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Do You Need a License to Use a Walkie Talkie in California?


Do You Need a License to Use a Walkie Talkie in California? 

This article answers the question- Do You Need a License to Use a Walkie-Talkie in California? in well-detailed and comprehensive steps.

If you live in California and are looking to get a walkie-talkie, then, you must have pondered the requirements for getting a walkie-talkie in California. Also, you must be wondering if you need a license for a walkie talkie or not. Well, the fact is the answer to the question ‘do you need a license to use a walkie talkie in California” could be yes and no.

Why is this so?

Do You Need a License to Use a Walkie Talkie in California?

The answer to this question is dependent on the type of walkie-talkie you are using and your purpose for getting a walkie talkie. So, you might make use of two similar walkie talkies for different reasons. This way, you might need to get a license at some point. Also, you could make use of the same walkie talkie without a license. 

Do You Need a License to Use a Walkie Talkie in California

How important is it to Use a Walkie Talkie with a License?

 When looking to buy a walkie-talkie in California, it is expedient that you know if it is one that can be used without a license. The reason for this is if you get a walkie-talkie and use it in California for a purpose that requires a license but do so without using a license, you might get into a lot of trouble. 

There is usually a fine for making use of a walkie-talkie without a license when you should be using a license.  If you are found guilty of using a walkie-talkie without a license when in fact you should be using it with a license, you will have to get ready to part with $15,000. That’s quite some money. So, you have to ensure that you know when you should be getting a license to make use of a walkie-talkie. 

When Should You Get a License and When Shouldn’t You get One?

When you are getting a walkie talkie and it is considered a Family Radio Service or an FRS, then, you will not need to get a license.  On the other hand, when getting a walkie talkie that is labelled ‘FRS/GMRS’ you will need to get a license. 

To make use of a walkie talkie that requires a license, you have to pay a fee. When you are looking t make use of a walkie talkie in California without getting a license, you simply need to make use of an FRS which was made for regular people. Walkie talkies with FRS frequencies are usually between GMRS frequencies. Also, they are used at low power. That’s not all. You will not need to get involved in any guesswork as walkie talkies have an indication which kelps you know if you are broadcasting on GMRS or FRS.

How Do I Know My Walkie Talkie Needs to Be Licensed?

One way to tell that you have to license your walkie talkie is when it has a power of more than 1 watt. Going by this, if you make use of a professional or business walkie talkie in California, you will most likely require a license as lots of them come with a power of up to one watt.

Whose Responsibility is It to Maintain and get A license for a Walkie-Talkie in California?

Since you will be getting into a bit of trouble when you make use of a walkie-talkie that should be licensed without actually licensing it, it is in your place to make sure that every walkie-talkie that you use needs to be licensed gets licensed. 

How Long Does a License Last?

Licenses are known to come with a particular expiry date.  Also, ideally, you can expect the license of a walkie-talkie to last up to 10 years.

Who is qualified to Get An FCC License in California?

If you are looking to get an FCC license in California, there are certain requirements you must meet. Some of these requirements are;

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • If you have a criminal record, it is important that the details of your crime are disclosed.
  • You must not be representing the government of another nation. 


In asking the question- Do You Need a License to Use a Walkie Talkie in California? we must realize that not everyone in California is actually qualified to get a walkie talkie that requires a license before it can be used. This means you have to be certain that you are qualified o make use of this type of walkie talkie or you might get into trouble with the law.

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