GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service)

Getting your ham radio license to allow communication without the grid is ideal. But not everyone has the time or inclination to study for the license exams needed for ham radio. Even if you have a ham license, your loved ones may not. The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) can potentially fill that gap.

GMRS bridges the gap between the low-power Family Radio Service (FRS) and the steeper barriers to the entry of ham radio. GMRS offers some of the benefits of ham radio, like higher transmit power and the use of repeaters, but the equipment is simpler and cheaper. You need a license to use GMRS, but it only requires a small fee, no exam, and the license covers your entire immediate family. The license costs $35 for ten years. So, for $3.50 a year, you and your family could have self-reliant communication.

SPARC is also working to bridge the gap by promoting a network of radio operators who can relay messages between radio services such as GMRS and ham radio. This allows GMRS users to communicate outside of their local communities and possibly all over the world!

 GMRS Overview

  • GMRS is for individuals and their family members.
  • The FCC licenses GMRS “to facilitate the activities of licensees and their immediate family members.” So, only small family run businesses qualify to use GMRS.
  • One license covers the licensee and their immediate family members.
  • Is a more powerful service for individuals than FRS.
  • Handheld radios can be up to 5 watts but must transmit in analog.
  • Repeaters are allowed with some limitations.
  • GMRS requires a license. One license covers the entire family.
  • You must be 18 years old or older to apply for the license, but anyone within your family (regardless of age) can use the radios.
  • Equipment must be certified for GMRS use.
  • You can only transmit on frequencies designated for GMRS (see list below).
  • You must stay within the power limitations assigned for each frequency (see list below).


GMRS Simplex Only Frequences

CH Type Frequency FRS Limits GMRS Limits
1 FRS/GMRS 462.5625 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 20kHz
2 FRS/GMRS 462.5875 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 20kHz
3 FRS/GMRS 462.6125 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 20kHz
4 FRS/GMRS 462.6375 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 20kHz
5 FRS/GMRS 462.6625 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 20kHz
6 FRS/GMRS 462.6875 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 20kHz
7 FRS/GMRS 462.7125 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 20kHz
8* FRS/GMRS 467.5625 .5W / 12.5kHz .5W / 12.5kHz
9* FRS/GMRS 467.5875 .5W / 12.5kHz .5W / 12.5kHz
10* FRS/GMRS 467.6125 .5W / 12.5kHz .5W / 12.5kHz
11* FRS/GMRS 467.6375 .5W / 12.5kHz .5W / 12.5kHz
12* FRS/GMRS 467.6625 .5W / 12.5kHz .5W / 12.5kHz
13* FRS/GMRS 467.6875 .5W / 12.5kHz .5W / 12.5kHz
14* FRS/GMRS 467.7125 .5W / 12.5kHz .5W / 12.5kHz

* – Channels 8-14 require a built-in antenna on the radio. 

GMRS Repeater Frequencies

Ch Type Frequency FRS Limits GMRS Limits
15 FRS/GMRS 462.5500 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 20kHz
16 FRS/GMRS 462.5750 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 20kHz
17 FRS/GMRS 462.6000 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 20kHz
18 FRS/GMRS 462.6250 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 20kHz
19 FRS/GMRS 462.6500 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 20kHz
20 FRS/GMRS 462.6750 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 20kHz
21 FRS/GMRS 462.7000 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 20kHz
22 FRS/GMRS 462.7250 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 20kHz
RPT15 GMRS 467.5500 50W / 20kHz
RPT16 GMRS 467.5750 50W / 20kHz
RPT17 GMRS 467.6000 50W / 20kHz
RPT18 GMRS 467.6250 50W / 20kHz
RPT19 GMRS 467.6500 50W / 20kHz
RPT20 GMRS 467.6750 50W / 20kHz
RPT21 GMRS 467.7000 50W / 20kHz
RPT22 GMRS 467.7250 50W / 20kHz

Channels 15-22 are GMRS Repeater Output and shared FRS/GMRS simplex

Channels RPT15-RPT22 are GMRS Repeater Input only