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I live outside the UK. Can I get a UK licence?

First off, you may want to consider why you want a UK licence if you do not live in the UK and are not planning to visit the UK.

A common reason is that people from outside the UK want to get a licence in their own country by getting a UK licence and arranging for this to be “exchanged” for a licence in their own country.

Can I exchange a UK licence for a licence in my own country?

Potentially yes, as some countries accept a UK Full licence as valid for issuing what’s called a “reciprocal licence”. This can be done under an agreement called HAREC TR-61 – To see if your country recognises a UK Full licence, see the document: HAREC TR-61

Note that you would normally need a UK Full Licence – there are 3 licences – Foundation, Intermediate or Full, with Full being the highest.

The UK exam

To get a UK Full Licence, there are two routes:

  • Sitting all three exams: Foundation, Intermediate and then Full
  • Taking a “Direct to Full”, which is an exam aimed at those with existing RF and electronics theory (not for beginners)

The UK exams are multiple choice and can be taken at venues in the UK, or online monitored over webcam. If taking the exam online, you will need a stable Internet connection suitable for a webcam and the exam software.

Booking a UK exam

The RSGB runs the exams. For details of UK exam prices and to make a booking, go to

You will see from the exam booking form that you will need to provide a UK postal address – once you pass, you will receive a certificate by post – this has the required information needed to apply for a UK licence from the regulator Ofcom.

When applying for your licence, you are required to enter a “main station address” – this is an address in the UK that you will be transmitting from.

If you have any questions about the UK exam, please contact the RSGB at

Want to discuss this?

Please post in our Ham Hub Study Guide forum

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