Getting Licensed

An FCC license is required to operate an amateur radio. There are three license levels in amateur radio; Technician, General, and Amateur Extra. Each successive level of license comes with an expansion of privileges.

To become licensed, you begin by reading books like the ARRL “Ham Radio License Manual”. When you are ready, you go to a certified testing location and take the 35 question Technician License exam. To pass you must correctly answer 74% of the questions. If you pass, you will be allowed to take the 35 question General License exam the same day. Again, if you pass the General License exam, you will be allowed to take the 50 question Amateur Extra License exam the same day. There are a few people who have studied for all three exams and have passed all three in one day.

Exams are administered by certified Volunteer Examiners (VEs) and MOCARS is fortunate to have eight VEs. MOCARS offers six testing sessions a year at the Moore County Health Department in Carthage. Our VE testing sessions schedule is located here.

Click on the ARRL manual below that you need to purchase the lastest edition.

Picture of the ARRL’s Ham Radio License Manual     Picture of the ARRL's General Class License Manual     Picture of the ARRL's Extra Class License Manual


You are not required to purchase the ARRL manuals to study for the exams. Other books are availble, and there are a number of study guides available online. The No-Nonsense Study Guides by KB6NU are good and are available in PDF, Kindle, and Nook formats. Remember, study guides only help you memorize the answers, they do not teach to the theory behind the questions. Amateurs who pass based on memorization only will not have the knowledge to operate efficiently, and it will be noticed by other amateurs. It’s a good idea to take practice exams before going in for the real test. The following are a couple of websites you can use to practice: QRZ and eHam.net. Remember, members of your local club are always there to help.

Good Luck!