GMRS and FRS Band FCC Regulations and Permissions

The following is a condensed understanding of the GMRS and FRS bands and its use according to the FCC


Paragraphs below are extracted from the FCC regulations and cover the main "argument points" surrounding this issue.  If you have a specific question about these bands, you can click the following link and search the regulations yourself

Government Printing Office - FCC Regulations
Click here to go to the GMRS specific information on this page
Click here to go to the FRS  specific information on this page


GMRS band plan:

GMRS is allocated 8 frequency pairs and 7 additional simplex frequencies in the 462 MHz/UHF range.

GMRS PRIMARY FREQUENCY PAIRS
 Designator  Lower Frequency     Upper Frequency 
 550            462.550 MHz           467.550 MHz 
 575            462.575 MHz           467.575 MHz 
 600            462.600 MHz           467.600 MHz 
 625            462.625 MHz           467.625 MHz 
 650            462.650 MHz           467.650 MHz 
 675            462.675 MHz           467.675 MHz 
 700            462.700 MHz           467.700 MHz 
 725            462.725 MHz           467.725 MHz 
 
The lower frequencies of the pairs are used for base-to-mobile and mobile-to-mobile communication.  Repeaters will also use one of these lower frequencies for its output.  The upper frequencies are used for mobile transmissions to repeaters.
 
GMRS INTERSTITIAL FREQUENCIES
  Designator    Frequency            AKA Channel
 5625              462.5625 MHz      FRS Channel 1 
 5875              462.5875 MHz      FRS Channel 2 
 6125              462.6125 MHz      FRS Channel 3 
 6375              462.6375 MHz      FRS Channel 4 
 6625              462.6625 MHz      FRS Channel 5 
 6875              462.6875 MHz      FRS Channel 6 
 7125              462.7125 MHz      FRS Channel 7 
 
The GMRS interstitial frequencies are located between the primary frequencies and are treated differently than the primary frequencies.
Only GMRS-licensed persons may use the interstitial frequencies (no teams, groups, associations, or any other entities, whether licensed or not).
 
Also, these frequencies may only be used by mobiles and small base stations with antennas less than 20 feet.  No large base stations or repeaters are permitted.  In addition, the maximum transmit power on these frequencies is limited to 5 watts. 
 

The GMRS Definition

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 47, Volume 5, Parts 80 to End]
[Revised as of October 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 47CFR95.1]

[Page 519]

TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

COMMISSION (CONTINUED)

PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart A--General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

Sec. 95.1 The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).

Source: 48 FR 35237, Aug. 3, 1983, unless otherwise noted.


(a) The GMRS is a land mobile radio service available to persons for
short-distance two-way communications to facilitate the activities of
licensees and their immediate family members. Each licensee manages a
system consisting of one or more stations.
(b) The 218-219 MHz Service is a two-way radio service authorized
for system licensees to provide communication service to subscribers in
a specific service area. The rules for this service are contained in
subpart F of this part.

[48 FR 35237, Aug. 3, 1983, as amended at 50 FR 7345, Feb. 22, 1985; 53
FR 47714, Nov. 25, 1988; 57 FR 8275, Mar. 9, 1992; 62 FR 23163, Apr. 29,
1997; 64 FR 59659, Nov. 3, 1999]
 


The GMRS Licensing

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 47, Volume 5, Parts 80 to End]
[Revised as of October 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 47CFR95.3]

[Page 519]

TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

COMMISSION (CONTINUED)

PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart A--General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

Sec. 95.3 License required.

Before any station transmits on any channel authorized in the GMRS
from any point (a geographical location) within or over the territorial
limits of any area where radio services are regulated by the FCC, the
responsible party must obtain a license (a written authorization from
the FCC for a GMRS system).

[53 FR 47714, Nov. 25, 1988]
 


GMRS Antennas

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 47, Volume 5, Parts 80 to End]
[Revised as of October 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 47CFR95.51]

[Page 521]

TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

COMMISSION (CONTINUED)

PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart A--General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

Sec. 95.51 Antenna height.

