General Mobile Radio Service

History: Started in the 1960’s, the FCC has since modified the rules a few times. FCC in 2017 made a distinction between GMRS radios and commonly available FRS/GMRS radios that allowed unlicensed people to transmit. The FCC also made a few changes to standardize the license with other radio licenses.

Availability: Not as common as FRS radios and more expensive. Available at local/online radio shops and at Amazon.

License Needed: Yes. $70 for 10 year license. No test required. License covers yourself and immediate family ( spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and in-laws). No new group licenses are granted.

Use: Personal (license covers yourself and immediate family) or Business (each individual needs a license). No music, advertisements, or encoded messages are allowed.

Range: Will vary by obstructions like buildings, trees, or hills. Typically two to five miles. You can increase the range by using a repeater (with the owners permission) which can cover up to a twenty-five mile distance.

Equipment needed: Any Make or Model of a GMRS radio that is certified by the FCC under Part 95. You can check a radio’s certification by looking in the FCC online database.

Antenna: Typically detachable. Use a mobile antenna for a vehicle or a base antenna for home, business, or repeater. Antennas can be on very tall towers (200+ feet) as long as they comply with the FCC Regulations (47 CFR Part 17) and register with the FCC as an aircraft hazard.

Output: Mobile, Repeaters, and Base radios up to 50 Watts. Fixed Stations up to 15 Watts. Mobile, Handheld, and Base radios on the 462 MHz interstitial frequencies up to 5 Watts ERP (Effective Radiated Power). Handheld radios on the 467 interstitial frequencies up to 0.5 Watt ERP.

Modulation: Frequency Modulation (FM), Narrowband Frequency Modulation (FMN), and occasional Data (under one second burst)

Channels/Frequencies: 30 frequencies are available for use with a bandwidth of 12.5 or 20 kHz. Some are shared with FRS Channels

Emergency Channel: No official channel, but consider using channels 1 and 3 that are shared with FRS.

FRS ChannelFrequencyBandwidthNotes
15462.550020 kHzmain channel, GMRS repeater output allowed
1462.562520 kHzinterstitial channel, max 5 Watts ERP
16462.575020 kHzmain channel, GMRS repeater output allowed
2462.587520 kHzinterstitial channel, max 5 Watts ERP
17462.600020 kHzmain channel, GMRS repeater output allowed
3462.612520 kHzinterstitial channel, max 5 Watts ERP
18462.625020 kHzmain channel, GMRS repeater output allowed
4462.637520 kHzinterstitial channel, max 5 Watts ERP
19462.650020 kHzmain channel, GMRS repeater output allowed
5462.662520 kHzinterstitial channel, max 5 Watts ERP
20462.675020 kHzmain channel, GMRS repeater output allowed
6462.687520 kHzinterstitial channel, max 5 Watts ERP
21462.700020 kHzmain channel, GMRS repeater output allowed
7462.712520 kHzinterstitial channel, max 5 Watts ERP
22462.725020 kHzmain channel, GMRS repeater output allowed
467.550020 kHzmain channel, data not allowed, GMRS repeater input
8467.567512.5 kHzinterstitial channel, only handheld radios, max .5 Watt ERP
467.575020 kHzmain channel, data not allowed, GMRS repeater input
12467.587512.5 kHzinterstitial channel, only handheld radios, max .5 Watt ERP
467.600020 kHzmain channel, data not allowed, GMRS repeater input
9467.612512.5 kHzinterstitial channel, only handheld radios, max .5 Watt ERP
467.625020 kHzmain channel, data not allowed, GMRS repeater input
13467.637512.5 kHzinterstitial channel, only handheld radios, max .5 Watt ERP
467.650020 kHzmain channel, data not allowed, GMRS repeater input
10467.662512.5 kHzinterstitial channel, only handheld radios, max .5 Watt ERP
467.675020 kHzmain channel, data not allowed, GMRS repeater input
14467.687512.5 kHzinterstitial channel, only handheld radios, max .5 Watt ERP
467.700020 kHzmain channel, data not allowed, GMRS repeater input
11467.712512.5 kHzinterstitial channel, only handheld radios, max .5 Watt ERP
467.725020 kHzmain channel, data not allowed, GMRS repeater input

Sources