RCS – Quick Guide – FCC License for Two-Way Radios

There are different situations in any industry that require a quick response, from an emergency to equipment malfunctions. It could also be a circumstance where answering a call could be risky or impossible. Two-way radios increase reliability, allow clearer communication, and help effective safety management within a button’s push. 

Whether it is a healthcare facility, a construction site, or a government department, there is no doubt that two-way radios are essentials in any organization. But with all the benefits that come with the use of two-way radios in the workplace, it is important to know the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing requirements. 

FCC is a government agency and requires all radio users to have a license, but many people are not aware of the FCC licensing requirements for two-way radios. First, whether you use two or hundreds of radios, FCC licensing is required for all professional and commercial radio systems and devices.  RCS Communications can help with the application process or any questions you have.

Components of FCC Licensing Requirements for Two-Way Radios


During your licensing application, you will have to state what you intend to accomplish using the radios. It is recommendable that you give a detailed description as it helps you get the commission’s needed help. It also protects you if any challenge to your license or interference from another party arises in the future. 

Area of Operation

A two-way radio license has restrictions to a particular area of use to avoid interference with other parties within that geographical location. The FCC’s coordination depends on the geographical location, power output, and radio emissions to reduce interference. If you wish to add another location to the license, the commission will have to coordinate the frequencies and amend the license. 

Type of License

After defining why you want to use the two-way radios and the area of operation, the next move is to determine the type of license you require to accomplish your communication goals. There are different types of licenses, including multi-site, simplex, commercial, repeater, and itinerant.

The Frequency Band and Emissions 

An FCC license permits you to use two-way radios on a particular radio frequency, and emission. Your dealer should give you these details to help understand if your current license permits them, or you might need to seek amendments. FCC has an authorized narrow banding, and all radios released to the market must work on FCC licensing specifications.

License Filing

  1. To get a new license or amend the current one, you begin by sending an application to the FCC.
  2. Your frequency coordinator or dealer finds the frequencies that suit your requirements. This stage involves programming a radio to listen in on the frequencies to be considered for the licensing.
  3. The next step involves sending the application and selected frequencies to the FCC for approval.
  4. At this point, if the FCC gives the nod to the requested application, you first receive a short-term authorization. Later, you will receive full approval together with a copy of the license through email. A digital reference copy is available on the commission’s website too.
  5. The final step involves a Notice of Construction to inform the FCC that your two-way radio system is live.

Do you need a FCC License?

You probably keep asking yourself, “do I need a FCC license”? Well, the scenarios where the use of two ways radio requires a license include emergency services, public, and private learning institutions, transportation companies, and private security companies. Others include summer camps, private daycare facilities, construction, private building operations, and healthcare facilities. 

Federal Communications Commission Guidelines

When you get an FCC license, it is a privilege from the government to permit your organization to use public airwaves. But there are regulations to that favor, and you might collide with the FCC if you fail to adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Be keen to renew the license to ensure you operate within a legal framework. Two-way radio licenses usually expire after ten years.
  2. Maintain your radio equipment  and avoid interference to other licensed radio users
  3. Be vigilant on the use of vulgar and bad language over the radio
  4. Use your radios within the stipulations of your license

Do You Need a License for Your Two-Way Radio?

Yes, below are the reasons why you should apply for one.

  • A proper license protects you from interference, and if by any chance it occurs, you can report to the FCC, who can help you out. Without a license, there is a high chance of cross-talks which causes confusion and safety issues. Besides, those who rely on the family radio services are subject to safety and interference problems since they are unlicensed.
  • Due to the scarcity of frequencies in some parts of the United States, you can sell your system to another entity when you have a proper license.
  • There is no way to beat around the bush, and you will need a FCC license if you are to use two- ways radio for the purposes mentioned in this post. 

Get Assistance Today!

RCS Communications understands that incorporating two-way radios into your workplace is a significant move that improves efficiency and productivity. We are a market leader in providing wireless solutions to meet all your communication needs. Besides, we take you to step by step to simplify your job and ensure you adhere to the FCC licensing requirement. Contact us today for assistance. 

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