Group X Call Signs

The Sequential Call System rules indicate that there are some call signs that are not assignable. Among these are what are classified as "Group X" call signs. These are 2x3 call signs with the prefix WC, WK, WM, WR or WT. This being the case, there shouldn't be any active call signs that are within this range. However, if you search the FCC database you will find that there have been calls that were granted that do fall into this category.

A help request was filed with the FCC pointing out a specific WR call that was active and asking for clarification on this. The following response was received.

NOTE: The response from the FCC Amateur Division makes reference to an ARRL bulletin. A link to the ARRL bulletin is provided as well as the reprinted text below for convenience. The last paragraph of the bulletin has been omitted here as it relates to fees that are no longer applicable.

Good afternoon,

From the Amateur Division:

WR call signs were reserved for repeater station licenses, and we no longer issue repeater station licenses. All of them have expired and any references to repeater station licenses have been removed from Part 97 (the other prefixes are similar and are referenced below in the snap shot from the March 30, 1978 notice that provided details regarding the Amateur Call Sign Assignment System).

The WR (and other Group X call signs) in this format that may have been issued over 10 years ago were likely issued in error. The fact that there may be active call signs with this format does not in any way indicate that we will continue issuing such call signs. The ARRL has a 2004 article on this topic that may be helpful to the caller (

If you have any further questions or need additional information, please submit a help request at or call the FCC Licensing Support Center at (877) 480-3201.


FCC Licensing Support Center
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST, M – F

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB022 (2004)

ARLB022 FCC no longer issuing certain 2x3-format vanity call signs

ARRL Bulletin 22 ARLB022
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT August 4, 2004
To all radio amateurs

ARLB022 FCC no longer issuing certain 2x3-format vanity call signs

The FCC has ceased issuing 2x3-format Amateur Radio vanity call signs that begin with the prefixes WC, WR, WK and WT (eg, WR1AAA, WC4ZZZ). The Commission has acknowledged that it erroneously granted more than 150 WR and WC-prefix 2x3 vanity call signs from 1997 through September 2003, when it began rejecting such call sign requests.

In the late 1970s, the FCC announced a new Amateur Service call sign assignment system. It provided four standard call sign groups, designated Group A, B, C and D, delineated by license class and issued sequentially with no backfilling. The FCC's Bill Cross, W3TN, recently told the nation's volunteer examiner coordinators (VECs) that the FCC also had a "Group X." These included WC (RACES), WR (repeater), WK and WT-prefix 2x3-format call signs reportedly reserved for special-use licenses.

The FCC stopped issuing repeater call signs in 1983 and ceased renewing RACES licenses in 2000. After the current vanity program began in 1996, several ham clubs sought new and formerly held repeater and RACES-type call signs. When the Universal Licensing System came along in August 1999, however, the FCC encountered some licensing system programming shortcomings, including the anomalous assignments of WC and WR-prefix 2x3 call signs as acceptable formats.

When the FCC implemented programming corrections that halted the issuance of Group X call signs in September 2003, it did not advise the amateur community. As a result, several amateurs who filed for 2x3 WC or WR-prefix call signs had their applications dismissed without any explanation beyond saying that the applicant's call sign choice was unavailable. That remains the case. The FCC has not indicated whether it plans to address the WC and WR-prefix 2x3 call signs it's already issued.