Validation of a European (or other non-US) Pilot Certificate in the U.S.
It is still very easy to have your US-PPL issued on the basis of your foreign certificate . However it now involves some paperwork to be completed in a timely manner before you come to the US.
Before the changes took place, you could walk up to an FAA office and present a foreign pilot certificate and have your restricted US-PPL issued right away. Now the FAA validates the certificate with your local CAA first, before they issue the US-Certificate.
In our experience this process takes about 2-3 weeks, but you should factor in more time since the FAA allows up to 90 days to complete the process. You will receive a notification from the FAA by email, fax, or letter (You can specify how you would like to be notified) and gives you 6 months to contact the FSDO (Flight Standard District Office) you requested. The FSDO will provide you with a list of FAA Examiners depending where you are located in US. The Examiner can be contacted for an appointment to issue the US restricted PPL.
If you don’t contact the FSDO or Examiner within 6 months, your validation becomes void and the process must be repeated. If you want to go to another FSDO Office, your validation can be transferred, but there have been cases where the paperwork got lost and the Airmen Cert. Branch had to re-issue the validation. This takes time, so better stick with your choice of FSDO…
Recently the FAA changed the way you could add a Category or Class Rating (i.e. Multi Engine or IFR) to your restricted License. Now you have to re-validate your Certificate before you can take the Checkride with the Examiner.
How to Proceed Now
First you have to download and print the form “Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification”. This form needs to be filled out and sent to the FAA with the following documentation:
- A legible photocopy of all Pages of your Pilot Certificate
- If your Certificate isn’t issued in English, you must accompany an English translation
- A legible photocopy of your Medical
- A legible photocopy of your International Passport - Your name(s) on your passport MUST EXACTLY match your Pilot’s License, Medical Exam, and Letter of Verification
On the form you have to specify at which FSDO you wish to pick up your US-PPL. For us here in Naples, this would be the South Florida FSDO
S. Florida (Miramar)
2895 SW 145 AVE , Suite 120
Miramar, Florida 33027
Phone: (954) 641-6000 Fax: (954) 641-6040
All this you can either mail or Fax to the:
Federal Aviation Administration
Airmen Certification Branch
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082
Fax: +1 405 954 9922
After your local CAA has verified your license, you will receive a notification and are ready to pick up your US-certificate. Best of all: This whole procedure is free of charge!
Some links to more information:
- “Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification”
- FAA Info about the Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification
Additional requirements for United Kingdom applicants
In addition to the procedures stated under Verification of Authenticity of Foreign license, Rating and Medical Certification above, airmen from the United Kingdom should note the following additional steps that are required by the United Kingdom CAA to complete this verification process. Please visit the UK CAA website. The additional forms are required prior to the UK CAA providing any requested information to the Airmen Certification Branch.
- You must send the Verification of Authenticity of Foreign license, Rating and Medical Certification form directly to FAA’s Airmen Certification Branch, not to the UK CAA.
- You must send the information required by the UK CAA directly to the UK CAA and not to FAA’s Airmen Certification Branch
Of course, if you need any assistance with this whole procedure, just drop us an email:
We’ll be happy to help!