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Old 17 June 2008, 08:09   #1
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Hand Held VHF Radio Licence?

Right, Do you need to obtain a qualitfication or licence in order to use a hand held VHF radio?

I thought you did but then i was told you didn't and now have been told by somebody else that you do!


HELLLP!

Thanks
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Old 17 June 2008, 08:19   #2
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From the Ofcom site-


"If you wish to use a handheld radio only then you will be required to apply for a Ship Portable Radio licence. Instead of a call sign (applicable to vessels) you will be provided what is known as a T-number which will enable you to use your portable radio on board any vessel.
If you own a vessel and you have radio equipment that is fixed to the vessel you will need to apply for a Ship Radio licence. If you intend to use a handheld radio as well as fixed radio equipment on board your vessel, this can be registered under the same Ship Radio licence application as the fixed equipment but be advised that it will licensed for use on this vessel alone."
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Old 17 June 2008, 08:31   #3
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The legislation regarding use of hand-held and fixed radios is the same. A licence is required to operate either save:
(a) where a qualified operator institiates the call and then hands over to a non-qualified operator but continues to monitor the call; and
(b) in an emergency situation (where there is immediate danger to life or vessel).

As a result of the above routine communication by an unqualified operator is unlawful and the maximum penalty upon conviction is 5,000.00 and/or six months in prison.

The licence for a hand-held is issued to the operator personally (who is then free to use it on any vessel) whereas the licence for a fixed VHF goes with the vessel (a ship's radio licence). Provided you apply for it online, there is no fee.

The VHF course is a short one day course with a short exam at the end to which you'll get the result staight away. You'll find details of providers local to you on here or through the RYA.
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Old 17 June 2008, 09:31   #4
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the T number issued stand for transportable ,the operators licence or certificate is a one or two day course with exam ,think the pass rate is 99 percent or it was. its worth going on one as theres more to marine vhf than than most people think who have had no experience with them .
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Old 17 June 2008, 09:47   #5
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Although where the confusion comes in is that you can apply for and obtain a free license online using the process described above but you don't have to take the course to do so.

You do have to take the course to operate the radio however.

I have obtained the free online license but am still waiting to take my one day course. So although I have my 'T' number I still can't legally use my VHF radio.

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Old 17 June 2008, 10:01   #6
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Andy JC - this is correct, the two licenses are separate.

Marine VHF Licensing is done in two parts:
  1. Ships Radio License. This is available free from Ofcom (www.ofcom.org.uk), and covers any R/T Equipment fitted to the vessel, including Handheld VHFs for use on board or in the ships tender, things like Active Radar Target Enhancers (Such as the SeaMe's), EPIRBs and the like.

    Any vessel carrying R/T equipment must have this license. It doesn't matter how many VHFs you have on board, you still only need one license per ship.

    It can be applied for by anyone, as you could conceivably own a vessel, and pay a Skipper to run it for you. The Ships Radio License would be in your name, but you wouldn't be able to use it without the skipper.

    If you buy a portable for use on one ship only, your best bet is to apply for a ships radio license, and only specify the one radio. You will then get a callsign for the ship, but not a T number for the radio.
    1. a) If you have a Portable VHF for use on more than one craft (say you are a delivery skipper for example), then you can apply at Ofcom for a portable license, and this licenses the individual Handheld set. Therefore, if you have more than one handheld set, you must have a portable license for each.
  2. Anyone who wishes to use marine VHF must also hold a Certificate of Competence and Authority to Operate from the MCA (note the word License does not actually appear here!). In the UK, both parts can be obtained by attending a one day course run by (usually) an RYA Training Centre. If you are over 16 you will get both parts of the license, if you are under 16 you will only get the Certificate of Competence part.
    Once you have this you can then use, and supervise others to use, Marine VHF radios on suitably licensed vessels. This means you could take a rib out on bareboat charter, and you would still be covered to use the VHF.
I hope that makes sense, when you think about it, it's actually pretty logical for the Ships licensing and the User Licensing to be kept totally separate, as it would get very confusing and become impossible for the end user otherwise.
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Old 17 June 2008, 10:29   #7
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Thanks Jimbo, that's cleared things up a bit

Until I take the course (hopefully in a couple of weeks) I'm still taking my handheld out with me to listen (but not transmit) and in case of an emergency. I'm aware of the procedure for making a mayday call using the ships name but I presume it's different if I have a 'T' number?

Can you confirm what the procedure is for making a mayday call if you have a portable license?
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Old 17 June 2008, 10:59   #8
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its the same as a fixed radio ,mayday x3 then boat name this is ...x3 then posistion , whats wrong ,how many persons on board ect.
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Old 18 June 2008, 06:13   #9
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To use a "land based" similie, the Operator's licence is your Driving licence, the Ship's radio licence is like the car's road tax.

So at the mo, you have a legally taxed car, but can't (legally) drive it.


I would seriously reccommend the course - if nothing else you'll discover most of what you thought you knew about DSC is all hearsay!
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Old 18 June 2008, 09:01   #10
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So - as a follow on I have purchased the new RIB & have a copy of the OFCOM 'ship radio validation document' - this shows the boat name - Licensee name & address (old owner) , callsign ( I assume for the DSC) and a date of expiry of 14 Aug 07. How do I a) get this changed to my name & address & b)get an up date version? Does the licence ever actually run out anymore ?

I have an various RT licences that never actully expire, so not worried about them,just the boats own licence I now need to worry about. Using the same analagy - I have no tax , jus a licence !
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