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International Operations

Boats operating in the waters of foreign countries usually must have a reciprocal license.  A U.S. boat operating in the Bahamas, for instance, will be required to obtain a Bahamian reciprocal license and will identify as X4XXX/C6A to show it is in the Bahamas.

Remember that boats operating offshore are considered maritime mobile and are governed by the rules of the country in which the vessel is registered or documented.

The ARRL web site has comprehensive information on International Operating, obtaining reciprocal licenses as well as a list of those countries with reciprocal agreements with the U.S. and the scope of those agreements.

The following are links to the ARRL web site:

  •   ARRL - Home Page
  •   ARRL - International Operating information 
  •   ARRL - Countries having signed reciprocal Agreements with the U.S.
  •   ARRL - Operating Permit information by Country


    Reciprocal licenses for the Bahamas may be obtained from:

    Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority
    UBS Annex Building
    PO Box N-4860
    Nassau, Bahamas
    Tel: 242 393-0234

    Application can be made via Postal to the above address or by email to info@urcabahamas.bs. Note: download application, fill it out, scan and attach to an email.
    For every year that you wish to visit The Bahamas to operate Amateur Radio Services, you are required to submit the following to URCA:
    - Completed URCA Licence Application Form for Amateur Radio Services ECS 3/2011
    - Copy of your amateur radio license, general class or higher
    - Copy of identification - birth certificate or passport photo page
    - Cashiers check, or Int'l money order for $35 ($10 application fee plus $25 license fee) to: Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority. Credit cards may also be accepted, using the proper URCA Credit Card Authorization Form.

    Allow three to four weeks for processing a new application - to speed up the process, email the paperwork and airmail the money order.

    For more information, the URCA Web site is HERE

    Note: You can request that they email the license to you as an email attachment.


    Reciprocal licenses (VP9) for Bermuda must be applied for at:

    Department of Telecommunications
    60 Reid Street
    Hamilton, Bermuda HM11

    Phone: 441 295-5151,  Fax: 441 295-1462


    - Letter of request with expected arrival/departure dates and proposed local address while in Bermuda
    - Copies of indigenous License and birth certificate or passport photo page

    No fee is charged for 3-month permit, $25 fee is charged for license which will be valid until the following June 30

    Allow 30 days if by mail, same day service if applying in person


    Reciprocal licenses (XE#) for Mexico may be applied for at:

    Area de Aficionados
    Av. Telecomunicaciones s/n
    Col. Leyes de Reforma
    09310 México, D.F.

    Phone: +52 (5) 691-7185     Fax: +52 (5) 691-7601

    Prices for a Mexican reciprocal license seem to run from $70 to $92, and that appears to be for six months.

    The Mexican reciprocal uses the suffix of XE#, with # being the number for the district you are in.

    More (much more) info, including downloadable application forms, can be found here.


    Reciprocal licenses for the Turks and Caicos may be applied for at:

    Turks and Caicos Amateur Radio Society - TACARS
    Box 218, Providenciales
    Turks & Caicos Islands, British West Indies

    Phone: 809 946-4436 (Jody Millspaugh VP5JM, TACARS Secretary, jody@tciway.tc)


    - Completed application form available at www.vp5jm.com/license/license.doc or:
    - Letter of request to include dates, boat name or location of operation and:
    - Copies of indigenous license and birth certificate or passport photo page
    - $35 fee covers calendar year, personal check or Int'l money order in US funds to TACARS

    Allow two months due to slow mail service.

    Reciprocal license will not be sent: pick up at island District Commissioner

    Ms. Jody Millspaugh can authorize operation by phone or e-mail if application has been approved