 watts of peak envelope power; or
    • the coast station transmits radiotelegraphy.
  • Aircraft radio stations, except those which operate only on very high frequencies (VHF) and do not make foreign flights.
  • International fixed public radiotelephone and radiotelegraph stations.

You do NOT need a commercial operator license to operate the following:

  • Ship stations operating only on VHF frequencies that do not travel to foreign ports or make international communications (unless the vessel carries more than six passengers for hire, or the ship is larger than 300 gross tons and is required by law to carry a radio station for safety purposes).
  • Shore radar, shore radiolocation, maritime support or shore radionavigation stations.
  • Survival craft stations or EPIRBs.
  • Ship radar stations, if (a) the radar frequency is determined by a nontunable, pulse type magnetron or other fixed tune device, and (b) the radar is capable of being operated exclusively by external controls.
  • Coast stations operating on VHF frequencies with 250 watts or less of carrier power.
  • Aircraft stations which operate only on VHF frequencies and do not make foreign flights.
  • Aircraft radar sets, radio altimeters, transponders or other aircraft automatic radionavigation transmitters.
  • ELTs or aviation survival craft stations used solely for survival purposes (testing only).

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Radio Maintenance and Repair

You need a commercial operator license to repair and maintain the following:

  • All ship radio and radar stations.
  • All coast stations.
  • All hand-carried units used to communicate with ships and coast stations on marine frequencies.
  • All aircraft stations and aeronautical ground stations (including hand-carried portable units) used to communicate with aircraft.
  • International fixed public radiotelephone and radiotelegraph stations.

You do NOT need a commercial radio operator license to operate, repair, or maintain any of the following types of stations:

  • Two-way land mobile radio equipment, such as that used by police and fire departments, taxicabs and truckers, businesses and industries, ambulances and rescue squads, and local, state, and federal government agencies.
  • Personal radio equipment used in the Citizens Band (CB), Radio Control (R/C), and General Mobile Radio Services (GMRS).
  • Auxiliary broadcast stations, such as remote pickup stations.
  • Domestic public fixed and mobile radio systems, such as mobile telephone systems, cellular systems, rural radio systems, point-to-point microwave systems, multipoint distribution systems, etc.
  • Stations that operate in the Cable Television Relay Service.
  • Satellite stations, both uplink and downlink of all types.

NOTE: Possession of a commercial radio operator license or permit does not authorize an individual to operate amateur or GMRS radio stations. Only a person holding an amateur or GMRS radio operator license may operate an amateur or GMRS radio station.

How do Telegraphy Examinations work?
Element 1 – 16 code groups per minute
Element 2 – 20 code groups per minute
Element 3 – 20 code groups per minute
Element 4 – 25 code groups per minute

Telegraphy exams consist of both transmitting and receiving tests. Examinees must copy by ear and send by hand plain text and code groups in the international Morse code using all the letters of the alphabet, numerals 0-9, period, comma, question mark, slant mark, and prosigns AR, BT, and SK. Examinees must copy and send at the required speeds for one continuous minute without making any errors. East test lasts approximately five minutes. The failing of any code test automatically terminates the examination. Code speeds are computed using five letters per word or code group. Punctuation symbols and numbers count as two letters each.

Examinees may use their own laptop (typewriter) to copy the 25 words-per-minute receiving test, but must copy tests at lower speeds by hand. Likewise, examinees may use their own semi-automatic key to end the 25 word-per-minute sending test, but must send tests at lower speeds using a hand key.

The Federal Communications Commission will grant credit for Telegraphy Elements 1 and 2 to applicants who hold an unexpired (or within the grace period) FCC-issued Amateur Extra Class operator license.

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PO Box 2677 - Santa Rosa, CA 95405, USA
800.821.0906 or 707.792.5678 --- Fax: 707.792.5677
E-mail: info@elkinstraining.com

Mariners Learning System

Please visit our sister organization Elkins Marine Training International.
EMTI specializes in many areas of Commercial Maritime training
for personnel in the various maritime related industries.