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Iowa Amateur Radio Data

This page shows information about amateur radio licensees in Iowa as of December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2019.

The data are presented in three tables:

1.      Number of licensees by class,

2.      Number of licensees by county, 

3.      Number of licenses expiring by years into the future, and

4.      Iowa Amateur Radio License Plates.

Some of the tables may look better if viewed in a laptop or desktop browser. 

Licenses by Grade Level

The following table shows the number of licensed Iowa amateur radio operators as of December 31 on 2015 and 2019.  

Iowa Amateur Radio Operator Licenses by Class

December 31 of 2015 and 2019

 

2015

2019

Change

Pct Change

Advanced

 580 

 453 

 (127)

-21.90%

Extra

 1,416 

 1,469 

 53 

3.74%

General

 1,568 

 1,583 

 15 

0.96%

Novice

 114 

 73 

 (41)

-35.96%

Technician

 2,537 

 2,890 

 353 

13.91%

Other

 113 

 114 

 1 

0.88%

Total

 6,328 

 6,582 

 254 

4.01%


Licenses by County

The number of licenses by county are presented below.  The county was assigned based on zip codes. The total number of licenses excludes some that have an invalid zip code in the FCC data file. The table includes licenses that are no longer active, but have not yet arrived at the expiration date.  

The map shows the relative number of operators by Iowa county as of December 31, 2019.  Linn county had the largest number of licensed operators with 1,123 and Polk county was second, with 885.


Following are two lists of Iowa amateur radio licenses by county.  The two lists are shown to point out some interesting information about how the FCC maintains records about licenses.  

The first table includes only those that have expiration dates after December 31, 2019.  The second table, below, shows all licenses in the file as of December 31, 2019.  This includes records that have expired, but are maintained on the file.  The files are maintained because the licensees still have an opportunity to renew and reestablish the license.  

The following table shows only those records with expiration dates after December 31, 2019.

Iowa Amateur Radio Licenses by County

December 31, 2019

Excluding Expired Records Prior to December 31, 2019

County Number

County Name

Number

1

Adair

 15 

2

Adams

 5 

3

Allamakee

 13 

4

Appanoose

 28 

5

Audubon

 7 

6

Benton

 112 

7

Black Hawk

 203 

8

Boone

 88 

9

Bremer

 44 

10

Buchanan

 33 

11

Buena Vista

 28 

12

Butler

 30 

13

Calhoun

 11 

14

Carroll

 21 

15

Cass

 10 

16

Cedar

 36 

17

Cerro Gordo

 88 

18

Cherokee

 11 

19

Chickasaw

 24 

20

Clarke

 10 

21

Clay

 37 

22

Clayton

 20 

23

Clinton

 95 

24

Crawford

 23 

25

Dallas

 98 

26

Davis

 12 

27

Decatur

 21 

28

Delaware

 21 

29

Des Moines

 101 

30

Dickinson

 50 

31

Dubuque

 174 

32

Emmet

 24 

33

Fayette

 25 

34

Floyd

 23 

35

Franklin

 11 

36

Fremont

 9 

37

Greene

 21 

38

Grundy

 27 

39

Guthrie

 21 

40

Hamilton

 37 

41

Hancock

 12 

42

Hardin

 23 

43

Harrison

 57 

44

Henry

 60 

45

Howard

 36 

46

Humboldt

 25 

47

Ida

 9 

48

Iowa

 66 

49

Jackson

 32 

50

Jasper

 49 

51

Jefferson

 46 

52

Johnson

 241 

53

Jones

 72 

54

Keokuk

 19 

55

Kossuth

 34 

56

Lee

 66 

57

Linn

 1,043 

58

Louisa

 8 

59

Lucas

 9 

60

Lyon

 14 

61

Madison

 39 

62

Mahaska

 37 

63

Marion

 74 

64

Marshall

 80 

65

Mills

 47 

66

Mitchell

 27 

67

Monona

 14 

68

Monroe

 6 

69

Montgomery

 16 

70

Muscatine

 81 

71

O'Brien

 24 

72

Osceola

 10 

73

Page

 40 

74

Palo Alto

 13 

75

Plymouth

 44 

76

Pocahontas

 8 

77

Polk

 866 

78

Pottawatomie

 159 

79

Poweshiek

 32 

80

Ringgold

 3 

81

Sac

 12 

82

Scott

 326 

83

Shelby

 24 

84

Sioux

 25 

85

Story

 313 

86

Tama

 35 

87

Taylor

 24 

88

Union

 32 

89

Van Buren

 11 

90

Wapello

 63 

91

Warren

 100 

92

Washington

 51 

93

Wayne

 11 

94

Webster

 43 

95

Winnebago

 18 

96

Winneshiek

 76 

97

Woodbury

 169 

98

Worth

 16 

99

Wright

 20 

 

Unrecognized Zip

 5 

 

Total

 6,582 

 

 

 

 

Maximum

 1,043 

 

Median

 28 

 

Minimum

 3 

 

Average

 66 


The following table includes licenses that are expired, but have been retained on-file by the FCC.  Some of these may be eligible for reinstatement for up to a year after their expiration.  Because there are additional licenses included, these numbers are larger than those in the above table.


