27 August 2007

Jamaica Licensing Information

The following information is regarding dealing with getting your Jamaica Operating permit. You must be a licensed Amateur Radio operator in your country of origin. The following information is accurate as of today, 27 August 2007. There is other information on the Internet which IS NOT ACCURATE ANYMORE. This is very important, because the fee has increased in the last couple of years, the Spectrum Management Authority has MOVED to a new location in Kingston apparently, and I'm not entirely sure of who the Commissioner is now.

So, if you're planning a trip there in the next year, this information should be valid at least until next year. Also, Gerald Burton, 6Y5AG, of the Jamaican Amateur Radio Association advises me he believed that my license should be good for one year only from the date it is created. However, just as I was writing this, I received a note from Nadine at SMA who stated that the US $20.00 fee is for licensing that is good for THREE MONTHS ONLY. So, folks need to take that into account as well!

Licensing Information: 17 October 2ØØ7, will be mailed with bank checks to Spectrum Management Authority, Jamaica, with copies of US Licenses, passport information, etc.

Spoke to Jamaica SMA a couple of weeks ago, and obtained the correct address and fees.

JoAnne’s Technician license should be in the mail, and we should see it within a few days. According to the lady I spoke to at the SMA, it should take less than two weeks for processing, and delivery of my Jamaican permit. We will apply for her Jamaican permit as well, but not until she has a new, valid copy of her license. Her old license still shows her as a “Novice class”.

(Update: JoAnne’s technician license came in the mail on 2Ø August 2ØØ7. I am mailing her package on the 21st of August in the evening in the hopes that her license will be returned within a few days of mine. Again, our plan is going through, unless we do not receive our licenses in time, then we will simply plan again for next year.)

The following is the cover letter being sent, along with copies of NØNJY’s passport, US Amateur license and a verified bank check for $2Ø.ØØ US currency.

Required Information With License Application:

- USD $2Ø certified bank check payable only to: Spectrum Management Authority
- Copy of your home license
- Copy of your passport (just the photo page showing passport number etc.)
- Form C
- Cover letter

The proper Address for Jamaican Spectrum Management Authority (Essentially this is the “FCC” of Jamaica):

Spectrum Management Authority
2nd Floor
Victoria Mutual Building
53 Knutsford Blvd
5, Jamaica W.I.
Phone: (876) 929 - 855Ø / 852Ø

Web site addresses for Spectrum Management are:
http://www.sma.gov.jm/contact.htm (Contact information)
http://www.sma.gov.jm/index.html (Home Page for SMA)
Application forms can be found here:
The proper application for an Alien Permit is here:
There is a processing fee of $2Ø.ØØ in US Currency. It MUST be on a certified Bank Check. It MUST be made out to “Spectrum Management Authority”. You must include the items listed above, or you will not be granted a license. Remember you’re dealing with a government agency, give yourself plenty of time. We did not have that luxury. We knew at the end of July, 2ØØ7 that we were going back to Jamaica, and we already had the trip planned for October 2ØØ7 even before we decided to do the “DXpedition”.
I will say that each of the officials with whom I spoke were quite helpful, pleasant and extremely happy to hear that we were coming back to Jamaica for yet another visit. Obviously, tourism is a very large part of the economy for Jamaica and they do depend on the inflow of cash to their economy. A large part of convincing people to return is having a good attitude. I’ll always return to Jamaica when I get the chance, I’ll never go back to Paris because of attitudes. Thus, when you hear a government employee speaking kindly and helpfully, you tend to wonder what they are up to. In this case, they simply want your business, and they definitely want to make you feel welcomed to their country.

I'm not sure of the number of Hams in Jamaica, but it appears there are at least 100 or so. Some have responded to help requests from me, some have not, but all that have were helpful, kind and supportive. The people in the SMA were all pleasant -- and they reminded me of what Government workers OUGHT to be like, rather than some of the cynical, upset, and sometimes just rude people we run into in the US from time to time.

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