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Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Part 95 - Subpart D - Rules for CB Service

Citizens Band (CB) Radio Service

General Provisions-

[RULE 1]  Description
[RULE 2]  Usage of Rules
[RULE 3]  Who is Eligible
[RULE 4]  Licenses
[RULE 5]  Areas Of Legal Operation
[RULE 6]  Special Restrictions
[RULE 7]  Operating Channels/Frequencies
[RULE 8]  Antenna Height
[RULE 9]  Equipment
[RULE 10] Power Output
[RULE 11] Linear Amplifiers
[RULE 12] Permitted Communication
[RULE 13] Illegal Communication
[RULE 14] Paying for Actual Use
[RULE 15] Who Is Held Accountable
[RULE 16] Time Limit of Transmissions
[RULE 17] Identification Methods
[RULE 18] Emergency Usage and Assisting Travelers
[RULE 19] Remote Control Operations
[RULE 20] Telephone Patches and Telephony with CB
[RULE 21] Penalties
[RULE 22] Correspondence from FCC
[RULE 23] Notice of Interference
[RULE 24] Service to Transmitters and Antennas
[RULE 25] Modifications to Transmitters
[RULE 26] FCC Inspections
[RULE 27] Keeping Station Records
[RULE 28] Contacting the FCC
RULE 1 - Descriptions The Citizens Band Radio Service (CB) is a private, two-way, short-distance voice communications service for personal or business activities. The CB Radio Service may also be used for voice paging.
RULE 2 - Usage of Rules You must comply with these rules when you operate a station in the CB Service from:
{1} Within or over the territorial limits of places where radio services are regulated by the FCC.
{2} Aboard any vessel or aircraft registered in the United States or
{3} Aboard any unregistered vessel or aircraft owned or operated by a United States citizen or company.
Your CB must comply with Part 95/Subpart E [Technical Rules].
Where the rules use the word "you", "you" means a person operating a CB station. Where the rules use the word "person" the rules are concerned with an individual, a corporation, a partnership, an association, a joint stock company, a trust, a state, territorial or local government unit, or other legal entity. Where the rules use the term "CB station", that means a radio station transmitting in the CB Radio Service.
RULE 3 - Eligibility To Use CB You are authorized to operate a CB station unless:
{A} You are a foreign government, a representative of a foreign government, or a federal government agency.
{B} The FCC has issued a cease and desist order to you, and the order is still in effect.
RULE 4 - Licenses You do not need an individual license to operate a CB station. You are authorized by this rule to operate your CB station in accordance with the rules stated in this Subpart. (*also read Rule 17)
RULE 5 - Areas of Legal Operation You are authorized to operate your CB station from:
{A} Within or over any area of the world where radio services are regulated by the FCC. Those areas are:
[1] The 50 United States
[2] The District Of Columbia
[3] Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
[4] Navassa Island
[5] United States Virgin Islands, it's 50 islets and cays
[6] American Samoa
[7] Baker Island
[8] Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
[9] Guam Island
[10] Howland Island
[11] Jarvis Islan
[12] Johnston Island
[13] Kingman Reef
[14] Midway Island
[15] Palmyra Island, and it's 50+ islets
[16] Wake Island
{B} Any area of the world, except, within the territorial limits of areas where radio services are regulated by -
[1] An agency of the United States other than the FCC, you are subject to it's rules.
[2] Any foreign government, you are subject to it's rules.
{C} An aircraft or ship, with the permission of the captain, within or over any area of the world where radio services are regulated by the FCC or upon or over international waters. You must operate your CB station according to any applicable treaty to which the United States is a party.
RULE 6 - Special Restrictions
{A} If your CB station is located on premises controlled by the Department of Defense you may be required to comply with additional regulations imposed by the commanding officer of the installation.
{B} If your CB station will be constructed on land of environmental or historical importance (such as a location significant in American history, architecture or culture), you may be required to provide information to comply with Part 1.1305 through 1.1319 of the FCC Rules.
