Northern Delaware VE Testing Team

Amateur (Ham) Radio License Exams in Northern Delaware

Sponsored by Christiana Amateur Radio Emergency Services (CARES)

Please email ndvett@gmail.com if you plan on coming to take an exam.

We are in the process of switching to a hybrid electronic and paper exam session format and eventually adding fully online sessions, either by themselves or in conjunction with our in-preson exam sessions.
Please register and pay the exam fee for the session on examtools.org here.
If you wait until the session to register, it will delay starting your exam and increase your stress level at the worst possible time. We WILL have a computer available for you to register if absolutely but we need you to be registered for the session to complete your exam.

The "find an exam" page lists my phone number but please only use Email since I often can't take calls where I work. Email will probably be much quicker. If you must call, please use 302-289-6277 and leave a message.

FCC Application Fee went into effect on April 19, 2022
FCC now charges a $35.00 application fee for most amateur radio applications. This applies to new, renewal, renewal with address change and vanity callsign applications. Applications for just an upgrade due to passing a higher element will not be subject to the applications fee.
The fee is not collected at the time of the exam. We, the VE team, only collect the exam fee, currently $14.00. When the VEC submits  the batch upload to FCC for your session, you will receive an Email message from FCC with a link to pay the $35.00 application fee. DO NOT use a tablet, cell phone or anything other than a computer to log on and pay your application fee. Fcc reports they are having issues with applicaants using devices other than computers to pay.You only pay the application fee once unless you submit multiple applications such as if you fail the test and decide to take it again and pass it the second time. If you come in for your Technician class, pass that and also pass the General and even if you go on to pass the Extra, there will only be one fee since the VEC only submits the highest level to FCC. After you complete the session you will receive an email with a link to log on and pay your application fee. You will have 10 calendar days to pay the fee or your application will be dismissed and you will need to take the exam again. DO NOT use a cell phone or tablet to pay the exam fee!! You MUST use a computer or laptop since the FCC website is having trouble processing payments attempted using phones and tablets.

Covid-19 is still around. Please try to maintain six foot separation from others outside your immediate household whenever possible and limit exposure time when you can't such as passing documents to examiners. We will come get the packets from you when you complete the exam element, just get our attention.

Make sure you have all of your paperwork listed in the "Needed at the test session" section below

When testing for an upgrade, PLEASE bring a copy of your existing license. A "reference copy" is fine. We have to verify you are eligible to sit for the requested exam element you are requesting and that is done most redily by your copy. If you have recently upgraded and have not yet received the email with the link to print your new liense, please bring a COPY of your CSCE to prove you passed that element. We must have a copy that we can send in so don't bring the original. We have no way to photocopy documents for you at the session. If it gets lost in the mail, you then have no proof you passed that exam.

 Please check back for updates before traveling to the testing site just in case we have to cancel at the last minute.

We can no longer accept Social Security Numbers on license applications!
Please obtain your FCC Registration Number (FRN) BEFORE you come to the testing session and get it early, long delays in registering have been reported sporadically!
    This is a once in a lifetime registration and the same FRN will be used for ALL applications and licenses issued to you that are governed by the Federal Communications Commission - Amateur Radio (Ham), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) as well as commercial broadcast stations, Aircraft radio licenses and Marine radio licenses on boats.

     To obtain your FRN, if you do not have one already, go to the FCC CORES website at  https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do
Click Register, choose if you are a business or an individual and then select if your contact address is in the USA or one of its territories and click continue, fill in your information completely and it will spit out your FRN almost instntly. You can use  your browser to print the form with the number. We don't need the form, you just need the number. Examtools will allow you to fill out the forms online to obtain your FRN while registering for the exam sessions.

  Testing location

Holy Rosary Catholic Church
3200 Philadelphia Pike Claymont, DE 19703

Keep an eye on the ARRL "Find an Amateur Radio License Exam Session" website for complete details on this, and most other area exam sessions provided by participating clubs that administer exams and independent groups.

All three Amateur license elements will be available at each session:
Technician Class, Element 2
General Class, Element 3
Amateur Extra Class, Element 4

You will be encouraged to keep taking successive elements until you fail one. We've had many people come in with no licenase and leave with a CSCE for completing their General Exam and a few who hit the Grand Slam, ocme in with nothing and leave with the CSCE for extra!

Needed at the Test Session:
*Two (2) forms of ID are required, one must be a Government issued photo ID

Any original license copy or CSCEs for recent upgrades that have not been granted yet if applicable.

You must now have an FRN to apply for any FCC license so bring it with you. we don't need to see it but you have to put it on the NVEC-605 application.

Cash (preferred for logistical reasons) or check for $14.00, made payable to: W5YI-VEC No credit or debit cards accepted.

A pen and two sharpened #2 pencils and, if desired, a non-programmable calculator. You may NOT use a cell phone, tablet, PDA, or other programmable device!

