Not GOD, goverment
I dont know how you got in trouble or perhaps you were given some bad information on how to apply because it is actually pretty seamless and painless to file online and receive a Ship Station License and Radiotelephone Operator''s Permit.
You say there are services that charge $75 dollars to do it for you? Well in fact I would take $25 a pop all day to file for folks and might actually feel a little guity because it has become so easy. And 42 pages? Somebody has been smoking something and has actually passed you some.
If you are sailing internationally or operating on SSB in US or international waters, you will need to make an application for both a Ship''s Station License - "Service SA" (for the boat), and a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator''s Permit - "Service RR" (for you). The Ship''s Station License covers all electronic equipment on your boat, e.g., VHF, SSB, radar, EPIRB. They confirmed this for me in an e-mail. The Ships License is good for 10 years; the operators permit is forever. If you transmit on Amateur (Ham) frequencies, you will need a Ham license.
Below is a simple process for electronic filing.
1. Go to the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) web page for electronic filings http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls
2. File for a Federal Registration Number (FRN) under CORES . No fee, but a FRN is required before applying for a license or permit online.
3. Use "Online Filing" to apply for a Ships Station License and a Restricted Radiotelephone Operators License. These are two separate filings.
Ships License -- Form FCC 605 + Schedule B; Fee = $150 by credit card + Form FCC 159 "Remittance Advice"
RTO Permit -- Form FCC 605 + Schedule E; Fee = $50 by credit card + Form FCC 159
Sorry you had such a hard time, and the usual disclaimer applies, I have no commercial or financial interest nor do I work for the FCC or USGOV. I''m just an out of work north east winter season boat skipper.
Captain Bruce Gregory