Iowa Amateur Radio Licenses by County

December 31, 2019

Includes expired that are still on file  

County Number

County Name

Number

1

Adair

 17 

2

Adams

 6 

3

Allamakee

 13 

4

Appanoose

 28 

5

Audubon

 7 

6

Benton

 120 

7

Black Hawk

 214 

8

Boone

 96 

9

Bremer

 42 

10

Buchanan

 36 

11

Buena Vista

 28 

12

Butler

 31 

13

Calhoun

 12 

14

Carroll

 22 

15

Cass

 21 

16

Cedar

 37 

17

Cerro Gordo

 95 

18

Cherokee

 12 

19

Chickasaw

 25 

20

Clarke

 11 

21

Clay

 45 

22

Clayton

 20 

23

Clinton

 102 

24

Crawford

 25 

25

Dallas

 110 

26

Davis

 12 

27

Decatur

 22 

28

Delaware

 22 

29

Des Moines

 103 

30

Dickinson

 51 

31

Dubuque

 153 

32

Emmet

 24 

33

Fayette

 26 

34

Floyd

 24 

35

Franklin

 12 

36

Fremont

 10 

37

Greene

 24 

38

Grundy

 27 

39

Guthrie

 22 

40

Hamilton

 38 

41

Hancock

 12 

42

Hardin

 25 

43

Harrison

 58 

44

Henry

 63 

45

Howard

 39 

46

Humboldt

 26 

47

Ida

 9 

48

Iowa

 47 

49

Jackson

 33 

50

Jasper

 56 

51

Jefferson

 51 

52

Johnson

 272 

53

Jones

 73 

54

Keokuk

 19 

55

Kossuth

 35 

56

Lee

 69 

57

Linn

 1,123 

58

Louisa

 11 

59

Lucas

 10 

60

Lyon

 14 

61

Madison

 42 

62

Mahaska

 41 

63

Marion

 80 

64

Marshall

 83 

65

Mills

 56 

66

Mitchell

 27 

67

Monona

 16 

68

Monroe

 7 

69

Montgomery

 16 

70

Muscatine

 87 

71

O'Brien

 26 

72

Osceola

 13 

73

Page

 41 

74

Palo Alto

 15 

75

Plymouth

 47 

76

Pocahontas

 10 

77

Polk

 885 

78

Pottawatomie

 178 

79

Poweshiek

 31 

80

Ringgold

 3 

81

Sac

 14 

82

Scott

 341 

83

Shelby

 16 

84

Sioux

 27 

85

Story

 337 

86

Tama

 40 

87

Taylor

 24 

88

Union

 33 

89

Van Buren

 12 

90

Wapello

 68 

91

Warren

 104 

92

Washington

 54 

93

Wayne

 7 

94

Webster

 55 

95

Winnebago

 20 

96

Winneshiek

 78 

97

Woodbury

 185 

98

Worth

 16 

99

Wright

 21 

 

Total

 6,946 

 

 

 

 

Maximum

 1,123 

 

Median

 28 

 

Minimum

 3 

 

Average

 70 



License Expirations

The following image shows the number of license expirations by future year for the table shown below. 

The following table shows the number of license expirations by future year.

Iowa Amateur Radio Operators

by Expiration Year

 

Year of Analysis

Year

2015

2019

2016

 653 

 

2017

 708 

 

2018

 619 

 

2019

 500 

 

2020

 472 

 429 

2021

 487 

 468 

2022

 601 

 584 

2023

 664 

 650 

2024

 796 

 780 

2025

 786 

 762 

2026

 42 

 834 

2017

 

 794 

2028

 

 705 

2029

 

 549 

2030

 

 27 

Total

 6,328 

 6,582 


Iowa Amateur Radio License Plates

More than one in every five Iowa amateur radio operators display their call letters on their automobile with the Amateur Radio Operator Special Plates.  The Department of Transportation reported that 1,482 amateur radio operators purchased the radio plates, and that is 22.5% of the active amateur radio operators listed in the FCC license file. 

