Frequently Asked Questions for W5YI VE Team Liaisons

Is there a checklist of what my VE team needs to do?

See this checklist used by the AA7HW VE Team for some ideas. As with in-person sessions, there’s always room for customizing how your particular team operates.

Is there a procedure for verifying that W5YI is good with us doing online exams?

You must apply for permission by contacting the VEC but be aware of these requirements before you apply:

W5YI VE teams must meet the following criteria and adhere to the following rules/policies to participate in the Video sessions program. Long-standing, well established teams with a history of adhering to the highest degree of examination integrity, and that consistently submit accurate exam documents consistent with W5YI VEC standards will be selected to participate.

The team should follow up with the VEC when ready to go live to receive the confidential session document upload instructions. However, if they have been training and are able to get the upload instructions from a trained team, that would be acceptable.

Make sure you, the CVE (VE Team Liaison), do the following:

  • Read through CVE documentation, if you have questions you can ask them in the Discord #W5YI channel.
  • Register in the sandbox at and then login at with your team members. DO NOT use a Facebook or Google login: Make a “real” user. There’s more info in getting an and sandbox account
  • Volunteer in the Discord #W5YI channel to help out with another team’s W5YI/VEC session so you get to see the real system in action.
  • Contact @ARBatteiger WB5QNG W5YI CVE for final approval and training before your team will be allowed to do online exams.

How do I collect candidate exam fee payments?

You will need to establish a mechanism for requesting and collecting payments and keeping track of who has paid – preferably before or during the exam session – and sending payment to the VEC as appropriate.

Many teams send email to registered candidates to request payment and other details as needed (e.g. how many elements they intend to take) and typically use online personal payment processors like Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. or even have candidates mail them personal checks! You can get the candidate’s email address from the MANAGE drop-down Edit Applicant on the candidate in your session as well as the registration email from ExamTools when the applicant registers.

What if a registered candidate fails to pay the fee?

It is entirely possible that some candidates will register for a session and not respond to the email that you sent requesting payment. You can cancel their registration by deleting them using the MANAGE drop-down Delete Applicant on the candidate. This frees up the exam slot for someone else.

What happens when a prepaid candidate cancels or wants to reschedule?

If the candidate informs you ahead of time that they won’t be able to make the exam session, ask them if they’d like to reschedule at no extra cost, then delete them from the initial session they registered for, and let them re-register at another session.

If they want to cancel, then you should refund the fee.

Per VEC policies, if a candidate fails to appear, they are still charged the fee, however you may refund them if you wish.

Can I charge more than the $14 W5YI-VEC fee?

Absolutely not.

Can I charge less than the $14 W5YI-VEC fee?

W5YI-VEC allows teams to ‘sponsor’ certain pre-determined classes of applicants, such as students, youths, veterans, club members, etc, as a group, however the team will still be charged by W5YI-VEC for conducting those exams, thus the team is paying for those applicants from the team expense funds.

Can my VE team or club solicit donations in conjunction with our VE activities?

Absolutely not.

FCC Rule: Administering VE requirements:

§97.509 (e) No VE may administer or certify any examination by fraudulent means or for monetary or other consideration including reimbursement in any amount in excess of that permitted. Violation of this provision may result in the revocation of the grant of the VE’s amateur station license and the suspension of the grant of the VE’s amateur operator license.

Soliciting, asking for donations, or offering free material to candidates would have the appearance of impropriety.

This is to ensure the integrity of the examination process.

How should I prepare my session to upload to the VEC?

Once you receive the confidential uploading documentation, you will need to upload two files. Do this once by selecting the two from your browser’s upload dialog:

Select Print then ‘Final Forms’ from save this PDF.

Select Download then W5YI and save the resulting .dat file.

Upload those two files, along with any supporting documentation for out of the ordinary situations, like callbook pages for expired license credit, etc.

Do we still have to provide FCC license copies in the uploaded package? CSCEs?

License copies are not needed. You do need to include a copy of only the front of any pending CSCEs. But do an FRN lookup ahead of the exam. Odds are the 605 for which the CSCE is for will already have been acted upon by the time the exam session happens.

How do I process a “paper upgrade” with or without an exam?

The candidate registers for your exam session and provides proof to you of any element credit. Consult the W5YI VE manual for what is acceptable proof.

You will enter the credit(s) using the MANAGE drop-down Add Credit for the candidate. Make sure you handle the case of expired Amateur Extra by giving both Element 3 and Element 4 credit.

  • If the candidate has no current license they need to take the Element 2 exam. Upon passing, the candidate does the usual signature process.

  • If the candidate already has a current license and thus is not taking an actual exam, you need to move the candidate Status from registered or seen to ready to sign. The candidate logs into the session using their pin and is presented with the usual signature process.

After the 3 VEs assigned to the candidate have signed and the candidate is marked complete, generates the proper forms reflecting these credits.

What do we sign when a candidate fails? How do we prove the failed exam happened?

You must sign the 605 as Proof of failure. The Print Session Forms/Final Forms contains the candidate roster showing failed element(s) and the candidate’s answer sheet showing a failing score. Your W5YI Test Session report also has a place to count candidates who did not earn a new license or upgrade.