What Are The 10 Codes for CB Radio (Full List)

The important thing about using 10 codes over CB Radio is that most people know them and it makes it easier to communicate with them.

Why do CB codes start with 10?

The CB radio signals are part of the United States Radio Regulations and other international agreements such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The CB 10 Codes were made specifically for amateur or citizen band operators in order to better facilitate communication between them.

There are no less than 26 different phrases (or CB lingo/CB slang) that you can use on this type of frequency and all of these codes start with Ten so that everyone knows what they mean when they hear it being used.

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What Are The 10 Codes for CB Radio - The Detailed List

What Are The 10 Codes for CB Radio - Here is the full list:

  • 10-1 Receiving poorly
  • 10-2 Receiving well
  • 10-3 Stop transmitting (used at end of transmissions)
  • 10-4 OK, message received. (or understood)
  • 10-5 Relay message
  • 10-6 Busy – stand by (when not busy)
  • 10-7 Out of service
  • 10-8 In-service
  • 10-9 Repeat message
  • 10-0 Roger, over (or roger that, over) [also used in aviation as "roger" is a relative of Roger being the phonetic for the letter R which is also used to indicate the letter R when spoken.
  • 10-20 Location (closer location)
  • 10-21 Phone number (for radio troubleshooting)
  • 10-22 Disregard the last message
  • 10-23 Stand by for phone number or other information. [Phone numbers were often given]
  • 10-24 Call an individual by phone, or group of individuals by phone
  • 10-25 Call station X on a landline or cell phone using a particular service provider [i.e.; "Call Billy at home on AT&T"]
  • 10-29 Checked Equipment – no defects found, see logbook entry for more info
  • 10-40 Emergency traffic only; immediate response required; use lights and sirens
  • 10-60 Caution — emergency equipment responding
  • 10-71 Fire or other emergencies respond immediately
  • 10-76 Ambulance needed; send quickly
  • 10-89 Bomb threat (or bomb explosion) (used by law enforcement agencies)
  • 10-97 Arrived on scene. backlogged (Sending to report a high volume of radio traffic.)(Fire Depts - 10-97 still used for high call volumes it means too many fire units in the area for you to leave the fire station and head to another area there was even a movie with this as the title in 1997 called "backlogged" about firefighters fighting an apartment building fire in San Francisco but at the same time having trouble leaving their stations as there was a "Declaration of Emergency" or 10-3 on)
  • 10-98 On the way, disregard the previous message
  • 10-99 Repeat message(used when there is too much radio traffic & a quick repeat would help)
  • 10-100 Prepare to copy information
  • 10-144 License check (polite way of saying "your license and registration please")
  • 10-199 Important information follows
  • 10-200 Information, message ready to transmit
  • 10-300 Proceed with transmission as scheduled (used when a radio net is being interfered with by another station)
  • 10-311 Message received; understood
  • 10-399 Out of service at...(i.e.: "Officer Jones, 10-399 out of service at lunch")" or "This is Officer Stevens, 10-299" (a more common usage for police as you are not supposed to be transmitting while driving but under certain circumstances, it may be necessary.)
  • 10-400 Stand by, ready to copy (not on for very long)
  • 10-600 In service, clear & on duty [These are 2 common usages] (note: On radio traffic, if you run out of 10 codes before your message is over just count to ten again when needed. Sometimes the dispatcher will have to ask for identification with a number too but often just using their name suffices.)
  • 10-700 Out of service; returning in a short time
  • 10-800 Out of immediate area; returning in an hour
  • 10-900 Owing to emergencies, official business only (used when all channels are busy with emergency traffic.)
  • 10-1000 Hailstorm, damage to equipment reported
  • 10-1100 Crime in progress (or criminal activity)
  • 10-1200 Illegal use of radio (or electronic device)
  • 10-1300 Meet by phone (or 10-3119 if using a particular cell phone service provider.)
  • 10-1400 Dangerous situation, secure area immediately (used to help prevent auto accidents or other common incidents where onlookers can get hurt such as people gathering too close to train crossings. Also used by police when setting up roadblocks or barriers after a dangerous incident like an accident.)
  • 10-2000 Fire alarm or possible fire (not always the same code as for actual fire calls but this can be confusing for those new to the communications business) Often just saying "Fire!" will do. Although some dispatch centers may require "10-4, fire." Or if no response says 10-10 I need more info. Or both.
  • 10-2500 Prisoner in custody (criminal)
  • 10-3000 Ambulance requested; send quickly
  • 10-4000 Bomb threat (or bomb explosion) (used by law enforcement agencies)
  • 10-5000 Shelter/evacuation advisory issued by civil authorities. See further explanation below under "Shelter Advisory Codes".
  • 10-6000 Weather warning or emergency information [i.e.: tornado, avalanche, flood warnings] "- Hurricane Katrina was 106000" and flash flood watches and warnings were a combination of 01100010 - 01101010 code combinations with the first number being 0s for normal conditions up to 60000 and then the second number 010 starting at A for Winter Flash Flood Watch up to H for a tornado warning.
  • 10-7000 Traffic incident management assistance required (used by law enforcement agencies)
  • 10-8000 Officials request use of all units (used by local or state government officials when handling large numbers of people in special events)
  • 10-9000 stand down, no further action needed here (or 10-9099 - negation of the above number; often used after an officer is struck with a bullet but not injured from a crime scene and they say "officer struck..." this code will cancel that)
  • 10-9901 to 10-9909 are often used by the fire department and EMS for various reasons and are similar to 10-47 (checking in) as a status update. Not always used at all locations but some use them for status updates instead of just saying "10-4" or "10-7".

