January 12, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Your paper pilot certificate will expire March 31. You’ll need to either go online to convert paper pilot certificates to plastic, or fill out a form and mail it to the FAA in Oklahoma City.
The steps for the process are found online. Student certificates are not affected. Some non-pilot certificates are good for another three years. The expiration of the certificates is listed in the FAA regulations:
FAR 61.19(h) : Duration of pilot certificates . Except for a temporary certificate issued under Â§61.17 or a student pilot certificate issued under paragraph (b) of this section, the holder of a paper pilot certificate issued under this part may not exercise the privileges of that certificate after March 31, 2010.
You may also ask the FAA to issue you a new certificate number that is not your social security number. The new plastic certificates won’t show your original date of issue, so you may want to store the paper certificate to remind you of the issue date. The process will take four to six weeks, so do it now.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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