RULE 7 - Operating Channels/Frequencies Your CB station may transmit only on the following channels / frequencies:
Channel        Frequency      Channel          Frequency
1               26.965          21              27.215
2               26.975          22              27.225
3               26.985          23              27.255
4               27.005          24              27.235
5               27.015          25              27.245
6               27.025          26              27.265
7               27.035          27              27.275
8               27.055          28              27.285
9*              27.065          29              27.295
10              27.075          30              27.305
11              27.085          31              27.315
12              27.105          32              27.325
13              27.115          33              27.335
14              27.125          34              27.345
15              27.135          35              27.355
16              27.155          36              27.365
17              27.165          37              27.375
18              27.175          38              27.385
19              27.185          39              27.395
20              27.205          40              27.405

{B} * Channel 9 may be used ONLY for emergency communications OR for traveler assistance.
{C} You must, at all times and on ALL channels, give priority to emergency communication messages concerning the immediate safety of life or the immediate protection of property.
{D} You may use ANY channel for emergency communications or for traveler assistance.
{E} You must share each channel with other users.
{F} The FCC will not assign any channel for the private or exclusive use of any particular CB station or group of stations.
{G} The FCC will not assign any channel for the private or exclusive use of CB stations transmitting single sideband or AM.
RULE 8 - Antenna Height
{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 (whether receiving, transmitting or both) it must comply with EITHER one of the following:
[1] The highest point must not be more than 20 feet (6.10 meters) higher than the highest point of the building or tree on which it is mounted;
[2] The highest point must not be more than 60 feet (18.3 meters) above the ground.
{D} If your CB station is located near an airport, and if your antenna structure is more than 20 feet (6.10 meters) high, you may have to obey additional restrictions. The highest point of your antenna must not exceed 39.37 inches (1 meter) above the airport elevation for every 109.36 yards (100 meters, 1 hectometer) 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 CB station is near an airport, you may contact the nearest FCC field office for a worksheet to help you figure the maximum allowable height for your antenna.
WARNING: Installation and removal of CB station antennas near powerlines is dangerous. For your safety follow the installation directions included with your antenna.
RULE 9 - Equipment
{A} You must use an FCC type accepted CB transmitter at your CB station. You can identify an FCC type accepted transmitter by the 'type acceptance'label placed on it by the manufacturer. You may examine a list of type-accepted equipment at any FCC Field Office or at FCC Headquarters. Use of a transmitter which is not FCC type-accepted voids your authority to operate the station.
{B} You must not make, or have made, any internal modifications to a type-accepted CB transmitter. (*read Rule 25) Any internal modification to a type-accepted CB transmitter cancels the type-acceptance, and use of such a transmitter voids your authority to operate the station.
RULE 10 - Power Output
{A} Your CB station transmitter power output must not exceed the following values under any conditions:
AM [Amplitude Modulation] - 4 watts carrier power [CP]
SSB [Single Side-Band] - 12 watts peak envelope power [PEP]
{B} If you need more information about the power rule, see Part 95/ Subpart E.
{C} Use of a transmitter which has carrier [CP] or peak envelope power [PEP]in excess of that authorized voids your authority to operate the station.
RULE 11 - Linear Amplifiers
{A} You may not attach the following items (power amplifiers) to your type-accepted CB transmitter in any way:
[1] External radio frequency [RF] power amplifiers, also called linear amplifiers, or linears;
[2] Any other devices which, when used with a radio transmitter as a signal source, are capable of amplifying the signal.
{B} There are no exceptions to this rule and use of a power amplifier voids your authority to operate the station.
{C} The FCC will presume you have used a linear or other external [RF] power amplifier if-
[1] It is in your possession or on your premises; and
[2] There is OTHER EVIDENCE that you have operated your CB station with more power than allowed by CB Rule 10.
{D} Paragraph C above in this section does not apply if you hold a license in another radio service (HAM, etc.) which allows you to operate an external RF power amplifier.

RULE 12 - Permitted Communications {A} You may use your CB station to transmit two-way plain language communications. Two-way plain language communications are communications without codes or coded messages. Operating signals such as "ten codes" (10-4, etc.) are not considered codes or coded messages. You may transmit two-way plain language communications only to other CB stations, to units of your own CB station, or to authorized government stations on CB frequencies about-
[1] Your personal or business activities, or those of members of your immediate family living in your household;
[2] Emergencies;
[3] Traveler assistance;
[4] Civil Defense activities in connection with official tests or drills conducted by, or actual emergencies announced by, the Civil Defense Agency with authority over the area in which your station is located.
