Information regarding the three classes of amateur radio licenses can be found in summary form at license-requirements. The entry level license is "Technician." The technician license level will satisfy Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements for operating on the area repeaters. 144 MHz (2 Meters) and 440 MHz (70 cm) are the bands most used for local emergency communications. As of February 23, 2007, none of the ham licenses require Morse Code proficiency. The term of the license is ten years.
Go to this site to get an overview of how to get started in ham radio: hello-radio. The American Radio Relay League is the national membership association for Amateur Radio operators. The ARRL offers courses on various topics, see courses#ec-010 .The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual and software can be found on the Products Catalog Page at: catalog
This site has been suggested as a free tutorial for studying for the technician license: Tutorials. This seems like a good site since the reference material is organized in groups that match the topics covered by the examination.
Another way to learn the material for all license classes is through the following web based training site:hamtestonline.comThe nice feature about this site is that the subscription fee is good for two years. If you want to, you can upgrade from Technician to General to Amateur Extra during this two year period for just the initial subscription charge. This site also has sample tests that you can take to see if you are ready to sit for your exam.
Local hams are always glad to mentor prospective hams or hams seeking a license upgrade. One of the best ways to get in contact is to attend a local ham radio club meeting. See ac4rc.orgfor information on meeting time and location for the Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club . You do not have to be a club member to attend a club meeting.
The current cost of testing for an amateur radio license is $15.00. Payment in cash is made at the local test session. There are some personal identification requirements for the test session. The local VE (volunteer examiner) team has scheduled test sessions on the second Saturday of the even numbered months. Sometimes, additional test sessions are scheduled. Licenses are usually issued within a couple of weeks. Go to ac4rc.org and click on "VE Schedule" for details on date, time , location and documentation required.