This question comes from the General exam, the “rules” section…. [G1D06]
When must you add the special identifier “AG” after your call sign if you are a Technician Class licensee and have a CSCE for General Class operator privileges, but the FCC has not yet posted your upgrade on its Web site?
A. Whenever you operate using General Class frequency privileges
B. Whenever you operate on any amateur frequency
C. Whenever you operate using Technician frequency privileges
D. A special identifier is not required as long as your General Class license application has been filed with the FCC
The answer is, A. Whenever you operate using General class frequency privileges. While you may have passed your General exam, until that upgrade goes “live” in the FCC’s database, you’ll need to let everyone know. Of course if you’re still operating in the bands and ranges available to Technician class operators, that isn’t strictly necessary.
The reason you’d want to do this is simple. People will look you up in databases like the FCC’s, or on other displays of the same database, like QRZ.com. If they spot you operating in the General class range, but your license still shows as Technician, then they could give you grief about it on the air, or worse, actually file a complaint.
The same situation applies if you upgrade from General to Amateur Extra, you’ll want to use an “/AE” suffix when operating in the Extra ranges. As well as upgrading from the older, obsolete licensing classes (i.e. Novice, Advanced.)
The exact regulation [97.119(f)(2)] states.
(f) When the control operator is a person who is exercising the rights and privileges authorized by §97.9(b) of this part, an indicator must be included after the call sign as follows:.
(2) For a control operator who has requested a license modification from Novice or Technician to General Class: AG;