{B} You may use your CB station to transmit a TONE SIGNAL only when the signal is used to make contact, or to continue communications (Examples: tone operated squelch, selective calling circuits). If the signal is an audible tone, it must last no longer than 15 seconds at one time. If the signal is a subaudible tone, it may be transmitted continuously only as long as you are talking.
{C} You may use your CB station to transmit one-way communications (messages not intended for two or more CB stations) only for emergency communications, traveler assistance, brief tests (radio checks) or voice paging.
RULE 13 - Illegal Communications {A} You must NOT use a CB station-
[1] in connection with activity which is against federal, state or local law;
[2] to transmit obscene, indecent or profane words, language or meaning;
[3] to interfere intentionally with the communications of another CB station;
[4] to transmit one-way communications, EXCEPT for emergency communications, traveler assistance, brief tests (radio checks) or voice paging;
[5] to advertise or solicit the sale of any goods or services;
[6] to transmit music, whistling, sound effects or any material to amuse or entertain;
[7] to transmit any sound effect solely to attract attention;
[8] to transmit the word "MAYDAY" or use any other international distress signal, EXCEPT when your station is located in a ship, aircraft or other vehicle which is threatened with GRAVE AND IMMINENT danger and you are requesting IMMEDIATE assistance.
[9] to communicate with, or ATTEMPT to communicate with, any CB station more than 155.3 miles (250 kilometers) away;
[10] to advertise a political candidate or political campaign (You may use your CB radio for the business or organizational aspects of a campaign, if you follow all other applicable rules);
[11] to communicate with stations in other countries, except stations in Canada (on General Radio Service).
[12] to transmit a false or deceptive communication.
{B} You must not use a CB station to transmit communications intended for live or delayed rebroadcast on radio or television. You may use your CB station to gather news items or to prepare programs.
RULE 14 - Paying for Actual Use {A} You may not accept direct or indirect payment for transmitting with a CB station.
{B} You may use a CB station to help you provide a service, and be paid for that service, as long as you are paid only for the service and not for the actual use of the CB station.
RULE 15 - Who Is Held Accountable You are responsible for all communications which are made BY YOU from a CB station.
RULE 16 - Time Limit of Transmissions {A} You must limit your CB communications to the minimum practical time.
{B} If you are communicating with another CB station or stations, you, and the stations communicating with you, must limit each of your conversations to no more than five (5) continuous minutes.
{C} At the end of your conversation, you, and the stations communicating with you, must not transmit again for at least one minute.
RULE 17 - Identification Methods {A} You need NOT identify your CB communications...
{B} You are ENCOURAGED to identify your CB communications by any of the following means:
[1] Previously assigned FCC CB call sign
[2] K prefix followed by operators initials and residence zip code
[3] Your name;
[4] Description of your organization including name and any applicable operator unit number
{C} You are encouraged to use a "handle" (nickname) ONLY IN CONJUNCTION WITH the methods of identification listed above in paragraph B of this section.
RULE 18 - Emergency Usage and Assisting Travelers {A} You must at all times and on all channels, give priority to emergency communications.
{B} When you are directly participating in emergency communications, you do not have to comply with Rule 16 about length of transmissions. You must obey all other rules.
{C} You may use your CB station for communications necessary to assist a traveler to REACH A DESTINATION or to RECEIVE NECESSARY SERVICES. When you are using your CB station to assist a traveler, you do not have to obey Rule 16 about the length of transmissions. You must obey all other rules.
RULE 19 - Remote Control Operations {A} You MAY NOT operate a CB station transmitter by RADIO remote control.
{B} You MAY operate a CB transmitter by WIRELINE remote control IF you obtain specific approval in writing from the FCC. To obtain FCC approval you must show why you need to operate your station by wireline remote control. Send your request and justification to:
FCC, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
If you receive FCC approval, you must keep the approval as part of your station records (read Rule 27 on station records).
RULE 20 - Telephone Patches and Telephony with CB {A} You MAY connect your CB station transmitter to a telephone if you comply with ALL of the following:
[1] You or someone else must be present at your CB station and MUST-
(i) manually make the connection (the connection cannot be made by remote control);
(ii) supervise the operation of the transmitter during the connection;
(iii) listen to each communication during the connection; and
(iv) stop all communications if there are operations in violation of these rules.