Although these can be combined with other numbers above such as:

11 Codes For Immediate Need Of Help Other Than Fire & Police Emergencies. Can Be Used To Report A Life-Threatening Situation.

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How are the Ten-codes used today?

Though these codes are still used by amateur radio operators and other users of CB radio systems, especially when there is a possibility that there will be interference or the need to share frequencies, they aren't quite as essential as they were in the past.

With more people using cell phones, email, and text messaging than ever before (even among amateur radio enthusiasts), it's becoming less important to use this type of code on basic transmissions from call to call.

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How did the 10 Codes for CB Radio originate?

The very first Ten Codes were introduced into the United States all the way back in 1905.

These original codes weren't beneficial for everyone and were mostly for police and fire departments in major cities with large populations – such as New York City.

The codes about persons and locations were later applied to law enforcement officers, fire departments and other officials who would need to communicate with each other in the course of their work.

Eventually these codes spread out into the general public as more people became interested in experimenting with amateur radio systems.

What other Ten Codes are there?

You might recognize some of these CB Radio 10 codes from movies and television shows even though they're not as widely used as they once were:

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10-10 – Used when you need to talk but nobody else is allowed to transmit until your conversation has ended.

An example would be if you needed to speak with a specific person on another frequency right away because it was an emergency or situation that required immediate attention. You'd use this indicator and then say something like "important message."

This means others should refrain from talking at least until they hear the end code, which would be 10-4 (see above).

10-11 – This code is similar to the one above, but it means you're trying to get a message across as quickly as possible. You might use this when there's an emergency or someone needs to talk about something immediately on another frequency. It should only be used in cases of extreme importance and not for regular conversation.

10-12 – Sometimes you'll want your radio transmission to finish sooner than you had originally planned because some unexpected event has occurred that requires immediate attention. If this happens, use this code at the beginning of the message so others know to stop transmitting in order for you to complete what you were saying.

Usually, it is followed by a statement like "search party has been organized," which signifies that everyone should stop transmitting and listen to what you have to say first.

10-13 – This code means that there is a medical emergency going on somewhere in your area, whether that's at the site where you're located or somewhere else.

It's used when there has been an accident and requires immediate attention from those who are not involved in treating the victim(s). If someone calls for a help ambulance, you might hear them use this indicator as well. The same rules apply: everyone must stop talking so they can hear what information is being transmitted regarding the emergency.

10-14 – Sometimes you'll be at the other end of a transmission while others are trying to send messages to you. In this situation, it would sometimes be difficult for all the people to stay silent unless they were there to listen, which is why you can use this indicator.

It's similar to a 10-7 because it lets others know that you're listening on the frequency and not currently transmitting so they don't cut in with their own messages.

When you use this code, everyone knows to wait until your conversation is over before theirs starts again.

10-15 – Another variation of a listening code, this one means that someone has finished what they wanted to say and is ready for other people to speak up if necessary as well.

This could be used at the end of an important message when many people will want to speak but won't do so until the person who had let them know has said this code, or at the end of a conversation to let others know that you've finished so they can talk if they need to.

10-16 – This is not a widely used Ten Code, but it does have its uses and means that someone has lost his or her link with whatever group they belong to, such as being separated from an expedition group in the woods when the weather changes unexpectedly.

It's also used if someone has lost track of another person or vehicle somewhere else. You would use this after checking with your crew to be sure everyone is still there and then give this indicator before giving information about where you are located.

10-17 – When something is happening on a certain frequency (such as static) that makes it difficult for people to hear transmissions through that channel, this code lets them know that something is causing interference and they may want to change to another frequency so they can be heard more clearly.

10-18 – This is an important one for people who are in trouble and need help, or for rescuers who have found someone injured or ill.

It means that the victim(s) has been located but there's a problem with their condition such as an injury preventing them from moving on their own. In any case where you've found a person in danger of some type and need assistance getting him or her out of harm's way, use this Ten Code right away.

10-19 – If you're listening to communications going on in your area at certain locations because you're in a vehicle such as on your way to an emergency call, you may know where the victims are but can't reach them because of something like a mudslide or floodwaters.

