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Going flying? Make sure you have a plastic pilot certificateGoing flying? Make sure you have a plastic pilot certificate

Have a valid plastic pilot certificate? If so, you’re good to act as pilot in command (assuming you meet all of the other FAA requirements to act as PIC). Some FAA letters intended for pilots who still have a paper pilot certificate were mistakenly sent to pilots who already have plastic certificates, causing confusion.

Those who have already upgraded to the plastic certificate can disregard the letter, the FAA said. Pilots were required to switch to plastic certificates by March 31 this year in order to continue exercising their airmen privileges.

“No pilot can fly after March 31 with a paper certificate, but a plastic replacement can be requested after that date for pilots who plan to resume flying activity,” explains AOPA Pilot Information Center Web Specialist Kathy Dondzila in “Answers for Pilots: It’s time to get plastic.”

Pilots who have not converted to plastic certificates can request one through the FAA’s Airmen Online Services; a paper application also can be downloaded, completed, and mailed to FAA, Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760, P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082. The cost is $2; however, that fee is waived if the applicant is requesting that his or her social security number be removed from the certificate. Pilots must have the plastic pilot certificate in their possession before exercising their airmen privileges.

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