The New Plastic Student Pilot Certificate
No joke! Effective April 1, 2016, Aviation Medical Examiners (AME) will no longer be able to issue student pilot certificates. The FAA has released a final rule that will require student pilots to apply for a plastic student pilot certificate from a FSDO, DPE, a Part 141 flight school, or a flight instructor. Advisory Circular 61-65F was also updated to reflect these chages.The Good News
- The new plastic student pilot certificate will not expire.
- For now, the FAA is not charging a fee for the certificate.
- Because part of this new application process stems from TSA efforts to vet pilots, students cannot be immediately issued a temporary certificate on the spot. However, recent updates to IACRA should reduce the processing time to less than a week and allow a student to print a temporary certificate from their home computer at that time.
- Student pilots will still have to visit an AME for a medical certificate.
- We hope that a student pilot who is ready to solo won't loose motivation waiting for approval for his or her student pilot certificate.
- Just like before, a student can certainly continue their training with an instructor. However, no flying solo until student certificate arrives (or the temporary is issued and printed).
- CFIs no longer endorse the student pilot certificate. All endorsements should be made in the student’s logbook.
- In order for a CFI to accept the certificate application, he or she must be registered in IACRA as the role of "Recommending Instructor."
The application for a student pilot certificate can be completed by filling out an 8710-1 form or online through IACRA. Student pilots who currently hold a paper student pilot certificate may continue using it until its expiration date. For more information, check out this chart from AOPA and Advisory Circular 61-65F.
*This blog was originally posted on January 15 and was updated on November 15, 2016 to add information about the availability of temporary student pilot certificates.
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