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I recently bought a hand-held ship to shore radio for emergencies and RCL blastoffs, and my Dad said he heard that you need to be licensed by the FCC/FAA (or something like that) to use a ship to shore and can get fined if caught using one without documentation. He heard this from another party so it may or may not be true.

Anyone know for sure?

Kurt
 

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Hey little guy.... As far as i know you do not need a license to operate ship to shore, but you have to follow the FCC rules when operating it... Here's the segment from the FCC directly describing who needs such a license and who does not.

Do I Need a Ship Radio Station License?
On October 26, 1996, the FCC released a Report and Order in WT Docket No. 96-82, FCC 96-421 (text, WordPerfect), eliminating the individual licensing requirement for voluntary ships operating domestically which are not required by law to carry a radio. The paragraphs below describe how the rules affect the maritime public.

WHO NEEDS A SHIP STATION LICENSE?

You do not need a license to operate a marine VHF radio, radar, or EPIRBs aboard voluntary ships operating domestically. The terms "voluntary" and "domestic" are defined below. Although a license is no longer required for these ships, you may still obtain a license (and call sign) by following the procedures outlined in Section IV.

WHICH SHIPS ARE VOLUNTARY?

The term "voluntary ships" refers to ships that are not required by law to carry a radio. Generally, this term applies to recreation or pleasure craft. In any event, the term "voluntary ships" does not apply to the following:

Cargo ships over 300 gross tons navigating in the open sea;
Ships certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry more than 6 passengers for hire in the open sea or tidewaters of the U.S.;
Power driven ships over 20 meters in length on navigable waterways;
Ships of more than 100 gross tons certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry at least one passenger on navigable waterways;
Tow boats of more than 7.8 meters in length on navigable waterways; and,
Uninspected commercial fishing industry vessels required to carry a VHF radio.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC OPERATION?

Ships are considered as operating domestically when they do not travel to foreign ports or do not transmit radio communications to foreign stations. Sailing in international waters is permitted, so long as the previous conditions are met. If you travel to a foreign port (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands) a license is required. Additionally, if you travel to a foreign port, you are required to have an operator permit as described in Section III.

WHAT RADIO EQUIPMENT MAY I USE?

You do not need a license to use marine VHF radios, any type of EPIRB, any type of radar, GPS or LORAN receivers, depth finders, CB radio, or amateur radio (an amateur license is required). Ships that use MF/HF single side-band radio, satellite communications, or telegraphy must continue to be licensed by the FCC. On April 17, 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended enforcement activities concerning FCC Radio Station Licenses carried aboard voluntary ships.

WHAT IF I HAVE A MARINE RADIO WITH DIGITAL SELECTIVE CALLING (DSC) CAPABILITY?

You must obtain a nine-digit maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) and have it programmed into the unit before you transmit. Each vessel needs only one MMSI. Prior to obtaining an MMSI, you will be asked to provide certain information about your ship. It is important that you obtain an MMSI because the U.S. Coast Guard uses this information to help speed search and rescue operations.

If your vessel requires licensing by the FCC you will obtain an MMSI during the application/licensing process when you file FCC Form 159 and 605 with the FCC.

If your vessel does not require a license you may obtain an MMSI by contacting either BoatUS, Sea Tow Service International, Inc., or MariTEL. The contact information is contained in the Public Notice (text - Word) announcing the new procedures for private entities to issue MMSIs
 

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Great answer Andy We use to have to get them but not now.

h2o
 
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