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8 Answers

FAA Pilot’s License “renewal”

Asked by: 5781 views
Commercial Pilot, FAA Regulations, General Aviation

I have recently heard, just by word-of-mouth that there is a recently adopted requirement that licenses, while initially were valid "until suspended or revoked", will now need to be "renewed" by the payment of a fee, in order to remain valid.  Is that the case?  Patrick Cowdrey, Medford, Oregon eMail: plcowdrey@yahoo.com

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8 Answers

  1. Wes Beard on Apr 27, 2011

    There is not currently going to be any renewal of a pilots license.  I haven’t seen any advanced notice of proposed rulemaking about it.  If they are talking about it I am sure groups like AOPA and EAA would be getting pilots involved to stop the FAA from enacting that legislation.
    From talking with FAA personnell, it is quite possible that the current CFI renewal process of 2 years wil change to a longer time between renewals (possibly even 5 years).  Then again I have seen nothing official out of the FAA on that either.

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  2. Matthew Waugh on Apr 27, 2011

    First of all – I agree with Wes – there is nothing directly on the table.
    A few things that people may have been confused on:
    – If you have a paper certificate, it’s no good, you need a plastic one, and I *THINK* you had to pay the $2 replacement fee if all you needed was a plastic certificate. I played the ratings game a few years back, so I’ve got so many plastic certificates I went into the plastic smelting business, so I’m vague on the details.
    – Congress floated the idea of photo ids on pilot certificates. I’m not sure that’s actually dead yet, I think the FAA was just ignoring it to see if it would go away. Regardless, it’s not current, nor is it proposed by regulatory publication yet, so that’s not an issue. But if it happens, I’m pretty sure it won’t be free.
    – Finally AIRCRAFT registrations went on an expiry cycle. I don’t own nor do I care and feed aircraft currently, so I’m fuzzy on those details, but I *THINK* the deadline for that passed, and if you don’t have a brand spanking new registration you’re not airworthy.

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  3. Kent Shook on Apr 27, 2011

    Yes, that sounds like the recently-enacted *aircraft* re-registration system. Aircraft registration used to be good indefinitely, and is now good for three years. They’re implementing it in phases so that not everyone has to renew at once in the future – If you go to registry.faa.gov and look up your aircraft’s registration, it now shows an expiration date.
    Your pilot certificate, however, is still good for life, provided you’ve upgraded to the plastic one if you had a paper one.
    For more info on aircraft re-registration, go here: http://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/aircraft_certification/aircraft_registry/reregistration/

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  4. John D. Collins on Apr 28, 2011

    Read the following discussion that is from the AOPA website at http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/regulatory/certificates.html:


    Photo pilot certificates

    On Nov. 19, 2010, the FAA published the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) “Photo Requirements for Pilot Certificates.”  This is simply a notice of proposed rulemaking, so the rule may differ from this proposal based on comments received to the docket and may not be published as a final rule for quite a while.  Comments are due by Feb. 17, 2011. 


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  5. Micah on Apr 28, 2011

    Related to the NPRM for photo IDs:

    “Photo expiration date
    The actual pilot certificate would not expire; however under the proposal, the photo would expire after eight years.  A pilot would not be able to exercise the privilege of the certificate after the photo expiration date.”
    Another story I’ve heard, unrelated to pilot certificates but on the topic of annual fees:
    “FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt is reportedly considering tacking a surcharge onto renewal fees paid by pilots. The surcharges would be based on the number of hours a pilot flies in any given year.
    …the Administrator proposes a registration fee structure that begins with a basic registration fee of $20. For pilots logging from 0 to 99.9 hours annually in the previous calendar year there will be a $100 surcharge each renewal period. The FAA says the surcharge is intended to offset the revenue from Federal aviation fuel taxes that the pilot did NOT pay by not flying at least 100 hours during the previous year.”
    Read more: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2701368/posts?page=1

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  6. MG on Apr 29, 2011

    And I Quote, “April 1st Special Edition”

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  7. Micah on Apr 29, 2011

    Aha, well that is why I couldn’t also find it reported by AOPA. But all of my Libertarian pilot friends were so convinced this was legit…
    My apology for not doing the requisite research.

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  8. Robert Hadow on May 05, 2011

    Renewal of pilot certificates is absolutely on the table.  Public comment on the NPRM concluded in February. There were more than 500 comments. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2010-1127-0001 Now it’s the subject of congressional hearings.  A House subcommittee is pressing for biometrics on that card.  Before biometrics were added to the package, the FAA estimated the cost to be $718 million.  The best estimate for biometric pilot certificates comes from a similar program for port workers — TWIC.  Those cards cost the workers $132.50 each.  The DHS estimates the cost of the program at $3.2 billion over the first ten years of operation.

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