In 1952, Canada and the United States signed a Reciprocal Operating Agreement treaty. In the terms of the agreement, visiting Amateurs may operate in the host country in accordance with the rules and regulations of the host country.
Canadian Amateurs operating in the US have the same privileges as at home with the following limitations:
- All operations must be in accordance with FCC Part 97 Rules, and particularly:
- Amateur operation may not exceed the US band edges [97.301(a)].
- FCC mode restrictions must be followed [97.305].
The ARRL website is a good source of information useful to Canadian Amateurs visiting the US, it lists:
- US band limits and modes
- Bands available to the various classes of qualification holders in the US
- US Amateurs operating in Canada must abide by the rules in RBR-4 – Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service
A US Amateur who is qualified to send and receive in Morse code at a speed of at least 5 wpm may operate an Amateur station in Canada in accordance with the provisions applicable to the holder of an Amateur Operator’s Certificate with Basic, Morse Code (5 wpm) and Advanced Qualifications. A US amateur who is not qualified to send and receive in Morse code may operate an Amateur station in Canada in accordance with provisions applicable to the holder of the Amateur Operator’s Certificate with Basic Qualifications.
There is no need for paperwork or other formalities when exchanging visits between Canada and the US. Under the terms of the agreement, the visitor must identify using his or her call sign followed by a call area suffix, e.g., VE3FRV/W9 or N9CFX/VE3.
According to the regulations in both countries, you must be a citizen of the country that issued your Amateur license or certificate in order to take advantage of this reciprocal operating agreement. That is, a Canadian citizen who holds a US call sign cannot use his US call sign in Canada under this agreement; he must get a Canadian certificate and call sign in order to operate in Canada. If you hold call signs from both countries, when you are in Canada you must use the call sign on your Canadian certificate and when you are in the US, you must use the call sign issued to you by the FCC.
Reciprocal Operating Agreements with Other Countries
For information on operating agreements with other countries click here.
Documents pertaining to Amateur Radio are available from the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada) website. Please send questions about documents to .