A brief history of 10-codes

The General Lee

Ten-codes were developed in the 1940s at a time when police radio channels were limited, to reduce use of speech on the radio. Experienced radio operators know that the first syllable of a transmission is frequently not going to be understood, but is a necessary part of "tuning in"; hence preceding every code with "ten" allows a better chance of understanding the critical portion. Ten-codes were later adapted for use by CB radio enthusiasts before its pop culture explosion in the late 1970s.

In the fall of 2005, responding to inter-organizational communication problems during the rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discouraged the use of ten-codes and other codes due to their high variability in meaning. The Department of Homeland Security reportedly has plans to do away with 10-codes as well, in favor of "Plain English" while the nationally-standardized Incident Command System specifically prohibits ten-codes. As of 2008, ten-codes remain in common use.

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Complete CB 10-codes

  • 10-1 = Receiving poorly
  • 10-2 = Receiving well
  • 10-3 = Stop transmitting
  • 10-4 = OK, congratulations
  • 10-5 = Relay message
  • 10-6 = Busy, stand by
  • 10-7 = Out of service, leaving air
  • 10-8 = In service, subject to call
  • 10-9 = Repeat message
  • 10-10 = Transmission completed, standing by
  • 10-11 = Talking too rapidly
  • 10-12 = Visitors present
  • 10-13 = Advise Weather/Road conditions
  • 10-16 = Make pick up at ...
  • 10-17 = Urgent business
  • 10-18 = Anything for us?
  • 10-19 = Nothing for you, return to base
  • 10-20 = My location is ...
  • 10-21 = Call by telephone
  • 10-22 = Report in person to ...
  • 10-23 = Stand by
  • 10-24 = Completed last assignment
  • 10-25 = Can you contact ...
  • 10-26 = Disregard last information
  • 10-27 = I am moving to channel ...
  • 10-28 = Identify your station
  • 10-29 = Time is up for contact
  • 10-30 = Does not conform to FCC rules
  • 10-32 = I will give you a radio check
  • 10-33 = EMERGENCY TRAFFIC
  • 10-34 = Trouble at this station
  • 10-35 = Confidential information
  • 10-36 = Correct time is ...
  • 10-37 = Wrecker needed at ...
  • 10-38 = Ambulance needed at ...
  • 10-39 = Your message delivered
  • 10-41 = Please turn to channel
  • 10-42 = Traffic accident at ...
  • 10-43 = Traffic tie up at ...
  • 10-44 = I have a message for you
  • 10-45 = All units within range please report
  • 10-50 = Break channel
  • 10-60 = What is next message number?
  • 10-62 = Unable to copy, use phone
  • 10-63 = Net directed to ...
  • 10-64 = Net clear
  • 10-65 = Awaiting your next message/assignment
  • 10-67 = All units comply
  • 10-70 = Fire at ...
  • 10-71 = Proceed with transmission in sequence
  • 10-77 = Negative contact
  • 10-81 = Reserve hotel room for ...
  • 10-82 = Reserve room for ...
  • 10-84 = My telephone number is ...
  • 10-85 = My address is ...
  • 10-91 = Talk closer to the mike
  • 10-93 = Check my frequency on this channel
  • 10-94 = Please give me a long count
  • 10-99 = Mission completed, all units secure
  • 10-200 = Police needed at ...