Charlotte Testing

Amateur License Test Sessions

All VE test sessions are open to all individuals, and are held at St. Giles Evangelical Presbyterian Church at 2027 Emerywood Avenue in Charlotte. Test sessions start at 9:00am, so please arrive by 8:30am to register. All test elements are given at each session. Walk ins are welcome, but we would appreciate it if you register by sending an email to Our VE Team or call 704-948-7373 if you need additional information.

Any special testing needs, ie verbal exams, translators, etc. must be pre-requested at least two full weeks before the testing date. (NOTE: While we will try to accommodate the needs of any applicant, the Mecklenburg VE Team, as an all-volunteer staffed VE Team, cannot guarantee that special need requests can be honored at all testing sessions.)

Please bring the following to the test session: Scheduled Sessions
VEC Test fee is $10.00 February 4, 2017
Picture ID (drivers license is fine) May 13, 2017
Your original Amateur License and a copy September 9, 2017
Any CSCE’s and copies

Our Volunteer Examiner (VE) Team

Some of us remember when we had to go to a FCC Field Office to take a Ham Radio license exam. Others of us remember when we were lucky enough that the FCC came to town once or twice a year to administer exams, either in a noisy echo filled corner of the Charlotte Hamfest, or in a hot dark room of the National Guard Armory.

In late 1982 all that changed when Congress passed the Goldwater-Wirth Bill (That was Senator Barry Goldwater, K7UGA). This bill became law and the Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) program was born. It permitted the FCC to accept voluntary and uncompensated services of licensed radio amateurs to prepare and administer examinations. In late 1983, Congress passed another K7UGA sponsored bill which provided for recouping VEC expenses by charging a fee to each candidate taking one or more exam elements. The maximum permissible fee amount is set each year by the FCC based on the Consumer Price Index. In 1984 the FCC began certifying VECs to coordinate these volunteers in preparing and administering exams for Amateur Radio licenses, and in July 1984 the ARRL was granted certification as a VEC for all 13 regions of our country.

So what’s a VEC? It’s an organization that has entered into an agreement with the FCC to coordinate the efforts of volunteers in preparing and administering examinations for Amateur Radio licenses. Volunteer Examiners (VE’s) are individuals accredited by a VEC and are the people who actually administer the exams. Exam sessions must be coordinated by a VEC, but are conducted by VE’s.

The Volunteer Examiner must meet some FCC established requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Must not own a significant interest in or be an employee of a company or other entity that manufactures or distributes equipment connected with amateur radio transmissions. (This is no place for a conflict of interest.)
  • Must never have had their amateur station or operator license revoked or suspended.
  • A VE cannot administer an exam to that VE’s direct or extended family including nieces, nephews, or in-laws.
  • Must hold a valid General, Advanced, or Extra Class license.
  • Each VEC is left to decide how it will determine the qualifications of its VE’s. The ARRL takes this responsibility seriously.

Each potential ARRL VE must:

  • Complete a VE application and send it to the ARRL.
  • Furnish a photocopy of your current General, Advanced, or Extra Class license.
  • Successfully complete a review of the ARRL VE Manual, or must have current on-the-job training through participation with another VEC.

Once accredited as an ARRL VE, your credentials are good until your FCC license expires. Accreditation renewal is automatic for VE’s who have participated in at least one exam session during the 12 month period prior to their accreditation expiration.

Every VE Team must have at least three accredited examiners who must be present at all times during an exam session. All three examiners must grade each test and agree on the test results. Most VE teams have a contact/liaison person who chooses the questions from the appropriate question pool, secures the exam elements and answer keys at all times, and then checks all paperwork from the session before sending the required results to the ARRL or WCARS/VEC. Our VE team coordinator sends all successful exam elements via priority mail to the WCARS/VEC or the ARRL. WCARS/VEC and the ARRL then files the appropriate upgrade paperwork with the FCC.

Our Mecklenburg ARRL-WCARS/VEC VE team conducts examinations quarterly in February, May, August, and November. Dates and times are published in our club newsletter, and we also have a VE information line 704-948-7373. Our exam coordinator is Steven Burke, KI4FAQ.