Get Started With GMRS
What is GMRS radio?
Known as “Class A Citizens Band" while renamed by FCC in 1987, GMRS stands for General Mobile Radio Service, using the same frequency band as FRS's (462-467 MHz). The difference is that GMRS radios have designated channels within those frequencies that aren't available to FRS radios. Its use is covered by FCC Part 95, but requires a license to operate. According to the latest FCC rules, a personal GMRS license costs $70 （Currently, the application fee for a GMRS license is $70. With the new Report and Order, the GMRS license fee will be only $35.） and can be obtained online at https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/universal-licensing-system
Handheld GMRS units can put out up to 5 Watts of power, although 4-Watt handhelds are more common. While fixed-base stations can use up to 50 Watts on most frequencies, they are restricted to 5 Watts when communicating on the FRS channels. Repeater stations are allowed and can transmit as high as 50 Watts. Both fixed-base stations and repeaters can only transmit on the lower “462” frequencies, while handhelds can operate on any GMRS frequency.
That means that a GMRS radio can have all the same capabilities as an FRS radio in addition to special channels that FRS can’t access, and the option to extend the range of the product.
GMRS gear can include removable antennas, making it simple to use a handheld with a car mount or stationary antenna. Combined with the ability to use repeaters, GMRS can be used to communicate over considerable distances.
What is the difference betweeb FRS and GMRS radios?
Referred to as "UHF Citizens Band", FRS stands for Family Radio Service. After May 18, 2017, FRS radios are limited to 2 Watts on channel 1-7 and channels 15–22. All 22 channels are shared with the GMRS radios. FRS radios come with fixed antennas, and cannot be legally modified to accommodate antennas or amplifiers. Different from GMRS, yon don't need a license to operate FRS radios.
In conclusion, what are the advantages of GMRS compared to FRS?
1. Increased Power, which means longer talking range.
2. Compatibility to FRS Radios
3. Repeater Capable
4. Lower Price
5. If you receive a license, any family member, regardless of age, can operate GMRS stations and units within the licensed system. Yes, husband, wife, kids, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
Am I qualified to get a GMRS radio?
You may apply for a GMRS license if you are 18 years or older and not a representative of a foreign government. If you receive a license, any family member, regardless of age, can operate GMRS stations and units within the licensed system.
Okay, how can I get a license?
Simply go to FCC website to apply for a license. Note that you must register for a FRN as a Domestic Individual. This allows you to do business (ie. pay) the FCC. Once you receive your FRN, which typically happens moments after submitting the form, you are able to fill out the online application and purchase your GMRS license. Information directly from the FCC below.