Radio Licensing

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The Federal Radio Communications Act requires all VHF and UHF radios to be approved and duly licenced unless specifically exempt (such as CB and GMRS radios). If you have a VHF or UHF two-way radio, each frequency installed in the radio must be authorized by ISED (Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada). Only ISED approved radio equipment may be licenced.

Why? Radio spectrum (AKA frequencies) is a limited shared resource. ISED is tasked with managing this resource to ensure the orderly use, availability, and performance of radio communications. Your safety may depend on it. The small licence fee for a radio offsets the cost of managing the resource and ensuring radio equipment will meet minimum standards.

Licence exempt services like FRS, GMRS (sometimes known as ‘walkie-talkies’), CB radios, remote controls, and many other low power devices are available, however, most are low to very low power with no protection from interfering signals. These “consumer” devices are not generally suitable for commercial use.

Operating radios under the “Amateur radio service” requires the operator to hold an Amateur Radio Operators Certificate and licence. Amateur radio equipment cannot be used for commercial use. Amateur radio frequencies cannot be used for commercial purposes or by any individual other than a certified and licenced operator.

At Walco, our primary business is Land Mobile radios, all of which require licensing. Most of our customers require permissions for RR channels and the ‘basic 10’ (LADD and Alberta Wide).

Licenses are per radio, per year. Fees are generally around 42$ per radio.

Licencing information:

Once you have your license, please let us know your license parameters.

You can reach ISED at:

Okanagan-Kootenay Office

Telephone (toll-free in Canada): 1-800-667-3780
Telephone (Kelowna): 250-470-5026
Fax: 250-470-5045
Business hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Related Regulatory Documents