Get a licence

Information on how to apply for a radio or spectrum licence in the Register of Radio Frequencies (RRF), as well as what you need to do first.

On this page

Before you apply for a licence

Before you apply for a licence:

  • find out what licence type you need
  • make sure you meet our definition of legal entity, and
  • if you're not already, become a registered user in the Register of Radio Frequencies (RRF).

These initial steps are explained in more detail below.

Know which licence type you need

Some radio and spectrum licence types are free to use. Others you need to pay for.

We've also created a tool to help you find out which licence type you need.

Find out which licence you need

An Approved Radio Engineer (ARE) or Approved Radio Certifier (ARC) can help you choose the correct licence type for your radio or broadcasting equipment.

Find an engineer

Check whether you're a legal entity

To get a New Zealand radio or spectrum licence you must be a legal entity.

Legal entities for the purposes of the Radiocommunications Act 1989 (PIB47)

Become a registered user

If you don't already have a client record in the RRF, your nominated ARE or ARC can set one up for you, or you can do this yourself.

Become a registered user in the Register of Radio Frequencies (RRF)

How to get a radio licence

  1. Contact an ARC or ARE to apply for a licence on your behalf. They will:
    • engineer a licence based on your application
    • email you when your licence application is ready for your action.
  2. Logon(external link) to the RRF to confirm the licence details are what you want and pay the licence fee(s) — if applicable. See Pay for a new licence for how to do this.
  3. We'll email you when your licence has been granted. You can start transmitting from the commencement date on the licence (not before).

How to get a spectrum licence

  1. Contact an ARE to apply for a licence on your behalf. They will:
    • engineer a licence based on your application
    • email you when your licence application is ready for your action
  2. Log on(external link) to the RRF to confirm the licence details are what you want.

    Spectrum licences are granted by the owner (manager) of a management right, and must be registered in the RRF.

    Your ARE will now prepare an online Form 7 spectrum licence to submit to the manager of the management right. After the manager of the management right approves the Form 7, you will be notified to pay the initial annual licence fees.
  3. You will now need to pay your initial annual licence fees. See Pay for a new licence for how to do this.

    We'll email you when your licence has been registered. You can start transmitting from the commencement date on the licence (not before).

Engaging an ARC/ARE

ARCs and AREs have the knowledge to complete your licence application, and to engineer your licence by assigning the correct frequencies and channels for your radio or broadcasting equipment.

You can submit your own online licence application in the RRF, however as some licence applications require technical information before they can be submitted, we advise that an ARC or ARE should do this for you.

Fees

Initial annual licence fees must be paid before your licence is granted/registered.

If your licence is engineered by an AR or ARE they may charge you an engineering fee. This should be negotiated before starting your licence application.

Annual licence fees

Licence fees are based on the licence type engineered for your use.

Annual licence fees

We'll send you an email when your licence application is ready to pay.

Pay for a new licence

Engineering fees

Engineering fees are negotiated between you and your engineer.

Your radio equipment

Your radio equipment must be compliant with the Radiocommunications (Radio Standards) notice.

View the Radiocommunications (Radio Standards) Notice 2016(external link)

When buying your radio equipment, look for the RCM mark or R-NZ label to make sure it's legal to use in NZ. If you bought it online or overseas, you may not be able to set up to operate on NZ frequencies. Ask your supplier about the bandwidth and frequencies the equipment can transmit on in NZ.