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Paper pilot certificates expire in March

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 §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.

Alton Marsh
Alton K. Marsh
Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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