Free VE Testing
Amateur radio licenses are issued by the FCC, and require passing a test. Tests are administered by Volunteer Examiners (VE).
Study for Your Exam
There are a lot of resources to help you study for the exams. Your local library may be a good source; but beware - tests are updated every three years, and libraries may have out-of-date books. Here are some online resources:
New questions for the General Class license go into effect on July 1st 2019. If using a book, be sure it is for the July 2019 General Class license.
The 220 MHz Guys ARC conducts Amateur Radio License exams at the Saturday Breakfasts at P.J. Klems two or three times a month.
Tests are given on the first, third and fifth (in months with five) Saturdays.
What to Bring
Yourself - after some study.
A photo ID
If you don't already have a license:
You need to obtain a FRN (FCC Registration Number). You can obtain one at https://apps.fcc.gov/cores
If upgrading an existing license, bring your original and a copy.
If you have a Technician class license issued before 3/21/1987 you can upgrade to General class without taking a new test. See http://www.arrl.org/exam-element-credit for details.
Testing with the 220 Mhz Guys is free, no fee required!
Once You've passed
If this is your 1st Ham Radio License you'll need to wait for the FCC to issue your license and call sign. Your new license will usually be available at the beginning of the week after you complete your test.
The FCC does not automatically send you a paper license! You can check for your new license at the FCC's Universal Licensing System.
If you're upgrading to a General, or Extra, you can start using your new operating privileges.