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Aviation Training Consultants: 800-874-5346

How to Renew Your CFI During the Government Shutdown

News > How to Renew Your CFI During the Government Shutdown

Flight Instructor certificates are valid for 24 calendar months. CFIs have several options to renew their instructor certificate in accordance with 14 CFR 61.197. The two most common methods are to renew on the basis of activity or by completing a Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC). Completing a FIRC is by far the most widely used.

How Do I Renew My CFI During the Government Shutdown?

Regardless of how you complete your renewal activity, every CFI must apply for renewal by submitting your application (usually via IACRA) and FAA Tracking Number (FTN) to a qualifying official. Meeting an inspector in-person at your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) is free; however, when the government is on furlough, this is not an option. Fortunately, there are two other options.

  1. Meet with a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) to process your application. It is important to remember that DPEs are not government employees. Using a DPE to process an application can cost $75 to $125. The amount can vary depending on where you live.
  2. Process your certificate through an Airman Certification Representative (ACR). An ACR is someone authorized by the FAA to renew Flight Instructor certificates based on completing a FIRC program that the ACR is associated with. This service generally costs $25 to $50.

ACR service is available with the Gleim Flight Instructor Refresher Course. The process is quick, easy, and convenient. There are two ACR options: paperless or mail-in. About 94% of the certificates we process use the paperless option.

What About My Temporary Airman Certificate?

A temporary certificate is issued once your renewal is processed. For those using the Gleim paperless ACR service, an email will be sent with instructions to print the temporary certificate. Keep in mind that temporary certificates are only valid for up to 120 days, or until a permanent certificate is received. However, while the FAA staff is on furlough, permanent certificates will not be processed until normal operations resume. Then, expect delays as the FAA staff works through a backlog of certificates.

Take note of your certificate expiration date and set a reminder a couple weeks prior to that date on your calendar. Hopefully the shutdown will not last that long, but there could be instances where a temporary certificate is at risk of expiring. Neither a DPE or ACR is able to reissue a temporary certificate while the FSDO is on furlough. If your certificate is at risk of expiring, you’ll need to contact us or schedule an appointment with the FSDO as soon as the furlough ends to request an extension.

UPDATE: The following guidance was provided by the FAA on January 24, 2019

What to do if your Temporary Airman Certificate is Expiring Soon

Several reports have been received by the FAA pertaining to Temporary Airman Certificates that will expire while the federal government is partially shut down. During the partial shutdown the FAA is not processing these certificates so there is a chance that the Temporary Airman Certificate that was issued will expire prior to receiving the permanent airman certificate.

Local FAA offices (FSDOs, CMOs, and AEGs) should advise impacted airmen of the ability to check the status of their certificate on www.faa.gov and to request a temporary authority to exercise certificate privileges, which is valid for 60 days, via Airmen Online Services.

NOTE: This addresses all airmen (pilots, ground instructors, flight instructors, flight engineers, flight navigators, mechanics, air traffic control tower operators, aircraft dispatchers, repairmen, and parachute riggers) for whom the application was processed, but a certificate was not mailed or not yet received.

Steps to do this are shown below:

Step 1: Check to see if your application has been processed:
• Navigate to www.faa.gov. Click on Licenses & Certificates as highlighted below

Step 2: The airman should select Search Airman Certificate Information as highlighted below. Fill out the information in the website to see what the FAA shows as your most recent certificate information.

If the information from the website matches your current Temporary Airman Certificate that is about to expire, your application has been processed by the FAA and you can request temporary authority to exercise privileges or a replacement certificate from Airmen Online Services.

NOTE: Make sure you are comparing the information from this website to your current Temporary Airman Certificate that is about to expire in order to avoid operating with a previous certificate.

Step 3: Navigate to Airmen Online Services at the following web address:


Step 4: If this is the first time that the airman has been to this site, he or she will need to Create an account (see top highlighted area).

Step 5: Once the account is established, the airman should click on Login to get access to Airmen Online Services (see bottom highlighted area).

Step 6: Once you login to the Airmen Online Service, select Request Temporary Authority to Exercise Certificate Privileges. This will take you to the section where you request the document.

Step 7: On the Request Temporary Authority to Exercise Certificate Privileges page, the airman can request a replacement certificate for $2.00 each, a temporary authority (no charge), or both. If a temporary authority is requested, fill out the delivery method at the bottom of the page and hit submit.

The letter returned will be similar to the one shown below.



If you have questions or concerns or to start your next Flight Instructor Refresher Course, please contact a Gleim Aviation Training Consultant at 800.874.5346, ext. 471.

Written by Paul Duty, Gleim Aviation Product Manger and Chief Instructor (141)

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