 

Concurrently, between July 1 and December 31, 2019, the State sold over 92,000 of the new white text on black background “Blackout” plates for a total of $4 million in sales that assist the Iowa Road Use Fund.  

Unfortunately, Blackout plates are not available for amateur radio operators.  On January 15, 2020, HF2020 was introduced in the House and referred to the Transportation Committee.  The Bill may be read at this link.  If you would like to have the popular plates on your vehicle, contact your state senator or representative during the legislative session.  See this link (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find) for contact information.  

 

Blackout plates are authorized under Iowa Code sections  321.34(3) and 321.166(9), and one of those sections needs to be amended to include amateur radio plates among the plates authorized for the Blackout design. 


Following are summary tables related to amateur radio license plates and other special plates. 


 

Iowa Amateur Radio Operators

License Plate Usage, December, 2019

 

Number of Plates


Percent

Standard Plates

 5,100 

77.48%

Amateur Radio Plates

 1,482 

22.52%

Total

 6,582 

100.00%

 




Iowa Special Plates by Type

December 19, 2019

 

 

 

 

 


Total Plates


Personalized

Pct. Personalized

Amateur Radio plate

 1,482 

 

 

Breast Cancer Awareness

 1,947 

 490 

25.2%

Cattlemen Care

 7,722 

 518 

6.7%

Choose Life

 1,017 

 221 

21.7%

Decal Plate

 332 

 90 

27.1%

Ducks Unlimited

 1,170 

 192 

16.4%

Education 

 1,341 

 195 

14.5%

Fallen Peace Officer

 3,406 

 939 

27.6%

God Bless America

 4,496 

 919 

20.4%

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

 910 

 53 

5.8%

Iowa heritage

 169 

 20 

11.8%

Love Our Kids

 917 

 184 

20.1%

Motorcycle Rider Education

 421 

 124 

29.5%

Organ Donor and Tissue Awareness

 813 

 250 

30.8%

Professional Firefighter

 897 

 335 

37.3%

Share the Road

 1,817 

 332 

18.3%

Shriners Help Kids

 656 

 177 

27.0%

 

 

 

 

College

 

 

 

Iowa State University

19,368

17,586

90.8%

University of Iowa

30,088

27,764

92.3%

University of Northern Iowa

2,609

2,280

87.4%

Buena Vista

272

221

81.3%

Central College

514

456

88.7%

Clarke University

13

13

100.0%

Coe College

227

201

88.5%

Cornell College

94

90

95.7%

Des Moines University

46

34

73.9%

Dordt University

1,594

1,359

85.3%

Drake University

631

538

85.3%

Graceland University

89

83

93.3%

Grand View

511

451

88.3%

Grinnell

113

102

90.3%

Iowa Wesleyan

14

13

92.9%

Loras College

191

157

82.2%

Luther

260

212

81.5%

Morningside

 None

 

 

Mount Mercy

87

77

88.5%

Northwestern

135

113

83.7%

Palmer

40

35

87.5%

Saint Ambrose

186

150

80.6%

Simpson

253

213

84.2%

University of Dubuque

94

81

86.2%

Wartburg

754

658

87.3%

William Penn 

122

108

88.5%

 

 

 

 

Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

 

 

 

Deer

4,263

438

10.3%

Eagle

5,701

664

11.6%

Goldfinch

17,157

1,092

6.4%

Pheasant

 4,716 

301

6.4%

Trout

1,491

161

10.8%

 

 

 

 

Military

 

 

 

Air Force Cross Medal

 None  

 

 

Airman’s Medal

12

4

33.3%

Distinguished Service

2

2

100.0%

Navy/Marine Corps

12

4

33.3%

Soldiers Medal

12

7

58.3%

Bronze Star

1,026

441

43.0%

Disabled Vet

151

1

0.7%

Ex-Prisoner of War

83

None

 

Gold Star Family

121

72

59.5%

Legion of Merit

431

None

 

National Guard

166

41

24.7%

Pearl Harbor Survivor

2

None

 

Purple Heart

1,321

341

25.8%

Retired Air Force

738

270

36.6%

Retired Army

810

340

42.0%

Retired Coast Guard

46

23

50.0%

Retired Marine

291

153

52.6%

Retired Navy

598

306

51.2%

Silver Star

66

28

42.4%

Veteran

10,410

2,631

25.3%

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

Firefighter

13,666

686

5.0%

Person with disabilities

63,027

558

0.9%

 

 

 

 

Total Special Plates

 214,137 

 66,598 

31.1%

Source: Iowa Department of Transportation


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