VOLUME 5 AIRMAN CERTIFICATION
CHAPTER 1 DIRECTION, GUIDANCE, AND
PROCEDURES FOR title 14 CFR PARTS
AND GENERAL AVIATION
Section 9 Detection of
Falsified or Altered Airman Certificates
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.
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:
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
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
Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application, is revised to include provisions
for this information, a separate piece of paper will no longer be necessary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.