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Family Radio Service



The Family Radio Service, or FRS, is an unlicensed, simplex only, personal radio service in the US covered by Part 95 of the FCC's regulations. Hand-held FRS transceivers are typically used by families, children, and campers to communicate. Shopping malls, theme parks, and special events are all great locations to monitor FRS communications. Radios may not have external antennas or power amplifiers attached to them. Power output is limited to 2 watts on the 462 MHz channels (1-7 and 15-22), and 1/2 watt on the 467 MHz channels (8-14). Bandwidth is limited to 12.5 kHz (2.5 kHz peak deviation) on all channels. GMRS users may also communicate with FRS users since all FRS frequencies are now shared with GMRS.

Frequency Discrepancy

RadioReference user WRAX553 notes:

I was programming one of my radios today with GMRS freqs and using data from the RadioReference site,
FCC website, and the manual from a few FRS/GMRS radios. I stumbled upon a couple of discrepancies and
after too many hours of going down the rabbit hole culminating in a conversation with the FCC WTB,
there's an error in the federal law and on their website. Basically, one of the GMRS frequencies is wrong.
I wanted to share this with you in case you wanted to put a note on the RadioReference site so that others
don't spend hours going through what I did trying to figure out the discrepancy. 

Discrepancy for FRS / GMRS Channel 8
There is an inconsistency in one of the channels specified for FRS and GMRS use. The RadioReference
Database page for GMRS, the Midland T70 radio manual, and a variety of other sources, report 467.56250 MHz
as being a shared FRS/GMRS channel.

However, the FCC web page on GMRS and more specifically 47 CFR 95.1763, does not list this as an authorized
frequency. Instead, they list 467.56750 MHz as the authorized GMRS frequency. Conversely, looking at the FCC
web page on FRS and at 47 CFR 95.563, 467.5625 is listed as an authorized FRS frequency, but 467.5675 is not.

Recognizing the 25kHz spacing in these two services, the 467.5675 frequency specified for GMRS is the
anomaly with only a 20kHz step to the next frequency. My conversation with the FCC confirmed that the
467.5675 is incorrect and it should indeed be 467.5625 as shown elsewhere. They said they are in the process
of getting the CFR and their website corrected. So the database is correct, but I thought it would be
helpful to put a note on the database page and the FRS/GMRS wiki pages to point this out for others.

Channel Width Discrepancy for GMRS
There is also an inconsistency between RadioReference and the FCC regarding the allowed channel bandwidths
for GMRS. RadioReference and most others show a 25kHz bandwidth on the wideband GMRS channels, while the
FCC site and 47 CFR 95.1773 call out a 20kHz bandwidth. In my conversation with the FCC, they confirmed
that 20kHz bandwidth is correct and that 25kHz is not correct. I figured you may want to investigate /
update this as well.

I hope this helps and please let me know of any questions. Thanks!


Frequency  Type  Alpha Tag  Description  Mode  Tag 
462.56250  FRS 01 Channel 1    Other 
462.58750  FRS 02 Channel 2    Other 
462.61250  FRS 03 Channel 3    Other 
462.63750  FRS 04 Channel 4    Other 
462.66250  FRS 05 Channel 5    Other 
462.68750  FRS 06 Channel 6    Other 
462.71250  FRS 07 Channel 7    Other 
467.56250  FRS 08 Channel 8    Other 
467.58750  FRS 09 Channel 9    Other 
467.61250  FRS 10 Channel 10    Other 
467.63750  FRS 11 Channel 11    Other 
467.66250  FRS 12 Channel 12    Other 
467.68750  FRS 13 Channel 13    Other 
467.71250  FRS 14 Channel 14    Other 
462.55000  FRS 15 Channel 15    Other 
462.57500  FRS 16 Channel 16    Other 
462.60000  FRS 17 Channel 17    Other 
462.62500  FRS 18 Channel 18    Other 
462.65000  FRS 19 Channel 19    Other 
462.67500  FRS 20 Channel 20    Other 
462.70000  FRS 21 Channel 21    Other 
462.72500  FRS 22 Channel 22    Other 

Recognized Channels

Some groups try to consistently use the same channel / tone combinations.

  • 01 / 00 (462.5625 / CSQ) - National SOS Radio Network
  • 03 / 00 (462.6125 / CSQ) - AmRRON CH3 Project
  • 07 / 15 (462.7125 / 110.9) - MilCom/Airshow Hobbyists (backup)
  • 11 / 22 (467.6375 / 141.3) - Birders (no roger beep, please)
  • 14 / 38 (467.7125 / 250.3) - MilCom/Airshow Hobbyists
  • 20 / 22 (462.6750 / 141.3) - Travelers information/assistance


Most FRS radios have CTCSS capability. Some higher end units may also have DCS. The companies marketing the radios usually refer to these tones as "privacy codes" even though they provide no privacy. Instead of asking FRS users to understand the actual tone values, integers are used instead. Most, but not all, manufacturers use the same numbers as Motorola:

CTCSS tone (Hz) Commonly assigned "code"


American-standard FRS radios have been approved for use in Canada since April 2000. The revised technical standard RSS 210 has essentially the same technical requirements as in the United States. Since September 2004,low-power GMRS radios and dual-standard FRS/GMRS radios have also been approved for use in Canada, giving additional channels. In Canada, no license is required and no restrictions are imposed on the GMRS channels.


Since tourists often bring their FRS radios with them, and since trade between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico is of great value to all three countries, the Mexican Secretary of Communication and Transportation has authorized use of the FRS frequencies and equipment similar to that in the US. However, dual-mode FRS/GMRS equipment is not approved in Mexico, so caution should be exercised in operating hybrid FRS/GMRS devices purchased elsewhere. Mexico's Family Radio Service (FRS) equivalent retrieved 2009 Oct 23

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