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Requesting Your Initial Callsign Certificate and LoTW Account Password

When you direct TQSL to request a Callsign Certificate, it generates a public key and private key pair, sends the public key and your callsign to the ARRL, and saves the private key on your computer. LoTW responds by combining your callsign and public key into a Callsign Certificate that it sends you via email. A Callsign Certificate can only be used to submit QSOs if the associated private key is present on your computer, so you should accept a Callsign Certificate using the same computer with which you requested it.

If you've already requested your initial Callsign Certificate but have not yet received a response, don't initiate another request; doing so will invalidate the Callsign Certificate you requested, which may be in process or in transit. If you're concerned with the delay in receiving a response to your initial Callsign Certificate request, send email to LoTW-help@arrl.org .

To request your Initial Callsign Certificate,

1. Create a folder in which to maintain your Callsign Certificates. In these instructions, the folder C:\MyLoTWCertificates will be assumed, but you can choose any folder that does not conflict with your operating system's policies.
    1.a On Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 , using a folder within C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) would require starting TQSL with Run as Administrator, because these versions of Windows consider those two folders to be protected; thus it's best to choose or create a folder that resides elsewhere.
2. If you start TQSL before receiving your Initial Callsign Certificate from the ARRL, or if you have not installed a Callsign Certificate on the computer you're using, an Alert dialog will appear that informs you that you have no Callsign Certificate, and asks if you want to request one. Click the Yes button to request your Initial Callsign Certificate; if you have one or more Callign Certificates on another computer, you can copy them to the computer you're using.
  Alternatively, start TQSL, and select the Callsign Certificate menu's Request New Callsign Certificate... command.
3. The Request a New Callsign Certificate dialog will appear:
  In this dialog,
    3.a Specify your callsign, DXCC entity, and begin date
         3.a.1. Specify your present primary callsign, without any portable identifiers
         3.a.2. Select your DXCC entity
         3.a.3. Set the QSO begin date to the date of the first QSO made with your present primary callsign
         3.a.4. Don't specify a date of the last QSO you made or will make -- leave the Y, M, and D selectors blank
         3.a.5. Click the Next button
    3.b Enter your name and address
         3.b.1. For US callsigns, the mailing address you enter must match your address in the FCC database
         3.b.2. Click the Next button
    3.c Enter your email address; then click the Next button
    3.d You will be prompted to enter a password
         3.d.1. If you're using a shared computer, you should protect your Callsign Certificate by entering the same password in both textboxes; you'll be asked to provide this password each time you direct TQSL to digitally sign a log file. If you control access to the computer you're using, you can leave both textboxes empty, thereby avoiding the need to provide a password each time you direct TQSL to digitally sign a log file.
         3.d.2. Click the Next button
    3.e If your computer has internet access, you will be asked if you want to upload this certificate request to LoTW; click the Yes button, and then select TQSL's Status Log tab to view results of the upload. If your computer does not have internet access,
         3.e.1. you will be prompted to save a file whose name is your callsign and whose extension is .tq5; save this file in the folder C:\MyLotWCertificates
         3.e.2. this file will be referred to in these instructions as YourCallsign.tq5
    3.f Select the Callsign Certificates tab; an entry for your Callsign Certificate will be displayed with a pending icon:  (because the certificate is not yet functional).
    3.g If you did not upload the certificate request to LoTW in step 3.e, protect your pending Callsign Certificate, by directing TQSL to create a Backup File.
    3.h You can terminate TQSL by selecting its File menu's Exit command (on OS X, by selecting the Application menu's Quit tqsl command).
4. If you did not upload the certificate request to LoTW in step 3.e, upload your certificate request file to the ARRL via www.lotw.arrl.org/lotwuser/upload ; use the Browse or Choose File button to navigate to the folder C:\MyLotWCertificates and select the YourCallsign.tq5 file you find there.
5. If you are a US licensee, you will receive a post card in the mail
    5.a Above your address on the front of the postcard, you will find your 8-character Postcard Password
    5.b Using your web browser, visit https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw/password
         5.b.1. Enter your callsign (the one you specified in step 3.a.1 above)
         5.b.2. Enter your Postcard Password
         5.b.3 Click the Submit Password button
         5.b.4. Within 3 business days, you will receive an email message containing your LoTW Account Username and Password, with your Callsign Certificate attached 
6. If you are not a US licensee, submit proof of authorization to operate an Amateur Radio station (for example, a copy of your license) and a copy of one other official document that shows your name (for example, a driver's license). Specific documentation requirements and the address to which documentation should be sent are provided here. After your documentation is reviewed and accepted, you will receive an email message containing your LoTW Account Username and Password, with your Callsign Certificate attached

Note: Obtaining a Callsign Certificate for a callsign in certain DXCC entities also requires submission of a Landing Permit and/or Proof of Entry.

If you do not receive an email message bearing your Callsign Certificate after 3 business days, do not submit another Callsign Certificate request; instead, send an email message to LoTW-help@arrl.org inquiring about the delayed response.

Accepting Your Initial Callsign Certificate