Licences/Call signs


To obtain a radio amateur licence, you have to have successfully passed an exam. This exam may have been passed in Belgium but also in another country.

  1. Exam passed in Belgium
    The application is made by a simple letter accompanied by a copy of the certificate of achievement of the exam:
  2. Exam passed in a CEPT country or a contry issuing a HAREC certificate:
    The method is the same as for a radio amateur who has passed the exam in Belgium.
    Holders of a HAREC certificate are given a Class A licence. Holders of a CEPT ‘report 32’ or recommendation (05)06 certificate are given a CEPT basic licence and holders of an English "foundation licence” or equivalent, are granted a simple basic licence.
  3. Persons who do not meet the terms stated above are free to apply for a licence based on the exam passed abroad. They have to provide BIPT with a copy of the certificate issued by the foreign administration and a copy of the detailed subject matter of the exam they passed (an Internet link to that subject matter is also possible). 
    If the subject matter is not in one of the national languages or in English, a translation made by a sworn translator is required. 
    Based on the documents received BIPT will establish the level of the licence issued.

Call signs

Radio amateurs can choose their call signs according to the following rules:

General terms:

  • All radio amateurs holding a certificate can request a call sign; a licensed radio operator can alsoask for another call sign;
  • As calls signs can be assigned at any time, it is advisable to propose several call signs in the application. The proposals will be accepted in the order wished for.
  • If all proposed call signs are unavailable, a call sign will be given by BIPT.

Conditions for assigning call signs:

  • The call sign has to be available;
  • The choice may only relate to the last 2 or 3 letters;
  • Radio amateurs can ask for as many call signs as they want, a licence is due per call sign;
  • Call signs cannot be reserved, i.e. the applicant must have a certificate showing that he/she has successfully passed the appropriate exam for his/her application;
  • Radio amateurs are allowed to change their call signs only once every 5 years, unless the licence category is different;
  • Call signs are assigned in the chronological order in which the applications are received;
  • When a radio amateur's activities are stopped or a call sign is changed, that call sign is not re-assigned until 5 years have passed;
  • The only exception to the rule above is when a radio amateur is deceased. The relatives in the first degree can ask to use the deceased’s call sign personally, provided the person making the request holds the appropriate certificate.
  • A call sign has to be free before it can be applied for; reserving a call sign is not allowed.

Short call signs:

  • The extra series of OO to OT call signs, in the format of OOxA, where x=0 to 9 and A= A to Z can be applied for.
  • Those call signs are assigned only as a second call sign, at a charge, to radio amateurs holding an A licence (HAREC) and already in possession of a first call sign.
  • Only one short call sign is allowed per radio amateur.
  • Short call signs are not blocked for 5 years.
  • The OT5 and OR5 series are assigned to club stations for competition purposes

Special call signs for events:

Radio amateur clubs registered with BIPT (in order of licence) can apply for a special call sign to mark an event under the following terms and restrictions:

  • The event is associated with the club’s life (special anniversary, …)
  • The club participates in an event (e.g. open house in a school where a radio amateur club has a stand)
  • The event has to do with radio (e.g. Marconi’s birthday)
  • A club is not allowed to ask more than two special call signs per calendar year.
  • The special call sign cannot be used in different contests.
  • The call sign is given for the duration of maximum one month.
  • For the Birthday of the club or the association the call signs may be given for a period of maximum one year.
  • The call signs can have all prefixes (ON, OP, OQ, OR, OS, OT).
  • The form is as follows: prefix, a digit, a series of characters ending by a letter.
  • Call signs using the ON prefix (or the special prefix assigned to all the radio amateurs - see above) can only have a single digit if they have a suffix of 1, 2 or 3 letters.
  • The special call signs cannot be used in the club members’ homes.

The recognised associations (UBA, VRA, UFRC) can ask a special prefix on the occasion of a particular event and for all the radio amateurs. In that case any radio amateurs who wish to do so can replace the ON in their call sign by the special prefix. This authorisation does not apply to short call signs