FCC IDs on Aftermarket Alarm and Factory Keyless Entry Remotes

On the Remotes Unlimited website and many competitor sites, you will see reference to the term FCC ID.  You may wonder why this is.  The FCC is the Federal Communications Commission.  This branch of the executive government is responsible for doling out and regulating frequency bandwidth for telecommunications transmissions, including TV and radio.  Most automotive remotes work via radio frequency transmission, so they fall under control of the FCC.

An FCC ID is an identification number assigned to a specific transmission device once it has been approved for use by the FCC.  The first three characters of an FCC ID are a registrant code, identifying the organization that has filed for approval.  The remainder of the ID is a code linked to the specific technology or device that is being registered for approval.

Why does Remotes Unlimited use this information as a search method?  Because often, though not always, the FCC ID on your original remote identifies the specific part.  So, we can use the FCC ID to know what remote you have and which replacement part you need. 

Sometimes, however, an FCC ID does not help with definitive identification because a manufacturer may use the underlying transmission technology in more than one remote.  For instance, we know of at least one FCC ID that was used on more than a dozen different aftermarket alarm remotes, many of which are not interchangeable with each other.  So, just because a keyfob has the same FCC ID as another remote does not mean that the parts are interchangeable . . . but they might be.

Also, FCC IDs are not like patents.  The fact that one registrant receives approval for a certain device working on a certain frequency does not make that device unique.  That is, there is no reason that two remotes with different FCC IDs cannot be interchangeable.  In fact, it is not uncommon for a remote to be replaced by a keyfob with a different FCC ID.  So, in our world of automotive remotes, FCC IDs are important identifiers, but they are not free from ambiguity and confusion.

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