The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) retired the Legacy version of its COmmission REgistration System (CORES) on July 15, 2022. CORES is the FCC’s public-facing database that enables and tracks certain types of FCC and FCC applicant actions, including amateur radio applications and licenses. Its implementation has enabled routine amateur applications and licenses to be issued overnight instead of over weeks, as was the case with earlier methods. The updated version of CORES is now available.

In essence, CORES is designed to identify those who hold certain types of FCC licenses and FCC authorizations, including amateur licenses, and organize them in an easily accessible manner under a common FCC Registration Number (FRN) regardless of whether one holds a single such authority or thousands. The new CORES, in addition to assigning individual FRNs, allows holders of multiple FRNs to aggregate them under a single account where the licenses and authorizations, fees and payments, and related actions can be administered from within the same account.

In effect, new CORES can be conceptualized as an electronic interactive file folder. The updated version of CORES has been available since 2016, and its use is now mandatory for all amateur licensees when submitting amateur-related applications.

The Legacy CORES website now re-directs users to the Commission’s updated CORES site. Although some functionalities in the old system will continue to work for a short time, the FCC has urged all users to transition to the updated CORES system to take advantage of its enhanced security and functionality.

Register with the FCC

Licensees that do not already have an FCC CORES Username Account must create one with a unique username (a valid email address) and password. After creating the account, when logged in, users should associate their existing FRN or FRNs with this account. Instructions for doing so are on the FCC Registration Help web page. One’s FRN is printed on all current amateur applications and licenses, and will not change. FRNs can also be found by looking up one’s call sign in the Commission’s ULS (https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchLicense.jsp) or by using the FCC’s Advanced Search web page.

The FCC has posted tutorial videos to assist with the transition. ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, recommends viewing “Getting Started With the New CORES,” which explains how to register for a CORES Username Account, and “Associating an FRN to a Username,” which instructs Legacy CORES users on how to link one or more existing FRNs to a username. FCC CORES Registration Instructions can also be found on the ARRL website.

Additional information is available on the FCC website or by calling the FCC Licensing Support Center at 877-480-3201, Option 4, and on the FCC’s e-support web page.

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