Phone numbers and Email addresses are
absolutely required on the NCVEC 605 application form
. You cannot receive your license without a valid email, and we must be able to contact you via phone in case of errors or missing information
* only one form of ID is required if it is a government issued photo-ID such as a Driver liccense, passport or school ID card. Minors/students may have special circumstances ,contact the team leader for viable identification options.

Please see the announcement about Federal Reference Numbers (FRN) above. If you have an FCC license for ANYTHING, (airplane, boat, GMRS) you probably have one already. The same number is used for all radio services governed by the Federal Communications Commission which is almost every licensed service in the USA an its territories. FRN is NOT used for licenses granted to Federal Agencies and governed under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), such as the FBI, DHS and CAP.

All VE sessions Start at 9:00 AM local time. Please be early to take advantage of the briefing.
Unfortunately, due to our limited resources, we must limit the time available to start new applicants on their journey through the application and testing process.

We have limited time available to us also.

NO NEW APPLICANTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER 10:00 AM unless otherwise arranged and approved. 
Applicants are encouraged to keep taking successive exam elements until they fail one. A percentage of candidates leave with more than they came in for. At very least,  it is a free look at the next test, even if you have not opened that book.

Exams are given the first Saturday of each month. We coordinate with the State Line Radio Club (SLRC) and alternate
months between the two groups/locations. Some of our examiners volunteer for both groups.

SLRC is currently using ARRL-VEC so their exam fee is $15.00 instead of our $14.00 for W5YI-VEC sessions and online exams are NOT available at present. No registration is required at the SLRC sessions but the courtesy of an email is appreciated if you plan to join us.

SLRC gives their exams at:

Mason Dixon American Legion Post 194

338 East Main Street (Route 273)
Rising Sun, MD.
Contact for SLRC exam sessions is Ted, NT3R
(443) 907-0689

NDVETT does the odd months (January, March, May, July, September and November and SLRC does the even months, February, April, June (usually at their Field Day location), August, October and December.

2022 Exam Session Calendar
Month Day Month Final resuls (New feature)
January No session July**
February SLRC August
March** 5 September** Five candidates, four new Generals 3
April SLRC October
May** 7
June SLRC December

   * indicates session was canceled due to Governor's Covid-19 state of emergency and/or site host's policies/restrictions or it being a holiday.
  ** indicates session successfully completed
  The room has been reserved for all 2022 sessions listed above except the one that fell on New Year's Day.


     Sometimes we forget to tell candidates who pass exams what is next as far as getting their license:
You will get an automated Email from FCC telling you what your call-sign is and there will be a link to download the original copy. We strongly advise you to download that file and save it somewhere that it won't get lost or deleted since you can only download it (the original) once. You can always go into ULS license search (Universal Licensing System), look yourself up, and print as many reference copies as you want but those will have a watermark across the page "Reference Copy". Those copies are perfectly legitimate for all purposes, including upgrades BUT some relatively un-knowing entities may balk at accepting a reference copy, not knowing what that means, and insist on the original license copy. I once applied for a ham tag for my car and the genius at the DMV counter balked at the reference copy until I showed him the reg. Bottom line - keep the file and use copies of that for anything that doesn't involve the FCC. For extra safety, I print a hard-copy of the original and stash it in my fire-safe box so I can print an "original" anytime I want.

You can look anyone who has any FCC license up in the ULS license search by call sign (fastest since it is almost unique), FRN (close to fastest since it returns all licenses held under it that FRN [Amateur, GMRS, marine, airplane, broadcast, RCC ETC.], or name (can take forever since you are searching millions of database entries and it may return hundreds of possible targets if you have a common name that you have to pick through manually).

Next we hear:

 Okay, I got the license - now what?

Unfortunately people who just take practice tests to get the license fast instead of studying the license manuals, often miss out on just what they are getting into and often don't have a mentor to ask questions of.

     We don't want to see that happen. A few of our VEs have been in the hobby for more than 50 years and we are dedicated to the continuing success of the hobby! There is also SO MUCH available in Ham radio that almost nobody has experience in every facet. One of our VEs is into ATV (Amateur Television and has his own ATV repeater). A couple have had, or still operate Ham repeaters. Some are deep into Digital data modes. Some are into VoIP modes over Ham Radio. Some are into emergency public service. Some are into contesting, and others just like to rag-chew. Our CVE (contact volunteer Examiner) Robbie McCray, AD3L (formerly W3RSM) and a couple of others are ARRL certified mentors and we would be delighted to be of further assistance after the test session. PLEASE feel free to email questions that you may have to Robbie McCray, AD3L. A ham radio mentor is called an Elmer in ham-speak. We consider it an honor to be called an Elmer!!

For those needing special accommodations, special sessions (i.e. CAP, Scouts, Ham classes) please contact Robbie,
ndvett@gmail.com well in advance of your intended exam date so arrangements can be made to assemble an exam team.

We will do whatever it takes within the regulations to accommodate any special needs including reading the test to you
(if we have separate space available). If the Email link does not work on your computer/phone, just copy and paste
 the address to send Email please.  Please use this email for any questions or concerns about our testing sessions or mentoring program.

You may also use our
contact form.

If you are in an exam session Start your exam here

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