Monday, May 18, 2015

I'm All For Lean Government

     ...But not total lapses: I renewed my amateur radio license recently.  Any more, Uncle Sam doesn't print you up a nice new one on (what once was) anti-counterfeiting paper; you get a PDF file with "Reference Copy" over it in see-through gray, and that's okay.  Amateur licenses haven't had monetary-quality engraving in, like, almost forever, and not always the fancy paper, either.  I'm fine with that.

     But current-issue U.S. amateur radio licenses include a "wallet size" version, which you cut out and fold along a "Fold Here" line -- that is nowhere near the center of the thing!  The end result of following directions results in a size and shape that is not at all wallet-sized.  Folding at the actual center makes it about the right size and doesn't obscure or distort any of the information.  Apparently on some updating, the fold line was moved to clear the form number and last revision date, presently "FCC 660 - May 2007."  No one noticed until it was already Official, and then it was too late.

     Ham operators are, of course, just folding them in the middle at the "wrong" place and moving on -- if they bother with it at all.

9 comments:

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

There's also an "Official Copy" that you can download if you're logged into ULS. I wonder if it's aligned the same way.

When my wallet was lost in November, I put in for a new printed copy, and I must have gotten one of the last ones printed on the fancy paper...

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I'm bored this morning, so I logged into ULS, downloaded my "Official Copy" and printed it, cut the wallet card out, and it folded right on the dotted line...so the reference copies must have a formatting issue, I guess...

wheelgun said...

The only time you need a license - aside from framing one in your shack, if you want, is if you want vanity plates with your license on them.

derfel cadarn said...

I'm for government so lean it starves to death.

RandyGC said...

I thought I read something when this was announced to the effect that you could still request a paper copy from the FCC when you renew, but they would not automatically send you one.


To add to the fun, Ohio now requires a copy of your FCC license to renew ham plates on your vehicle. It's supposedly some sort of ID theft prevention measure.

Lady at DMV had a real interesting look on her face when I told her the FCC has stopped issuing paper licenses.

Old NFO said...

It's that whole attention to detail thingie that seems to be missing these days... sigh

Chas Clifton said...

And, sadly, wildland firefighter "red cards" (annual certification and fitness) have not been printed on red card stock for several years. They, too, come as PDF files.

Anonymous said...

>The only time you need a license - aside from framing one in your shack, if you want, is if you want vanity plates with your license on them.

* Upgrading your license at a VE test session

* Becoming a VE yourself

>I thought I read something when this was announced to the effect that you could still request a paper copy from the FCC when you renew, but they would not automatically send you one.

True, AFAIK.

Anonymous said...

http://wc2fd.com/index.php?title=Exam_Schedule#After_the_Exam

http://wc2fd.com/images/c/c9/FCCULSPREF.jpg