All radio broadcast station licenses are scheduled to expire between 2019 and 2022.  Each AM, FM, noncommercial educational FM, FM Translator, and Low Power FM (LPFM) station must file an application for license renewal (FCC Schedule 303-S) four months prior to the expiration date of the station's license in accordance with the schedule set forth below.  All stations, except LPFM and FM Translator stations, also must file a Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (FCC Schedule 396) at the same time. 

During the license renewal process, listeners of the stations whose licenses are up for renewal may participate in the process either by filing a Petition to Deny or informal objection against a renewal.  Positive comments about a broadcaster's service may also be filed.  Procedures for filing documents with the Commission in the context of a license renewal are covered below.

Related auxiliary stations (backup facilities), and FM booster stations are renewed with the main station license; do not file separate renewal applications for auxiliary or FM booster stations.  A permittee of a new radio broadcast station is not required to file a license renewal application unless a license is granted prior to the expiration date for radio stations in its particular state or jurisdiction.
   

Contents

   Important:  Verify the Station's Mailing and E-mail Addresses
   The Station's Local Public Inspection File
   License Renewal Filing Dates
   Radio License Renewal Process -- Local Public Notice Requirements
      Timing of Announcements
   On-Air Announcement Scripts and Online Notice Texts
   License Renewal Application Filing Fees
   License Renewal Process -- Electronic Filing Is Mandatory
   Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Filing Requirements
   Petitions to Deny/Informal Objections
   Submission of Petitions to Deny, Informal Objections, and Comments
   Additional Information about Radio Broadcast Station Renewals
 

   Public Participation in the License Renewal Process (separate document)
   LMS Help Center provides information on how to file the license renewal application (separate document)
   Radio License Renewal for Broadcasters (Video) shows how a little early work can ease the license renewal process

 

Important: Verify the Station's Mailing and E-mail Addresses

A valid mailing address and a valid e-mail address for each station is essential for a smooth renewal process.  Broadcast licensees should take the time NOW to verify that the station address is correct in the FCC's files, and make any necessary corrections.  Please double check the mailing address and e-mail address on the license renewal application before electronically filing the application.

AM and FM full service stations, Low Power FM stations, and interested persons may check the Commission's address-of-record by using the Mailing Address Search.  FM Translator stations may verify the mailing address through the "Station Information" link in CDBS Public Access.

Corrections of mailing addresses may be made as a CDBS informal filing.  Please see Informal Filings - Frequently Asked Questions for the procedure for submitting such changes.

 

The Station's Local Public Inspection File

The public inspection file for broadcast stations contains a variety of information about each station's operations and service to its community of license, including information about political time sold or given away by each station, quarterly lists of the most significant programs each station aired concerning issues of importance to its community, data on ownership of each station, and active applications each station has filed with the Commission.  The Commission adopted the public inspection file requirement to "make information to which the public already has a right more readily available, so that the public will be encouraged to play a more active part in dialogue with broadcast licensees."

All broadcast radio licensees were required to transition their public inspection files to the Commission's online public file database (https://publicfiles.fcc.gov) by June 24, 2018.  At this location, stations are required to post all public file material required by  47 CFR Section 73.3526 (commercial stations) or 47 CFR Section 73.3527 (noncommercial educational stations).    Information on local public file and public access requirements also is available in The Public and Broadcasting (revised December 2018).

Public inspection file requirements do not apply to FM Translator stations.  Low Power FM stations are exempt from the local public file requirement, but must continue to maintain a political file.

 

License Renewal Filing Dates

The following lists indicate license renewal application filing dates, license expiration dates, and Petition to Deny filing dates, for noncommercial educational FM, commercial AM and FM, FM Translator, and Low Power FM stations.  Renewal dates are based on the location (state, territory, etc.) of the station's community of license, not the station's transmitter site location.  Dates for radio broadcast station renewals fall between 2019 and 2022, inclusive. 

      Radio broadcast renewal dates by STATE

      Radio broadcast renewal dates by DATE 

License renewal applications (FCC Schedule 303-S) must be filed four months prior to the station's license expiration date.  Details on the process are provided in the following sections.

