Has the need to id portable (/P) been dropped in some countries?

Hello everyone. I´ve been aware that some activators are no longer using /P prefixes in their activations, mostly US based ones, but elsewhere as well.

I just came across a thread on Mastodon where a few hams reported that the need to ID by tx location ( /P, /M, /MM) has been dropped by the respective communications regulators and authorities.

So far, in Europe, it looks like it is no longer required in Germany, UK and Norway. For what I gather, it was dropped in the US about 10 years ago. Is this correct? Can someone confirm?

Here, in Portugal, I´m not aware of any changes on that front.

Any other places where that has happened?

Paulo, CT2IWW

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Hi Paulo, Yes, the suffixes were dropped by the UK a while ago. They are now optional.

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Yes, in Germany /P or /M is not required since many years. But of course it is allowed and most activators use /P.

73 de Michael, DB7MM

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Neither required nor widely used in ZL since I relicensed 4 years or so back. Not sure when it was dropped.

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Not required here in Spain aswell since time ago.
Antonio, EA4MY

No longer required in VK, so now optional. Some use the /P suffix, but many have dropped it.

I continue to use /P as that ensures consistency in my station log (log4om) as every contact using /P must be a portable contact. That in turn links to a LOTW requirement to log contacts outside the home grid square with the actual grid square, so the grid square stamped onto tthe portable contact by VK Portalog is carried through to LOTW. Well, that’s what is supposed to happen. I am not issuing printed QSL cards any more, my concession to QSLing is LOTW.

In general I suspect the old time requirement to indicate the station address was based on the licence authorities having the means and inclination to monitor and log operations by amateurs. As a concept that is gradually vanishing, if not already gone, they are more interested in internet spammers and SMS sins now than radio amateurs.
73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA


If I am reading our federal law correctly in Austria it is still required add a /P or /M to the suffix of the callsign. Instead of /P or /M it is also possible to use the number of the province/state the operator is QRV from.

So if I am on a SOTA activation in Tyrol I can use:

OE5REO/P or OE5REO/7 … but not OE5REO only!

The provinces/states in OE are:


I only use /P for my activations …

73 Martin, OE5REO


Hi Martin,

There is a bit of a debate around that because at the moment when you install an antenna (on a mountain) you are not portable (able to move) anymore.

In that case the rule of (up to) 3 month operation (in our licence) at any location in Austria applies therefore removing the need to use /P.

But it is a great indicator and makes one stand-out from the “normal” stations in using the /p so I will continue to use it too.

73 Joe


Not really. Portable really means “easily moved” as opposed to something permanenly attached and installed. It’s different from mobile in that a portable station cannot be operated when moving where a mobile can.

The important thing to remember is that /p is a good indication the station calling you when you are activating is probably a SOTA station when in Europe. Custom and practice in the US is different.


In Poland second stroking (/p, /m, etc.) isn’t mandatory, but it is in practice to use


That’s where I personally go against the norm as if I am out for a walk carrying a handheld and make a contact, I will sign pedestrian portable rather than mobile and log it as /P. Of course pedestrian portable technically does not exist as far as the authorities are concerned, but it describes the situation clearly and it’s not mandatory anyway, so who cares? I’ve bagged a few summits on the way to or from an activation and have used portable rather than mobile.

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Ultimately, do what suits you best.

I’ve always* used /P while activating, and will continue to do so for consistency.

*except for a contest entry as G5D from GW/SW-041.

I always use /M when on the move - walking, driving etc. There is an argument for using /P when travelling on a train, but I’ve still used /M for that.

I personally intensely dislike the use of /P for walking or cycling, but also accept that it is both (a) permitted and (b) none of my business.

I also despise the use of /P when operating outside in the back garden of one’s home QTH. But again, refer to (a) and (b) above.


Mobile doesn’t mean moving.

Has no one read their licence document? For the UK&CD:

  • You can sign /A at an alternative address which is a postal address other than the main station address.
  • You can sign /P at a temporary location which is a fixed location other than the main station address or an alternative address. So this is anywhere that does not have a postal address.
  • You can sign /M from a mobile location which is a vehicle or conveyance, on the person of a pedestrian or on a vessel in inland waters.
  • You can sign /MM from a maritime mobile location which is a vessel at sea.

So it is irrelevant whether the station is easily moved.

If you are in a car and park up on the side of the road you can sign /M or /P. If you park in someone’s drive you can sign /M or /A. If you are using a handheld you should probably sign /M but if you are stationary you could probably sign /P.

That’s a conveyance so should be /M.

Again should be /M. [My first licence in 1982 specified that pedestrian was /P. It also said you couldn’t operate from a bus or train.]

The licence does not allow any suffix here.

Of course you don’t have to use any of these suffixes and I don’t suppose anyone will care if you use the wrong one.

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Wow, does anyone actually do that? Under the old rules it was incorrect and misleading as one’s back garden is still at the main station address shown on the license. Under the new ‘no prefix requirement’, it’s just silly.


I don’t know how many topics were opened to discuss this matter :grin:… anyway I use /P on SOTA but not always - for special call SP15OTA I do not use, for SP9MA, OK8MA, OM9AMA I use /P whenever I am on SOTA.

73, Jarek


Usually it’s someone using a handheld rather than their main rig.
I’m not that bothered whether they use /P or not.

Hi Andy,
When we were locked down due to COVID we had a /p in our backyard event. Actually two iirc. We didn’t think it silly and posted pics of our setups.



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