A) No, transmitting is not allowed until the ULS database shows that the license has been renewed.
Even if you are not active and do not have a station, do consider renewing your amateur radio license. The cost is low and you never know when you may have the opportunity to operate on a club station or special event station with your own call. That way you will avoid the regret from allowing your call to lapse.
You can check on the status of your license on-line via the FCC ULS database.
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Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher