In recent years, overcrowded unlicensed spectrum is devastating spectral efficiency of communications in regional and rural broadband wireless networks. Cognitive radio allows opportunistic use of a licensed spectrum without interfering with primary users (PU) which overcome the scarcity problem of the available spectrum. The occurrence of carrier frequency offset (CFO) degrades the performance of the orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). OFDM fulfills the requirements of cognitive radio, and hence OFDM is an appropriate choice for cognitive radio. When OFDM is used for cognitive radio applications, sensitivity to frequency offset remains an issue. This paper surveys various techniques present to estimate carrier frequency offset for OFDM cognitive radio. It covers required parameters to estimate, i.e., training symbols, estimation range, and complexity. This paper also presents simulation results that show extended estimation range of the frequency offset at good performance in the presence of narrowband interference. This method uses correlation among L identical parts of the training symbol at the receiver side to estimate the frequency offset. The estimation range is achieved up to ± L/2. © 2021, Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.