Time for some W5YI-VEC news:

What's new for 2022 and reminders of the old:

1.  The FCC has put out a notice that the CORES site is not compatible with phones or tablets.   This means your applicants need to use a desktop to pay their application fee.

2.  We are working on a new VE manual.   This is not just a minor edit of the existing manual.   This will be an almost total rewrite.  It is taking longer than expected to complete this task.   We have a team that includes a tech writer working on the new manual.    Once it is complete another email will be sent with a download link.

3. If you are printing 605 forms.  There is a new NCVEC form 605 available for download.   This update cleans up the form, removes the word "optional" from some items, fixes spelling / formatting and a rewrite of the page 2 instructions.   You may continue to use your current stock of 2017 NCVEC  605 forms.  The new 2022 form is recommended but not yet mandatory.

4.  Watch Ham Nation at the end of August, currently that podcast is scheduled to be about "paperless" testing using examtools.   Also the October issue of CQ will have an article about remote testing using examtools.   These dates have just recently been firmed up but could change.

5. For those conducting Technician classes, we have a new 2022 PPT set of slides.
    https://tinyurl.com/2cf7uxms will allow you to download the slides.

6.  The FCC mandated that every application must include a valid email address.  Per the February 2015 Public Notice DA 15-72, The FCC no longer mails paper license authorizations.  Once the FCC grants the application, the applicant will receive an email with the subject "FCC Application Grant OR Official FCC License" from the FCC (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) within 24 hours of the grant date with a link to print the new license.  If the applicant does not receive it in their inbox, they should check their spam box.  Unfortunately, the FCC email can not be regenerated and resent and the link to download the new license is only good for 30 days.

7.  If the applicant does not already have an FRN, the FCC has also mandated that every applicant pre-register in CORES https://apps.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do and obtain a FRN to supply instead of their SSN.  The FRN must be on the 605 or it will be placed on hold.

8.  Once the application is submitted to the FCC, the FCC will give it a File #, and then the applicant will receive an email from the FCC with full instructions to pay the $35 fee.  NOTE: They do not need to wait for an email from the FCC to make a payment.    They can login into CORES and check for an application that needs to be paid.   If the applicant does not pay the required fee within 10 (calendar) days, the application will be dismissed and they will not receive a license.  This will only apply to New (unlicensed) licensees, Renewals, and new Vanity callsign requests.  Upgrades, Address change, and Name change applications will NOT be assessed the new fee.  FCC Pay Fees Site: https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/paymentFrnLogin.do.   Please advise your applicants that the FCC Pay Fee site is not compatible with phones and tablets.  The required FCC must be made on a computer.

9. The FCC mandated that every applicant must answer the Basic Qualification Question (BQQ).  If the applicant answers "Yes" to the Felony Question, they will receive an email from W5YI-VEC with full instructions once the application has been submitted to the FCC and receives a File #.

10.  Please use the W5YI DropBox to send PDF's, and files to W5YI VEC. This is MUCH more secure than email.  Please contact our office by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)  to obtain the DropBox address

11. We have now implemented an API that allows exam.tools to query our VE database .   This allows examtools to know if you have credentials and that they are valid. NOTE: we are only sharing the bare necessary info, Call, VE#, name, certification expire date, and CVE status.    This has reviled an issue.  Many VE's have not contacted W5YI VEC when calls have changed or they have renewed their Licenses.   You or your VE's may have received an email in July indicating that their CVE/VE credentials must be updated/renewed,  if anyone has already responded then no further action is needed.   VEC credentials are set to expire on your license expiration date.    You need to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and update your contact info i.e. phone and email.   When refreshed your record will pick up your license info from the FCC database.    Please check your team credentials and if they have expired or changed have them contact W5YI and update them.  ALL CVE's and VE's should have a badge that reflects their current call and correct Certification expiration date that coinsides with the expiration date of their license.  If a new badge need to the ordered, please mail (PO Box 200065, Arlington TX 76006) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) a signed copy of the current license along with $3.  Please include VE#, current Phone #, and current email.

12. Exam.tools is a VE tool kit. It is a web site not an application.  It will allow you to print paper exams, it will also allow you use your phone to grade exams, or if you use tablets or computers to give a totally paperless exam session.   We highly recommend scheduling a training / demo session to look at what exam.tools has to offer and then decide with your team how you want to use it.
13. To setup an exam.tools account:  
Please perform the following steps. All members of your team will need to perform these (one-time only) steps.  
  1. Go to the ULS license manager:
    From here, download the *Official Copy* of your license (not the reference copy that anyone can download)
    Your Official Copy will have an “Official Copy” watermarked across it.  Please don't 'print' it to a PDF or modify its filename just simply download the PDF directly. We will use this file momentarily.
  2. Now, you will be creating *TWO* accounts, one in Production and one in the ‘Sandbox’.  These are 2 completely separate  systems. The 'Sandbox' is a training environment to exercise all of the features of the program.  I highly recommend using your own call signs as your username for both accounts, keeping your passwords consistent as well.
  3. Go to https://exam.tools  select "REGISTER NOW" in the middle of the page (Assist with or Manage an Exam)  Register for your account. You will be asked for your email address, and immediately will need to verify that address.  You will be prompted to upload that ‘Official Copy’ of your license verifying that you are really you. Call Sign ownership verification typically takes 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
  4. Finally, you need to do much the same thing for the "Sandbox", the training environment.  (NOTE: that this time you'll be logging into .DEV,  not .ORG as before)  Go to https://examtools.dev  and register for an account here as well, it will appear just like the one you in the previous step. Once you are all trained up, this .DEV site will likely not be used again. You will again be prompted to upload the same ‘Official Copy’ of your license to the "Sandbox", to verify that it is the ‘real’ you.
Once you have completed these steps, your account will be created soon, and you will receive emails that your license was verified. Thank you
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