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CFIs: Don't wait to renew your certificate

If your flight instructor certificate is expiring soon, don’t procrastinate. Otherwise, you could create some extra paperwork for yourself.

Flight instructors whose certificates have expired or will expire between March 31 and May 31 will need submit a paper Form 8710 to renew their certificates.

The recent special federal aviation regulation (SFAR) allows for those with CFI certificates expiring March 31 to May 31, until June 30 to provide evidence of an approved method of renewal.

If your CFI certificate is set to expire at the end of May, AOPA ASI has been informed that if you complete an online flight instructor refresher course at the stroke of midnight at the last day of the month (May 31), you will be unable to complete your renewal paperwork because, according to IACRA, your certification has expired. CFIs in this situation may have completed the requirements for renewal, but IACRA will not process the application.

“Now it really is paperwork instead of an electronic application,” said John Collins, AOPA Air Safety Institute chief flight instructor. “It’s a little bit slower, but CFIs will need to mail their Form 8710 to the Air Safety Institute.”

“We will process that paper application for you at no extra charge and provide you with your graduation certificate and temporary certificate just as if you’d completed the eFIRC prior to your expiration date,” Collins said.

A fillable PDF of the 8710-1 and 8710-11 (Sport CFI) forms are available on the FAA website. CFIs will also need to submit a copy of the front and back of their CFI card and their government-issued photo ID as part of the renewal process.

CFIs who weren’t able to complete a FIRC in March or April can take advantage of the SFAR provision to complete a FIRC before June 30 and renew with their original expiration month. AOPA suggests using the Air Safety Institute eFIRC. A paper 8710 will be required.

AOPA Air Safety Institute staff
AOPA Air Safety Institute Staff members share a deep passion for aviation safety. As compassionate pilots, we bring together safety research, analysis, and knowledge in creative ways to share aviation safety education with you—with the ultimate goal of one day having zero fatal accidents in GA.
Topics: Flight Instructor, FAA Information and Services, COVID19

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