Radio Licensing

Information about Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC) formerly Industry Canada (I.C.) Radio licenses

Just as it is important to have a driver’s license to drive a car, you must have a radio license to operate a radio as well.  It is unlawful to transmit without a valid license unless the transmitter is license-exempt.

Licenses are issued by ISEDC, the government body responsible for radio spectrum.  For a fee we can apply for a license on your behalf if you would rather not navigate the complexities of antenna beam width, decibels and effective radiated power.

Handheld portable radios and vehicle mounted radios are licensed differently than fixed stations.  The cost per mobile is $41 per year regardless of the number of individual frequencies on the license.

Licensing is our responsibility when we rent radio equipment (unless specified otherwise) and is shown separately as a license fee (AKA: airtime).

Fixed stations cost a lot more per year to license and are more complex in their rates.  Each frequency programmed into each fixed station is subject to its own fee.  The fixed station frequency rate varies by region and other factors.  This is true even if the base station has a small antenna and is used for low power applications. Sophisticated trunking system can save on your yearly ISEDC fees because they are more spectrally efficient.

Radio licenses for a specific location are usually issued low power assignments.  This means that the radio output is limited to 5 Watts.  This is important to know since the default setting on vehicle and base radios are usually 25-45 Watts.  Low power fixed base station licenses also limit antenna height to 5 metres above the ground.   Indoor antennas allow up to 30 metres.  Above this height the output is limited to 1 Watt.  External antennas can only be maximum 15m above ground at 1 Watt.  Low power is used to allow ISEDC to reuse assigned channels to other companies just out of range.

Licenses are due by March 31 each year.  You can reach Industry Canada in the lower mainland at 604-930-8691

If you want us to apply for an ISEDC radio license on your behalf, we can do so. Our administrative service fee will depend on the complexity of the application. Please contact us for a quote. 

I order for us to access to your profile and complete the application on your behalf, you will need to complete an Agent Retention Form.

Download the Agent Retention Form PDF by clicking the icon below, complete the form, sign, and scan it back to us. Note: you will need to download the form and open it with Acrobat Reader to view it. If you open the form in an internet browser, you will not be able to view it. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us.

Agent Retention Form