Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator

Where the Journey Begins

Amateur Radio Operators in Canada, need to obtain a license from Industry Science and Economic Development Canada. Once you obtain your license you are licensed for life and currently there are no required renewals or fees.

When you have your license you will be assigned a Call Sign which is your identifier on air.

Call signs in Ontario are initially assigned with either VE3 or VA3 for the prefix, and a suffix of three letters.

You can choose one of the available call signs or you can have one assigned for you.

How do I get a license?

The main requirement is that you pass a 100 question exam with a grade of 70% or above.

However if you achieve a mark of 80% or above you receive access to the entire amateur radio frequency spectrum.

There is no age requirement and The Peterborough Amateur Radio Club has had children as young as 10 obtain their licenses.

Where do I write my exam?

There are two options for completing your exam, you can write it at a government office or you can write it with an Accredited Examiner.

The Peterborough Amateur Radio Club has two Volunteer Accredited Examiners often the examiners will meet you at a coffee shop or other public space such as a library to complete your exam.

The good news is if you pass you can have your call sign in as little as a few hours.

Study Options

There are options for everyone, and every different learning style. Including:

  • Study at your own pace Online courses
  • Conventional book study guides
  • Virtual Online classes
  • In-person classes
  • Exam question banks

The remainder of this brochure is dedicated to showing you these options complete with links for easy access.

Studying at Your Own Pace

There are a few Online study at your own pace courses:

  • YLab offers an excellent self study video course. Click Here.
  • Cold Lake Amateur Radio Society provides a free study at your own pace Online course. Click Here.
  • Radio Amateurs of Canada has a book type study guide for your basic qualification. Available Here.

Virtual and In-Person Classes

PARC offers regular virtual classes, as well as in person classes when there is enough interest.

Contact the Amateur Education Coordinator at to register.

Radio Amateurs of Canada also offer regular Online virtual classes and a full list of courses running nationwide. Click Here.

Exam Question Banks

  • Industry Science and Economic Development Canada has a practice exam generator available, as well the entire question bank with answers. Click Here.
  • offers a wonderful interactive test generator. Click Here.

You and the Peterborough Amateur Radio Club

The Peterborough Amateur Radio Club is here to help you in obtaining your license and to welcome you to the Ham Community. All newly licensed amateurs are entitled to their first year of membership to PARC free.

Please feel free to contact our Education Committee at anytime at

More about PARC

The Peterborough Amateur Radio Club is Peterborough and the Kawarthas local Amateur Radio Club. PARC was founded in the 1930’s. We offer many activities, and opportunity to use your skills to help your local community.

PARC Activities

  • Communications support for community events
  • Training and Workshops
  • Guest Lecture Series
  • Scheduled on frequency Radio Nets
  • Summits on the Air
  • Parks on the Air
  • Field Day and Contests
  • Fox Hunts (radio hide and seek)
  • Weekly Gatherings (in person and virtual)
  • Dinners and Annual Corn Roast
  • Club Meetings
VA3PYN doing pota
Group standing around dave ve3sd station at field day.
VE3IEL operating a station on field day 2023
Family Photo from 2023 Corn Roast