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The FAA Expunction ProgramThe FAA Expunction Program

Effective September 1, 1992, the FAA began to automatically expunge qualifying records of an airmen's violation history; records of accidents and incidents do not qualify for expunction.

Date of expunction depends upon the penalty:

  • Violations resulting in a suspension of an airmen certificate or a civil penalty against an individual - Five years.
  • Violations resulting in an administrative action (Letter of Correction or Warning Notice) - Two years.
  • Violations resulting in a revocation of the pilot certificate - These records are not automatically expunged.
  • Case is closed without an enforcement action - 90 days.
  • Violation resulting in a reexamination (previously know as "609 ride") - One month after examination.

No record will be expunged if other legal enforcement actions are pending.

Expunction begins five years from the date of the accident or incident.

The FAA maintains at least three types of records:

Enforcement Information Subsystem (EIS)

  • Computerized database of enforcement actions.
  • Information may be accessed without pilot's permission.
  • Maintained by the FAA's Aviation Data System Branch (AFS-620) in Oklahoma City.
  • EIS information qualifies for expunction.

Accident/Incident Data (AID)

  • Computerized database of accident and incident information.
  • Information may be accessed without pilot's permission.
  • AID information does not qualify for expunction.
  • Maintained by the FAA's Aviation Data System Branch (AFS-620) in Oklahoma City.

Basic Airmen files (knowledge test results, 8710 "Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application")

  • Information may not be accessed without pilot's permission or court order.
  • Maintained by the Airmen Certification Branch in Oklahoma City.
  • Some information in the Basic Airmen files is expungable.

To obtain a copy of your complete airman file, submit a signed, written request stating your name, date of birth, social security number and/or certificate number - or complete the FAA's online form - and mail to:

Federal Aviation Administration
Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082

The fees for these copies are $2 for Search of Records, $3 for Certification of a file, 25 cents for the first page, and 5 cents for each additional page.

Upon receipt of the requested complete airman file, you will be notified of the total charges due and the options of payment.

For a copy of Accident, Incident, or Violation Information, contact the FAA at this address:

Federal Aviation Administration
Aviation Data System Branch, AFS-620
Post Office Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082

Pilot Counsel: The FAA expunction policy: Accidents and incidents
By John S. Yodice
AOPA Pilot, February 2006

John S. Yodice is the legal counsel for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Expunction is a high-sounding word that means no more than "to erase, to rub out." More than a decade ago I reported to you that the FAA adopted an "expunction" policy erasing its records of many old violation histories of airmen, particularly pilots (see " Pilot Counsel: The FAA Expunction Program," March 1993 Pilot). Under that program the FAA purged (and is purging) its records, older than five years, that show a pilot's certificate was suspended, or a pilot paid a civil penalty fine for an infraction of the federal aviation regulations.