 

License Renewal Process -- Local Public Notice Requirements

  • Generally, operating AM, FM, and LPFM stations are required to make on-air announcements for renewal applications. See below.
  • FM Translator stations, silent stations, and stations not broadcasting during the period during which on-air announcements are required to post online notice. See below.
  • Pre-filing announcements are no longer required.
  • The FCC rule that covers this process is 47 CFR Section 73.3580.
Operating AM, FM, and LPFM stations.  Announcements must be made over the AM, FM, or LPFM station beginning within five (5) business days after release of FCC public notice that the llicense renewal application has been accepted for filing.  Low Power FM (LPFM) license renewal applicants are NOT exempt and must comply with the announcement requirements below.  LPFM license renewal applicants also must comply with the online notice requirements in this section for those stations that cannot broadcast announcements.
  
Commencement of Renewal Announcements for Radio Broadcast Stations
  • Applicant may broadcast the first on-air announcement as early as the date of the release of the FCC public notice that the renewal application has been accepted for filing.
     
  • On-air announcements must commence no later than the fifth business day following release of FCC public notice that the renewal application has been accepted for filing.
Timing of Renewal Announcements for Radio Broadcast Stations
  • A total of six (6) announcements in the four weeks following acceptance of the renewal application for filing.
     
  • No more than two announcements per week.
     
  • No more than one announcement per day.
     
  • Announcements to be made at any time between 7 AM and 11 PM local time, Monday through Friday.
See 47 CFR Section 73.3580(b)(1).

Within seven (7) days of broadcast of the last on-air announcement, the station shall place in its online public inspection file (OPIFs) a statement certifying compliance with Section 73.3580 of the Commission’s rules, which shall list the dates and times that the on-air announcements were broadcast.  Licensees of LPFM stations, which do not have Commission-hosted OPIFs, should retain a record of the dates and times of on-air announcements to demonstrate compliance with Section 73.3580

Silent AM, FM and LPFM stations, or stations not broadcasting during all or part of the period during which on-air announcements are required (during the four weeks following public notice that the renewal application has been accepted for filing), must post notice online on the station website, the licensee’s website, the licensee’s parent company’s website, or on a publicly accessible website that is locally targeted to the area served by the station.  See 47 CFR Section 73.3580(b)(1)(vi), (b)(2).  The notice shall be posted continuously for a period of 30 consecutive days, beginning no later than five (5) business days after release of FCC public notice that the renewal application has been accepted for filing.  If the applicant is required to pay a third party (not affiliated with the applicant) to post online public notice, the public notice must be posted at least once a week (Monday through Friday) for four (4) consecutive weeks, for a period of at least 24 consecutive hours for each posting, beginning no later than five (5) business days after release of FCC public notice that the renewal application has been accepted for filing.

If a station is silent for part of the period during which on-air announcements are required, it shall meet the online notice requirement set forth in 47 CFR Section 73.3580(b)(2) during such time as it is unable to make on-air announcements, and shall make on-air announcements when it is able to do so.

An applicant for renewal of a license that is required to maintain an online public inspection file, and that is not broadcasting during all or a portion of the period during which on-air announcements are required to be broadcast shall, within seven (7) days of the last on-air announcement or last day of posting online notice, whichever occurs last, place in its online public inspection file a statement certifying compliance with Section 73.3580 of the Commission’s rules.  This must include the dates and times that any on-air announcements were broadcast, along with the dates and times that online notice was posted and the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of the Internet website on which online notice was posted. See 47 CFR Section 73.3580(e)(2).

FM Translator Stations. The applicant for renewal of license of an FM translator station shall give online notice.  The applicant must post notice online on the station website, the licensee’s website, the licensee’s parent company’s website, or on a publicly accessible website that is locally targeted to the area served by the station.  If the FM translator is co-owned with a full-service radio station, the notice may be posted on the translator licensee’s full-service station’s website if the translator does not have its own station website.  The notice shall be posted continuously for a period of 30 consecutive days, beginning no later than five (5) business days after release of FCC public notice that the renewal application has been accepted for filing.  If the applicant is required to pay a third party (not affiliated with the applicant) to post online public notice, the public notice must be posted at least once a week (Monday through Friday) for four consecutive weeks, for a period of at least 24 consecutive hours for each posting, beginning no later than five business days after release of FCC public notice that the renewal application has been accepted.

