Getting your ham radio licence in Canada

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If you’re interested in getting your amateur (ham) radio licence in Canada, you can start with Industry Canada’s website. I would start on the radio exam generator page which has two important links. Obviously you should start with Basic, and there are two notable things on this website.

When you go to write the actual basic exam, the examiner is randomly pulling 100 multiple choice questions from a 500 question bank. The above link gives you direct access to the 500 question bank, as well as a tool to randomly pull 100 questions from that bank, emulating the real exam experience. Once you can confidentially get 80/100 questions correct, contact a local examiner to have them give you the free exam. Once you pass it, you have your callsign for life!

You can buy the Hamstudy Basic book, which is a few years old but has everything you need for the Canadian basic exam. One other resource worth checking out is the Radio Amateurs of Canada ( website which sells their own guidebooks.

If you have any questions about the process, please reach out! It’s a nerdy hobby that few appreciates, unless you’re in a state of emergency or when the phone system breaks. I’ve been in the situation twice in my life (IceStorm ‘98 and Eastern Blackout 2003), and when you’re the only person in your network capable of communicating outside your network, they appreciate your ability to do so.


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