A first time licensed Technician Class amateur initially receives a sequentially issued 2-by-3 format station call sign. 2-by-3 means the call sign has two prefix letters, one numeral and three suffix letters ...such as KA7XXX. You don't get to choose the call sign.
Once you have been assigned a call sign you can trade it in for a specific 1-by-3 format call sign meaning one letter, either K, N or W, one numeral - zero through nine and three suffix letters of your choosing under the new Vanity Call Sign System. A few "N" calls are available.
Technicians and General Class amateurs also may select a new 1-by-3 call sign. (Read the Vanity call sign Frequently Asked Questions.)
A very good Vanity call sign search resource is RadioQTH.Net located at: www.radioqth.net. This website lists immediately available, soon to be available call signs and predicts filing winners based on filed applications for any given call sign. We can do all the research for you ! Just provide us with the calls that are acceptable to you on your application and we will contact you with what is actually available for assignment based on your class of license.
Advanced Class and Extra Class amateurs qualify for even shorter call signs.
Advanced can choose any available 2-by-2 call sign beginning with KA-KZ, NA-NZ or WA-WZ.
Extra Class qualify for available 1-by-2, 2-by-1 and 2-by-2 call signs beginning with AA-AK. (Read the Vanity call sign Frequently Asked Questions.)
Let your call sign lapse and lost your call sign during the last 2 years? If your old call sign has not been re-issued, the chances are good that you can get it back ! And we may be able to document that you did indeed hold a particular call sign if you do not have evidence. (Read the Vanity call sign Frequently Asked Questions.)
We can help! Anyone can change their call sign at any time. The format of the call sign you qualify for is determined by your license class. The higher your license class, the shorter the call sign you are able to obtain. (Read the Vanity call sign Frequently Asked Questions.)