 

On-Air Announcement Scripts and Online Notice Texts

On-Air Announcement Script for Station with an Online Public Inspection File.  The following is the required script of an on-air announcement for a station with an online public inspection file.  Stations broadcasting in a foreign language should broadcast the announcements in that language.  Additional information can be found on the FCC's Web site at https://www.fcc.gov/guides/license-renewal-applications-radio-broadcast-stations
 
On [DATE], [APPLICANT NAME], licensee of [STATION CALL SIGN], [STATION FREQUENCY], [STATION COMMUNITY OF LICENSE], filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission for renewal of its license.  Members of the public wishing to view this application or obtain information about how to file comments and petitions on the application can visit publicfiles.fcc.gov, and search in [STATION CALL SIGN'S] public file.

-- END OF ANNOUNCEMENT --

On-Air Announcement Script for Station with No Online Public Inspection File.   The following is the required script of an on-air announcement for a station that does not have an online public inspection file.  Stations broadcasting in a foreign language should broadcast the announcements in that language.  Additional information can be found on the FCC's Web site at https://www.fcc.gov/guides/license-renewal-applications-radio-broadcast-stations.
 
On [DATE], [APPLICANT NAME], licensee of [STATION CALL SIGN], [STATION FREQUENCY], [STATION COMMUNITY OF LICENSE], filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission for renewal of its license.  Members of the public wishing to view this application or obtain information about how to file comments and petitions can visit www.fcc.gov/stationsearch, and search in the list of [STATION CALL SIGN'S] filed applications.

-- END OF ANNOUNCEMENT --


Online Text for FM Translator Stations; Silent AM, FM, and LPFM Stations; or Stations not Broadcasting During All or Part of the Period During Which On-Air Announcements are Required.  AM, FM, and LPFM stations that cannot broadcast an on-air announcement because they are off the air must post notice online on the station website, the licensee’s website, the licensee’s parent company’s website, or on a publicly accessible website that is locally targeted to the area served by the station.  The notice shall be posted continuously for a period of 30 consecutive days, beginning no later than five (5) business days after release of FCC public notice that the renewal application has been accepted for filing.  If the applicant is required to pay a third party (not affiliated with the applicant) to post online public notice, the public notice must be posted at least once a week (Monday through Friday) for four consecutive weeks, for a period of at least 24 consecutive hours for each posting, beginning no later than five business days after release of FCC public notice that the renewal application has been accepted.  FM Translators, as noted above, also post online notice.  The text of the online notice shall be as follows:
 
On [DATE], [APPLICANT NAME], licensee of [STATION CALL SIGN], [STATION FREQUENCY], [STATION COMMUNITY OF LICENSE], filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission for renewal of its license. Members of the public wishing to view this application or obtain information about how to file comments and petitions on the application can visit [INSERT HYPERLINK TO APPLICATION LINK IN APPLICANT'S ONLINE PUBLIC INSPECTION FILE (OPIF) OR, IF THE STATION HAS NO OPIF, TO APPLICATION LOCATION IN THE MEDIA BUREAU'S LICENSING AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEM].
NOTE: If a translator station’s license renewal application is filed as part of a co-owned full-service station’s license renewal application, the inserted hyperlink in the online notice should link to the full-service station application in which the translator station’s license renewal application is included.
 

License Renewal Application Filing Fees

Each commercial licensee must submit a filing fee and Form 159 with its license renewal application.  See the Application Processing Fees page for additional information concerning fees.
 

Renewal Application Filing Process -- Electronic Filing is Mandatory

Licensees MUST use the LMS Electronic Filing System to prepare and file the Schedule 303-S Application for Renewal of Broadcast Station License.  The LMS Help Center provides information and guidance on the filing process.
 

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Filing Requirements

Each licensee must familiarize itself with these rules and reporting requirements prior to preparation of the license renewal application.   Information about the Commission's EEO requirements for broadcast stations is available on the Commission's Equal Employment Opportunity page.  The EEO rules require that all license renewal applicants (except FM Translator and LPFM renewal applicants) submit FCC Schedule 396 (Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report) in advance of or with the license renewal application.  To Media Bureau Electronic Filing.

All licensees (except FM Translator and LPFM licensees) must electronically file the Broadcast Equal Opportunity Program Report (FCC Schedule 396) and the license renewal form (Schedule 303-S).  Licensees must complete FCC Schedule 396 PRIOR to completing Schedule 303-S.  Schedule 303-S asks for the application file number of the Schedule 396 application; without this number, the LMS Electronic Filing system will not accept a Schedule 303-S Application for Renewal of Broadcast Station License.