In situations like this, use this code to let others know exactly where you are so rescuers can track you down and find out what they need to do next.

10-20 through 10-29 – These codes aren't widely used by public safety officials anymore, but it's good for everyone to be familiar with them since they are used by some departments when conditions dictate their usage.

It's unlikely that someone will encounter these during everyday life but if he or she were involved in some sort of jamming situation (someone cutting into communications lines and preventing other people from transmitting), it would be helpful to know the codes for counteracting someone else's interference.

In any case where you can't hear other people speaking over a radio or when there is static on a phone line, use 10-20 to let others know that you're trying to establish communications and don't want anyone else cutting in before you've had a chance to speak up.

If someone has already taken over your frequency and it's time for him or her to give way (which could happen if there are too many people talking at once), then 10-21 is what you'll use.

This means that everyone needs to cut out on this frequency so communication can be clear between selected individuals only.

10-22 – This code lets others know that there's a problem with the frequency, such as someone using it when he or she shouldn't be, and that whoever is responsible needs to correct this situation.

10-23 – This code means that you are using a different channel now than the last one so others will need to go through you on this new frequency rather than trying to keep the communication going on your original channel.

10-24 – This code is used whenever someone has information from a source other than official communications (such as phone calls in private homes), and then wants others to know that they have received this information.

It lets them know where they can find its source if necessary. 10-25 – When someone needs help because of weather conditions that are bad enough to prevent him or her from getting out of the area, he or she should use this code. It lets other people know that they're stuck and can't get to safety on their own, so it's time for rescuers to get them.

10-26 – If you find a person who is in immediate danger but not willing to go with you (like a child hiding under his or her bed), then 10-27 is what you'll use to let others know where the victim(s) are located.

10-28 – This code is used when more than one vehicle needs help, especially if one or more of those vehicles has injured people inside who need special attention. Use this Ten Code right away as soon as you have two or more emergency vehicles involved

What are the FCC rules about using ten codes?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not have specific rules regarding the use of ten codes. However, they do emphasize that all radio transmissions should be professional and free from profanity or other inappropriate language.

The FCC encourages law enforcement agencies to use plain English rather than ten codes whenever possible; this will ensure that everyone involved in a transmission is fully aware of what is being discussed.

They also recommend limiting the amount of jargon used on public airwaves since most citizens don’t understand police lingo. If a department chooses to use ten codes, they are responsible for ensuring that officers know the correct meaning behind each code and properly using them during radio transmissions. Officers should only use official codes which have been approved by their department, as any other codes could be easily misconstrued.

Overall, the FCC encourages law enforcement officers to use plain language whenever possible and to be familiar with any ten codes they may use while on the job. 

Which are the categories of the Ten Codes?

There are five basic categories to the CB 10 Codes:

10-0 Signifies that you have nothing to say or no further transmissions planned. 

10-1 This is used when there is an emergency or other situations that require immediate attention.

10-7 Indicates that your conversation has ended and it's time for others to take a turn speaking.

10-8 Used when you want to talk but don't want anyone else responding until after you're done talking. 10-9 Indicates a temporary break as well as permission for others to continue transmitting while waiting for your return.

What happens if someone uses the wrong CB 10 codes?

The phrases listed above are simply standard indicators that often get mixed up, especially by newer amateur radio operators who are trying to get used to all of the different lingo that comes with operating a ham radio.

You'll want to be extra careful when you're using one of these phrases – especially 10-0, which is essentially saying "I'm done talking for now and have no plans on continuing."

If someone happens to use this in response to an emergency message, it could mean that they've never heard the transmission before and didn't realize how important or serious the situation was!

As long as you keep these codes in mind, everything will run smoothly. Sometimes people just mess up and say something incorrectly because they're panicking and flustered or overloading their brains at once by talking about so much more than what's actually relevant.

It's all part of the learning process and you'll eventually get used to it.

But if you don't use these codes, everyone will have a difficult time understanding what you're trying to say – especially if they are unfamiliar with amateur radio lingo and messages.

When do we use this CB lingo code?

This Ten Code phrase should only be used as follows in regards to CB radio communications: To let others know you need assistance immediately, especially if someone's life is on the line.

When there has been a rash of responses about dangerous situations or injuries (such as car crashes) that the other parties are all using to indicate that they need assistance.

When you have a question and want immediate help (for example, if you're having car trouble in the middle of nowhere)

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My name is Jeremy and I have been an avid car nut for many year. My first car was an 1987 Honda CRX. I put in my first Kenwood stereo, amp, 2 10" JLs and a CB Radio in it and have been an avid user of CBs and car radios for years. I'll do my best to share my tips, information and thoughts to help you with whatever question you might have, ABOUT ME 

After I graduated from High School, I worked 5 years are Radio Shack and 3 years at Circuit City answering questions and helping customers with various electronics questions.