The United States of America Counties Award sponsored by CQ is issued for confirmed contacts with specified numbers of U.S. counties under rules and conditions hereafter stated (as of 6/2000).

A. Awards Classes:

The USA-CA is issued in seven (7) different classes, each a separate achievement as endorsed on the basic certificate by use of special seals for higher class. Also, special endorsements will be made for all one band or mode operations subject to the rules:

Award Level Counties States
USA-500 500 Any
USA-1000 1000 25
USA-1500 1500 45
USA-2000 2000 50
USA-2500 2500 50
USA-3000 3000 50
USA-3077 for ALL counties and Special Honors  

(Those getting ready to apply for the top level should contact
me so I can indicate the cards I wish to personally review.     (10/2003)


B. Conditions:

1. USA-CA is available to all licensed amateurs everywhere in the world and is issued to them as individuals for all county contacts made, regardless of calls held, operating QTH's or dates.

Special USA-CA's also available for SWL's on a heard basis.

2. All contacts must be confirmed by QSL and such QSLs must be in one's possession for identification by certification officials.

3. Any QSL card found to be altered in any way disqualifies applicant.

4. QSO's via repeaters, satellites, moon bounce, and phone patches are NOT valid for USA-CA.

5. So-called "team" contacts, wherein one person acknowledges a signal report and another returns a signal report, while both amateur call signs are logged, are NOT valid for USA-CA. Acceptable contact can be made with only one station at a time.

C. County Identity:

1. Not valid. 

2. Unless otherwise indicated on QSL cards, the QTH printed on cards will determine county identity.

3. For mobile or portable operations, the postmark shall identify the county unless other information stated on QSL cards makes other positive identity.

4. In the case of Cities, Parks or Reservations not within counties proper, applicants may claim any one of adjoining counties for credit (Once).

D. Administration of USA-CA Program:

1. The USA-CA program will be administered by a CQ staff member acting as USA-CA Custodian, and all applications and related correspondence should be sent directly to this person's QTH.

2. Decisions of the Custodian in administering these Rules and their interpretation, including future amendments, are final.

E. Record Book and Bookkeeping:

1. Special Record Books may be used for the application. For this purpose, CQ has provided a 64-page 4" x 11" Record Book which contains application and certification forms and which provides record-log space meeting the conditions of any Class award and/or endorsement requested. Alternatively, a computer printed list containing the same information is also acceptable.

2. The USA-CA Record Book or printed list constitutes the medium of basic application and becomes the property of CQ for record purposes. On subsequent applications for either higher classes or for special endorsements, applicant may use additional Record Books or printed lists to show required data or may make up own alphabetical lists conforming to requirements. (Chg 99)

3. Record Books are to be obtained directly from CQ, 25 Newbridge Road, Hicksville, NY 11801 for $2.50 each. Recommend two be obtained, one for application use and one for personal file copy. (Chg 99)

F. Application:

1. Make Record Book or print-out entries necessary for county identity and enter other log data necessary to satisfy any special endorsements (band-mode) requested.

2. Have the certification form provided signed by two licensed amateurs (General Class or higher) or an official of a national-level radio organization or affiliated club verifying that QSL cards for all contacts as listed have been seen. The USA-CA Custodian reserves the right to request any specific cards to satisfy any doubt whatever. In such cases applicant should send sufficient postage for return of cards by registered mail.

3. Send original completed Record Book (NOT a copy) and certification forms and handling fee. Fee for non-subscribers to CQ is $12.00 US or 15 IRCs; for subscribers the fee of $6.00 or 8 IRCs. (Subscribers please include recent CQ mailing label). Send to USA-CA Custodian: Ted Melinosky K1BV, 12 Wells Woods Road, Columbia, CT  06237.   For later applications for higher class seals, send Record Book or self-prepared list per rules and $1.25 or 2 IRCs handling charge. Note: At the time any USA-CA award certificate is being processed, there are no charges other than the basic fee, regardless of number of endorsements or seals; likewise, one may skip lower classes of USA-CA and get higher classes without losing any lower awards credits or paying any fee for them.


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