8900.1 CHG 0



SectionDetection of Falsified or Altered Airman Certificates

5-191      GENERAL. This section contains information and guidance to be used by inspectors, paratechnical personnel, and examiners when determining the authenticity of an airman certificate. During surveillance or certification activities, inspectors should be alert to any indications of fraudulent or altered certificates and identification. Occasionally, law enforcement officers or drug enforcement agents ask Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel for assistance in identifying counterfeit or forged certificates.

5-192      ESTABLISHING AIRMAN IDENTITY. The FAA Drug Enforcement Assistance Act of 1988 contained the identification of certain deficiencies in the process of issuing airman certificates. The FAA has taken steps to correct these deficiencies by establishing new procedures to be followed which reduce the possibility that pilot certificates will be issued erroneously because of fraud by the applicant or by someone claiming to be the applicant. Inspectors and others involved in airman certification shall verify the actual identity of a person applying for an airman certificate by using the following procedures:

A.     Picture Identification. All applicants must present positive identification at the time of application. Such identification must include a recognizable photograph of the applicant, the applicantís signature, and the applicantís residential address. This information may be presented in more than one form of identification. Common sources of identification include a state driverís license, passports, government identification cards, and military or employer identification cards.

B.     Use of a Post Office Box. Inspectors shall not accept a post office box address unless the applicant lives on a rural route, a boat, or in some other manner that requires the use of a post office box for an address. If this is the case, the applicant must include this information on a separate piece of paper with a diagram or written description of directions to the applicantís residence. When FAA Form 8710‑1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application, is revised to include provisions for this information, a separate piece of paper will no longer be necessary.

C.     Other Forms of Acceptable Identification. If an applicant does not have an acceptable form of identification, or for more information and guidance on applicant identification, refer to Volume 5 Chapter 1, Section 3.

5-193      SUSPECTED COUNTERFEITING. An inspector should never attempt to confiscate a suspected forged, fraudulent, or counterfeit certificate. Since fraudulent certificates are sometimes used for criminal activities, the person in possession of this certificate may be armed and dangerous. If an inspector suspects that an airman certificate is counterfeit or forged, the inspector should immediately contact the Investigations and Security Branch of the Regional Civil Aviation Security Division or a local law enforcement officer.

5-194      IDENTIFICATION OF FORGED OR ALTERED AIRMAN DOCUMENTS. There are several methods and techniques that the inspector may use to identify counterfeit certificates. Detailed guidance may be obtained from the Airman Certification Branch, AFS‑760.

5-195      DUPLICATE CERTIFICATES. With the exception of restricted and special-use pilot certificates, an airman is only allowed to hold one U.S. airman certificate of a kind. For example, an airman could hold a pilot, flight instructor, dispatcher, or flight engineer certificate. Duplicate certificates are issued by AFS‑760 under certain conditions and at the request of the airman. Temporary certificates, issued to an airman by inspectors or designated airman examiners upon successful completion of a practical test, are not duplicate certificates. It is possible for an airman to be issued more than one certificate through a rapid upgrade program. Airmen should be advised of their responsibility to return the superseded certificate to the FAA.

5-196      PERSONAL POSSESSION OF PILOT CERTIFICATES. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61, ß 61.3 requires that pilots of U.S. civil aircraft have a current pilot certificate in their personal possession when acting as a required pilot flight crewmember. This means that, to avoid the possibility of fraudulent use of anotherís pilot certificate, the pilot must be in possession of an original certificate, not a copy. The copy of a temporary certificate issued to an airman by the FAA or by a designated pilot examiner is acceptable; however, inspectors should check all temporary certificates for expiration dates.

NOTE: Airmen may either use clear laminating sheets to protect permanent FAA‑issued certificates or have the certificates professionally laminated as long as the airmanís signature is placed on the certificate before lamination. Without the signature, the certificate is not valid.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 5-197 through 5-215.