[2] Each communication during the telephone connection must comply with all of these rules.
[3] You must obey any restriction that the telephone company places on the connection of a CB transmitter to a telephone.
{B} The CB transmitter you connect to a telephone must not be shared with any other CB station.
{C} If you connect your CB transmitter to a telephone, you must use a phone patch device which has been registered with the FCC.
RULE 21 - Penalties may not be current penalty information. {A} If the FCC finds that you have WILLFULLY or REPEATEDLY violated the Communications Act or FCC Rules, you may have to pay as much as $2,000 for each violation, up to a total of $5,000.
{B} If the FCC finds that you have violated any section of the Communications Act or FCC Rules, you may be ordered to stop whatever action caused the violation.
{C} If a federal court finds that you have WILLFULLY and KNOWINGLY violated any FCC Rule, you may be fined up to $500 for each day you committed the violation.
{D} If a federal court finds that you have WILLFULLY and KNOWINGLY violated any provision of the Communications Act, you may be fined up to $10,000 or may be imprisoned for one year, or both.
RULE 22 - Correspondence from FCC {A} If it appears to the FCC that you have violated the Communications Act or these rules, the FCC may send you a discrepancy notice.
{B} Within the time period stated in the notice, you must answer with:
[1] A complete written statement about the apparent discrepancy;
[2] A complete written statement about any action you have taken to correct the apparent violation and to prevent it from happening again; and
[3] The name of the person operating at the time of the apparent violation.
{C} If the FCC sends you a letter asking you questions about your CB radio station or its operation, you must answer each of the questions with a complete written statement within the time period stated in the letter.
{D} You must not shorten your answer by references to other communications or notices.
{E} You must send your answer to the FCC office which sent you the notice.
{F} You must keep a copy of your answer in your station records.
RULE 23 - Notice of Interference {A} If the FCC tells you that your CB station is causing interference due to technical reasons, you must follow all instructions in the official FCC notice (This notice may require you to have technical adjustments made to your equipment).
{B} You must comply with any restricted hours of CB station operation which may be included in the official notice.
RULE 24 - Service to Transmitters and Antennas {A} You may adjust an antenna to your CB transmitter and you may make radio checks (One-way transmissions for a short time in order to test the transmitter).
{B} Each internal repair and each internal adjustment to your FCC type-accepted CB transmitter must be made BY or under the DIRECT SUPERVISION of a person licensed by the FCC as a GENERAL RADIOTELEPHONE OPERATOR.
{C} Except as provided in paragraph D below in this section, each internal repair and each internal adjustment of a CB transmitter in which signals are transmitted must be made using a NON-RADIATING antenna (Dummy Load).
{D} Brief test signals (signals not longer than one minute during any five minute period) using a radiating antenna may be transmitted in order to:
[1] adjust an antenna to a transmitter;
[2] detect or measure radiation of energy other than the intended signal;
[3] tune a receiver to your CB transmitter.
RULE 25 - Modifications to Transmitters {A} You must not make or have any one else make any internal modification to your CB transmitter.
{B} Internal modification does NOT include:
[1] Repair, or servicing of a CB station transmitter; or
[2] Changing plug-in modules which were type-accepted as part of your CB transmitter
{C} You must not operate a CB transmitter which has been modified by anyone in any way, including modification to operate on unauthorized frequencies or with illegal power.
RULE 26 - FCC Inspections {A} If an authorized FCC representative requests to inspect your CB station, you must make your CB station and records available for inspection.
{B} A CB station includes all of the radio equipment you use.
RULE 27 - Keeping Station Records Your station records include the following documents, as applicable: [1] A copy of each response to an FCC violation notice or an FCC letter.
[2] Each written permission received from the FCC.
RULE 28 - Contacting the FCC
{A} Write to your nearest FCC Field Office to:
[1] Report an interference complaint;
[2] want to know if the FCC has type-accepted a particular transmitter for CB service.
{B} Write to the FCC if you have questions about the CB Rules:

                              FCC Private Radio Bureau
                              Personal Radio Branch
                              Washington, DC   20554