(a) Certain antenna structures used in a GMRS system and that are
more than 60.96 m (200 ft) in height, or are located near or at a
public-use airport must be notified to the FAA and registered with the
Commission as required by part 17 of this chapter.
(b) The antenna for a small base station or for a small control
station must not be more than 6.1 meters (20 feet) above the ground or
above the building or tree on which it is mounted.

[63 FR 68975, Dec. 14, 1998]
 


GMRS Power Output

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 47, Volume 5, Parts 80 to End]
[Revised as of October 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 47CFR95.208]

[Page 529]

TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

COMMISSION (CONTINUED)

PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart C--Radio Control (R/C) Radio Service

Sec. 95.208 (R/C Rule 8) How high may I put my antenna?

(a) Antenna means the radiating system (for transmitting, receiving
or both) and the structure holding it up (tower, pole or mast). It also
means everything else attached to the radiating system and the
structure.
(b) If your antenna is mounted on a hand-held portable unit, none of
the following limitations apply.
(c) If your antenna is installed at a fixed location, it (whether
receiving, transmitting or both) must comply with either one of the
following:
(1) The highest point must not be more than 6.10 meters (20 feet)
higher than the highest point of the building or tree on which it is
mounted; or
(2) The highest point must not be more than 18.3 meters (60 feet)
above the ground.
(d) If your R/C station is located near an airport, and if you
antenna structure is more than 6.1 meters (20 feet) high, your may have
to obey additional restrictions. The highest point of your antenna must
not exceed one meter above the airport elevation for every hundred
meters of distance from the nearest point of the nearest airport runway.
Differences in ground elevation between your antenna and the airport
runway may complicate this formula. If your R/C station is near an
airport, you may contact the nearest FCC field office for a worksheet to
help you figure the maximum allowable height of your antenna. Consult
part 17 of the FCC's Rules for more information.

Warning: Installation and removal of R/C station antennas near
power lines is dangerous. For your safety, follow the installation
directions included with your antenna.

[48 FR 24890, June 3, 1983, as amended at 48 FR 41416, Sept. 15, 1983]
 


GMRS Emergency Communications

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 47, Volume 5, Parts 80 to End]
[Revised as of October 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 47CFR95.143]

[Page 523]

TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

COMMISSION (CONTINUED)

PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart A--General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

Sec. 95.143 Managing a GMRS system in an emergency.

(a) The stations in a GMRS system must cease transmitting when the
station operator of any station on the same channel is communicating an
emergency message (concerning the immediate protection of property or
the safety of someone's life).
(b) If necessary to communicate an emergency message from a station
in a GMRS system, the licensee may permit:
(1) Anyone to be the station operator (see Sec. 95.179); and
(2) The station operator to communicate the emergency message to any
radio station.
 


The FRS Definition

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 47, Volume 5, Parts 80 to End]
[Revised as of October 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 47CFR95.191]

[Page 525]

TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

COMMISSION (CONTINUED)

PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart B--Family Radio Service (FRS)

Sec. 95.191 (FRS Rule 1) Eligibility and responsibility.

Source: 61 FR 28768, June 6, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

General Provisions


(a) Unless you are a representative of a foreign government, you are
authorized by this rule to operate an FCC certified FRS unit in
accordance with the rules in this subpart. No license will be issued.
(b) You are responsible for all communications that you make with
the FRS unit. You must share each channel with other users. No channel
is available for the private or exclusive use of any user.
 


FRS Hardware Description

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 47, Volume 5, Parts 80 to End]
[Revised as of October 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 47CFR95.194]

[Page 526]

TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

COMMISSION (CONTINUED)

PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart B--Family Radio Service (FRS)

Sec. 95.194 (FRS Rule 4) FRS units.

(a) You may only use an FCC certified FRS unit. (You can identify an
FCC certified FRS unit by the label placed on it by the manufacturer.)
(b) You must not make, or have made, any internal modification to an
FRS unit. Any internal modification cancels the FCC certification and
voids your authority to operate the unit in the FRS.
(c) You may not attach any antenna, power amplifier, or other
apparatus to an FRS unit that has not been FCC certified as part of that
FRS unit. There are no exceptions to this rule and attaching any such
apparatus to a FRS unit cancels the FCC certification and voids
everyone's authority to operate the unit in the FRS.