The ACMA licence renewal process - explained
The Australian Communications and Media Authority sends a renewal notice to the postal address the licensee has recorded, about two weeks before the licence is due to expire. The responsibility rests with the licensee to keep the postal address up to date, and pay the licence fee by the due date.
Peter Young - VK3MV
The ACMA said that postal address or email contact change details need to be made in a timely manner so the renewal notice can go to the current address. If a renewal notice is not received in the month leading up to the expiry date, request one by contacting the ACMA Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or email@example.com
Technically at midnight Canberra time on the expiry date, the station is unlicensed. However, a small window of opportunity exists up to 60 days when the licensee can renew a licence by paying the licence fee without penalty. The ACMA will cancel your callsign if it doesn’t receive a response to your renewal invoice within a limited time after the expiry date. The ACMA will lapse the licence, and your callsign will then be available for re-issue. The callsign automatically appears on the WIA-administered publically available callsign list, or be subject to a ballot process in some cases of two-letter callsigns.
A few people try to get their licence back after it has expired, but are told by ACMA to apply for a callsign through the WIA Office to re-start the process. This means that the WIA needs to make a callsign recommendation and submit this to ACMA with a licence application, to enable a new licence to be issued. However this is not always under the previous callsign, because as we have explained, it may have already been issued to someone else.
The answer is to always know your ACMA Amateur Licence renewal date, whether or not you receive formal renewal, and make sure you renew it to keep the callsign. ACMA’s Amateur licencing process relies on you keeping your contact details current with their office. In respect of licence certificates, the ACMA no longer posts out a new certificate. Instead it has a PDF and any other licence condition downloadable in the public register details on the ACMA website.
In correspondence and invoicing the ACMA only uses the Client and Licence numbers.
If you want to check the callsign to which it refers, then this is obtained from the ACMA public register on its website. These changes under the Spectra system that began late last year are being progressively put in place at the time at the next renewal of a licence.
This is not just for the Amateur Service, but for all licensees. These changes have saved the ACMA money and this has been reflected in the new lower licence fee structure.
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