Becoming an Amateur

Licence Required

002In order to operate on the air in the amateur radio service, there is a legal requirement that one holds an amateur radio certificate (or licence).  All amateur radio operators have this licence and are permitted to use the amateur radio bands subject to various federal legislation.  Because amateur radio is a serious hobby, these legal requirements represent a form of gateway to ensure that only persons who are sufficiently mature and disciplined engage in the hobby.  Being sufficiently mature to obey the laws of Canada (and the will of Parliament) is a basic attribute of good citizenship. 

Getting Licensed

YARS runs a basic course qualification course of instruction each year for aspiring candidates.  If you are interested in this course, contact us. There may be a  fee to cover books, tuition and other materials.  While the course may be helpful, especially to those lacking radio theory or knowledge of the regulatory structure in Canada, there are online options:

  • Check out our own course page;
  • Industry Canada has a software program that can run you through the test bank of questions that are used for the amateur radio qualification examination (basic):  Amateur Radio Exam Generator; and
  • should you have a particular problem that needs resolved, there are many online forums for discussion with amateur radio operators (try a Google or other search).

If you are interested in upgrading your qualification to include a Morse Code qualification or the Advanced Qualification, please contact us.

Industry Canada Exam

When you feel that you are ready to take the test, you may contact the Society and we can arrange for one of our two delegated Industry Canada Amateur Radio Examiners to organise your examination.  The exam is not hard.  It has some regulatory information and a very basic level of electrical and radio theory (high school level).  Morse code is not required any more.  Should you pass, your paperwork will be filed immediately with Industry Canada and you should obtain your call sign and certificate within a week or two.

After Becoming Licensed

Frequently once a new HAM gets his or her licence that is the end of involvement in the hobby.  It does not have to be this way. New HAMs are encouraged to get involved with the Society and to take advantage of all it has to offer, including mentor-ship in the hobby by knowledgeable and experienced amateurs (called "Elmers").  We also encourage our members to join Radio Amateurs of Canada to keep abreast of national developments and to take advantage of liability insurance that comes with membership in that organisation.  Remember, today's students will be tomorrow's Elmers.

In Canada, the licence is for life. This is a lifelong hobby.