The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires a Ship Station License for some vessels equipped with VHF radios, radar, EPIRBs, and some other telecommunications equipment.
- As of 1996, most recreational vessels no longer need the FCC license if operating domestically. "Domestically" means not traveling to foreign ports or transmitting to foreign stations, including Canada.
- Vessels still required to carry an FCC Ship Station License are:
- Power-driven vessels over 65.6 feet (20 meters) in length
- Vessels certified to carry more than 6 passengers for hire
- Towboats and commercial fishing vessels
- Other vessels required by federal law to carry a VHF radio, radar, etc.
- The Ship Station License must be on board the vessel.
- A license application (Form 605) can be obtained from any office of the FCC. There is a fee for the license. Call 1-800-418-FORM (3676) for an application and information.