FM radio applications are filed with the FCC’s LMS online system. Logging into LMS requires an FRN (FCC Registration Number) and a password. Before you can get an FRN, you must first have an “FCC Username” account. You’ll use your FRN plus the FCC Username password to log into LMS. The other system you’ll use once you build your station is ETRS, and for that you’ll use the FCC Username and the FCC Password. Confused yet?
FRN: For low-power FM stations, the FRN represents the licensee, which is a nonprofit corporation of some sort.
FCC Username: The sort-of master account for a bunch of FCC online systems is CORES, which has an associated “FCC Username” (which is an email address) and password. CORES lets you create and modify/update FRNs, and also to share them with other people.
Things to Gather Before you Get Started
- An organization-specific, rather than a personal, email address. Unless you’re going to be with the organization forever, someone else will need access to the CORES account in the future, so it’s a good idea to use an address linked to the organization and which will be an organizational asset. You can start with a personal email address and change it later.
Whatever email address you use, be sure you can access its email during the registration process, and that it is regularly checked.
- Your nonprofit’s EIN. It is possible to proceed without an EIN, and the FCC’s online help about EINs is worth reading if you have any questions. It’ll come up in one of the steps below.
Step by Step
Head over to CORES at https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do and don’t be surprised that it looks old fashioned:
After you have the FCC Username, the left-hand box is where you’ll login. But first go to “REGISTER” which will take you to:
The first potential pitfall is here on the first page! It’s easy to forget and lose those long jumbled passwords which the FCC requires. Write it down somewhere logical, and consider emailing it to all the board members or something. There is a recovery process too, just in case.
After the email registration confirmation, log into CORES at https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do which takes you to:
Clicking Register-New-FRN takes you to:
An LPFM station can only be licensed to an “entity”, so leave that selected.
Finally you get to register your FRN!
Use your legal corporation name here, and preferably your corporate address. If someone tries to petition against your LPFM application, they may check that this address is within the required 10 or 20 miles of the antenna.
If you used an organizational email address as your FCC Username, it’s good to use it again here, but not required. Remember that the FCC will use this information to contact you concerning the station, so the address and email should be ones which are regularly checked.
There may be another round of e-mail registration checks, and after that you’re finished. If you want to check that it worked, or change some information, go back to the CORES login page, login, and select Mange Existing FRNs. It’s a little confusing because the next page is this:
But just click Manage FRNs and you’ll see your FRN. Don’t worry about the red text concerning payment. Unless you get fined for something, noncommercial stations like LPFMs don’t pay the FCC for anything.
Now you can begin your adventure in LMS.