You may remember the tale of WOLY-1500, Battle Creek, Michigan?
This station's license expired in October 2004. They never filed for renewal.
After a tip, FCC agents from Detroit visited Battle Creek in July 2006 - and found WOLY still operating. They spoke with the station's owner in August and informed him his station was operating without a valid license. He told the agents the station wasn't able to file its renewal application electronically. (most broadcast-related forms are required to be filed via a secure area of the FCC website)
Agents checked again in March and August 2007 and found WOLY still operating, despite being without license for nearly three years. In August, the Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for $10,000.
In response, the station stated they couldn't file their renewal electronically as they had no access to a computer. They said they'd requested Special Temporary Authority to operate until a renewal could be filed, and assumed it would be granted. (in fact, no action was ever taken. The FCC releases don't say whether the Commission received the STA request.)
The Commission didn't buy the argument, but they did accept that the financial record showed the station couldn't afford the $10,000 fine. It was reduced to $5,000.
Finally, in January of this year, the station filed for renewal. They also filed for Special Temporary Authority to continue operation until their renewal was acted on.
Yet again, the FCC didn't buy it. A February 23rd release says the station's request that the Commission reconsider their notice of license expiration is untimely. Such requests must be filed within 30 days -- in this case it was years before any response was received. They also indicated there was no basis for Temporary Authority to continue the license of a station whose license has been expired for years.