I Just Love A Good Government Website!

For those of you that love nothing more than spending a couple of hours finding and filling out a simple application  this is not a post for you.  

Today I had the pleasure of applying for our DSC, MMSI and ships radio licenses on the FCC website.  I cannot tell you how much of a pleasure it was following the simple prompts, breezing through the intuitive and easy to navigate pages to comply with all requirements and the quick concise payment screen where I gladly handed over more of our money to a grateful government.  Oh wait, that was the fantasy I was hoping would become a reality.  

Let me back up a bit.  Friday I had the pleasure of hanging out with our friends over on S/V Dos Libras.  Tammy mentioned a post she had written about getting licensed for the SSB and other radio communication equipment for the boat.  As this was something I had on the ever growing to do list I decided this morning to take a peak at the post and thought I would just get it crossed off.  Tammy did a great job of laying out all of the steps but my experience was not as easy as hers seemed to be. 

The first part of my journey was relatively easy.  I followed the link to get our login and initial registration number, the one by which the FCC will forever track and store our license requests.  Once completed I logged into the system.  Again, following her link, I went to get the first of the two license applications.  For the most part it was pretty simple, when it came time to pay I was taken to a third party payment site to make my "plastic card" payment.  Bing bang boom and our bank account was $160 bucks lighter.  

Now on to license number two.  Tammy says just go the license manager and find the "RR" license in the handy dandy drop down menu.  I looked for what seemed like forever and could not find this wonderful tool.  I'm starting to feel a little stupid here I must say.  Ok plan B, follow the link  provided, it worked the first time.  So I click and yep there I was at the infamous RR page.  Now the fun really begins, we are required to fill out form 605, so I click on 605.  Right there on the top it says online form, so I click.  But wait, no form, it's an explanation of the great benefits of being able to apply online.  Back button and click on the form number, again "click for online form" and again the wonderful explanation.  Really?  

Plan C, logout and start over, maybe I missed the drop down menu on my first pass or had gone beyond the screen.  It had to be there somewhere. Of course it was, turns out it just wasn't my day.  A couple of "who are you questions" and $60 later we have successfully applied for the stuff we know that we need right now.  But what a pain in the ass.  Ok, granted it was partly my fault for not clicking the right button in the first place, but the "online form" button on the explanation page couldn't take me where I needed to go?  I can't be the first person to get there.  Oh well, it's all done and doesn't need to be repeated for the next 10 years.  

One more thing off of the to do list!


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