USA GMRS Association
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What's The Difference Between GMRS & FRS...

What's The Difference Between GMRS & FRS you ask?

Well for one, FRS radios have lower transmit power (like .5 watts of RF power output), must not have the ability to remove the antenna, and FRS channels require no license to transmit on them.

GMRS radios can run more power (up to and a max of 50 watts with no max on ERP) and GMRS users may use handhelds with removable and more effective antennas, and GMRS channels require a license (about $70.00) to operate on the GMRS frequencies and said license, once approved, are good now for ten years as issued from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Each service (GMRS & FRS) has its own set of frequency channels, and they share some (seven) common channels with each other. Different makes and models of radios may use different channel numbers for the same frequency. It's best to obtain radio equipment with the channels all programmed the same...

Most GMRS and FRS radios have tone encoders and decoders that may go under the name of “privacy code”, “PL”, Privacy Plus or the like. Some people even have refered to it as's not encryption.

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What GMRS Radios To Use & When ...
The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a "licensed required" land-mobile FM UHF radio service that was originally in its intent designed for short-distance two-way communication (Apparently "short distance communications" has been removed from the language within the GMRS FCC rules). It requires a license issued by the FCC for the use of the GMRS Channels as allocated by FCC in United States.

FCC permits use by individuals (lincese are issuedt to individual adults age 18 years of age and older) who possesses a valid GMRS license. In addition to this licensed individual whom are authorized to use this license, other individuals (even those under 18 years of age) with permission of the licensed holder, such as his or her immediate family members, are allowed to use same said license. Per FCC, "family members" includes a spouse, children, stepchildren, parents, stepparents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and in-laws (see 47 CFR 95.179).

Immediate relatives of the GMRS system licensee are entitled to communicate among themselves, or with other licensed GMRS users, regardless of location within the United States. Non-licensed individuals may place a base, control, or repeater station in operation anywhere within the Unioted States but only licensed holder and approved individuals as approved by the holde may actually transmit on said GMRS base, control or through a repeater for personal or business purposes. Employees of the licensee, who are not family members, are not covered by said same license.

GMRS radios are typically, base, mobile, repeater, and handheld portable devices. These base, mobile, and handheld radios, unlike Family Radio Service (FRS) radios, and share some of the FRS frequency band near 462 and 467 MHz. Unlike FRS radios, handheld radios aree allowed to have detachable antennas. Mobile and base station-style radios available are normally commercial style UHF radios as often used in the public service and commercial land mobile bands. These are legal for use in this service as long as they are GMRS type-approved. Many public service and commercial radios manufactured prior to 2005 are type-approved/accepted for GMRS use.
Additional infomation on this is availbe at the follow link:

USA GMRS Association
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