The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a radio service allocated by the FCC and readily made available to the general public. It permits individuals and their families the use the higher power radios, approved radios include both consumer-end radios as well as professional grade commercial radios, and resultantly can provide excellent point-to-point two-way radio communications over long range.

Sharing the same frequencies as the Family Radio Service (FRS), a GMRS license is required when operating a radio above 2 watts of power, and permits up to 50 watts of power. GMRS licenses are also able to utilize repeater stations, which can dramatically expand the coverage area and range of a radio, reliably into the tens and occasionally hundreds of miles depending on the repeater – this is in contrast of usually a few miles between direct radio contact. Some repeaters can also be linked together, permitting communication between regional and nationwide areas.

A GMRS license costs $70, and requires only submitting a relatively simple application to the FCC – there is no exam of any sort. The license is valid for 10 years, and covers you and your entire family; it includes your spouse, kids, grand-kids, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews… and then duplicate that on your in-law’s side (if you’re married, that is). That’s a lot of users for a relatively small fee. A GMRS license will let you legally utilize GMRS radios. You must be 18 or older to apply for a license, but once obtained, the license extends to any family under the age of 18; yes, minors are legally allowed to use the service.