How to Apply for a Radio Frequency From the FCC

by Jennifer Brister; Updated September 26, 2017
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The Federal Communications Commission regulates everything that goes on the air, including radio and TV broadcasts. If you would like to start your own radio broadcast, you must first apply to the FCC for a radio frequency. Most of the forms that you need to apply can be found online, and the the process is relatively easy.

Step 1

Download the rules and regulations of obtaining a radio frequency from the FCC website (see Resources). Read all the terms and conditions before beginning the process of applying for a radio frequency.

Step 2

Create an account in the Consolidated Database System within the FCC website. The website contains step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

Step 3

Apply for your frequency by filling out Form 160. You may fill out this form online or you can print out a copy and mail it in. You may also request a printed copy of the from if you do not have a printer. Fill out all information on the form completely, including your name, your tax ID or Social Security Number and your contact details.

Step 4

Complete Form 301 if you are applying for a commercial radio license. If you are planning to just broadcast yourself, you do not need a commercial license.

Step 5

Pay the fee required with your application. Your fee will depend upon the license in which you are seeking. Once your fee is received, your application will be processed. You will be contacted by the FCC once they have decided whether or not to grant your license.

About the Author

Jennifer Brister a freelance writer located in Northeast Louisiana. She has enjoyed careers as an educator, a nuclear lab technician and a massage therapist. Her writing can be found in several publications, including "The Circle," "Carbon Cotton Magazine" and "Fashion Advantage Magazine." She has been employed as a professional freelance writer for three years.

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