QST, November, 1919, page 12:
Getting Your Licenses
HAVE you got your licenses so you can start operating? If you haven't, here's what to do and how to do it:
First, an operator's license, without which you cannot operate a station. If you have an unexpired commercial operator's license, you are fixed, but otherwise you'll have to be re-examined, as all prewar amateur licenses have expired. We strongly urge that if at all possible you secure an appointment with your district Radio Inspector and report in person for the examination, so as to secure a first-grade amateur license. Provision is made, as in the past, to issue second-grade licenses to amateurs remote from the Inspector, but those within fifty miles are expected to apply for a personal examination; and, besides, there is much more satisfaction in having a "first", to say nothing of saving the delay in its receipt. In "cramming" for the quiz, we want to tip you off to something. Before the war the Department used to prefer brief, direct answers to the questions, but that policy has been changed and now they go on the theory that "what you fail to say you don't know"; so be prepared to answer questions explicitly and at sufficient length to show that you know all about it.
Then the station license, for which you are qualified to apply as a licensed operator. Ask your Inspector for forms. These application blanks call for description of various technical features of your set, from which the Department of Commerce ascertains whether it complies with the law in certain respects. Another tip: be very certain that you don't make the mistake of showing dimensions for your proposed antenna which will total more than 120 feet for the sum total of flattop length, vertical portion, lead-in, and ground-lead to point of actual contact with the ground, or right on the face of things your set can't comply with the law and your request for a license will be denied. (If you can't report in person for the operator's examination and have to write for forms for second-class operator's license, ask at the same time for station license application blanks, and send both back together.)
Unfortunately, just at this time the Department is very short of clerical help in their various offices, and this is likely to cause delay in issuing station licenses. The Radio Inspectors are authorized, however, to advise applicants what call letters they will eventually receive on their licenses and authorize them to commence operation at once, using their official call, without awaiting receipt of the actual license. It is imperative, however, that you have either the actual license or due authority from the Inspector to operate pending its receipt. We don't want any unauthorized transmitting using initials for a sig, etc.
Familiarity with the radio laws is required before an operator's license can be secured. The information is contained in a publication entitled "Radio Communication Laws of the United States", including all the regulations under which the Department of Commerce's Radio Service operates, and also the London Convention, etc. If you haven't a copy, send 15 cents by postal or express money order (stamps will not be accepted) to the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, and acquaint yourself with the regulations.
The Department of Commerce's list of ship and commercial "Radio Stations of the United States," edition of June 15, 1919, can now also be procured from the Superintendent of Documents, at 10 cents a copy. Naturally no amateur calls are in this edition, tho they will be in the next. Meanwhile QST will publish them. Drop us a line just as soon as you find out what your call letters are, so all of us will know whom we're hearing.