 

Petitions to Deny/Informal Objections

A Petition to Deny or an informal objection to a radio license renewal application may be filed AFTER the filing of the license renewal application.  Notices of the filing of license renewal applications will be posted in public notices available through the Commission's Daily Digest.   Specific renewal applications can also be found (after filing) by consucting a search in the LMS Public Search.

 

Petitions to Deny are considered to be timely filed with the Commission only upon submission through the LMS electronic filing system or upon receipt by the Commission at the address listed below, NOT when they are mailed or postmarked.  Petitions to Deny may not be submitted to the Commission via e-mail. 

The last day for filing Petitions to Deny is ONE MONTH PRIOR to the license expiration date:

  • Example.  The expiration date for a station in Arksansas is June 1, 2020.  The LAST DAY that a Petition to Deny may be timely filed is May 1, 2020
  • Exception.  If the LAST DAY falls on a Saturday, Sunday, holiday, or on a date that the Commission is closed for business, the LAST DAY is extended to the first full business day thereafter.  For example, the expiration date for a station in Alabama is April 1, 2020.  March 1, 2020 is a Sunday.   In this instance, the LAST DAY that a Petition to Deny may be filed is March 2, 2020
  • Exception.  The deadline for filing Petitions to Deny against late-filed license renewal applications is the 90th day after the FCC gives public notice that it has accepted that application for filing.  If the 90th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, holiday, or on a date that the Commission is closed for business, the LAST DAY is extended to the first full business day thereafter. 

Petition to Deny Requirements.  First, to file a Petition to Deny, a person must be a "party in interest" and have "standing."  That means, generally, that the person must have more than a passing interest in the station.  He or she must be a regular listener or have some other contact with the station that gives the petitioner a real stake in the outcome of the renewal process.  A petition must be supported by an affidavit of a person or persons with personal knowledge of the allegations of fact contained in the petition.  Additionally, a Petition to Deny a license renewal must be "timely" filed at least one month prior to the license expiration date, as explained in the previous paragraph.  Finally, the petition must contain a certification that a copy of the petition was mailed to the station.  Failure to include the certification that a copy was mailed to the station and the affidavit of personal knowledge will result in dismissal of the Petition to Deny. 

Procedure for Filing Informal Objections.  A person or entity opposing the grant of a station's license renewal application may file an informal objection against the license renewal application at any time prior to staff action on the license renewal application.  An informal objection is less formal than a Petition to Deny, but some requirements still apply.  It may take the form of a letter signed by the objector and submitted through LMS or mailed or delivered to one of the FCC addresses below.  An informal objection need not contain the affidavit required for a Petition to Deny.  It should, however, contain sufficient information to establish any violation alleged.  Additionally, an informal objection not received by the time the station's license renewal is granted will not be considered.

Filing Positive Comments.  Affirmative comments concerning a licensee's service during the prior license term should be filed by the Petition to Deny deadline through LMS, or through the Office of the Secretary at the addresses listed in the next section.

 

Submission of Petitions to Deny, Informal Objections, and Comments

Petitions to Deny, informal objections, or positive comments, should be submitted electronically using LMS.  Alternatively, persons may submit paper copies to the Commission.  For paper copies, please include an original and two copies of any filing.

As indicated above, an additional copy of any filing may need to be served on (mailed to) the station licensee via a separate mailing.

Send the documents to the locations listed herein:  Addresses for filing documents with the FCC.

Additional Suggestions for Filers.  To help the staff expeditiously associate a Petition to Deny, informal objection, or positive comment with the proper license renewal application, the pleading should prominently identify:

  1. The station's call sign;
  2. The station's facility ID number;
  3. The license renewal application file number.
This information, which is available in the LMS  Public Search on the Commission's Web site, should be listed on the first page of the submission.  The filing must also state whether it is a Petition to Deny, Informal Objection, or a comment.   If a cover sheet is used, it should be attached to each copy of the pleading.  Failure to include this information may cause delays in associating a pleading with a license renewal application.
 

Additional Information about Radio Broadcast Station Renewals

Questions may be directed to radioren@fcc.gov.  Please provide sufficient information so that your inquiry can be answered promptly.

 

 


For more information on AM and FM radio broadcasting, please visit the Audio Division website, and the Broadcast Radio Links page.

For more information on Television broadcasting, please visit the Video Division website.

FCC > Media Bureau > Audio Division, (202) 418-2700, and Video Division, (202) 418-1600.

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Wednesday, February 10, 2021