N 8900.371


National Policy

Effective Date: 7/23/16



Cancellation Date: 7/23/17


Student Pilot Certificate Application Procedures to Exercise Pilot‑in‑Command Privileges on the Applicant’s Eligibility Birthday 

1.    Purpose of This Notice. This notice explains the procedures to process a Student Pilot Certificate application for an applicant with intentions of exercising pilot-in-command (PIC) privileges on their 16th birthday when seeking an airplane, rotorcraft, airship, weight-shift-control, powered parachute, or powered lift rating privilege (or their 14th birthday when seeking balloon or glider rating privileges).

2.    Audience. The primary audience for this notice includes all aviation safety inspectors (ASI) and aviation safety technicians (AST) at a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), Designated Pilot Examiners (DPE), and any other qualified individual authorized to process student pilot applications. The secondary audience includes Flight Standards branches and divisions in the regions and in headquarters (HQ).

3.    Where You Can Find This Notice. You can find this notice on the MyFAA employee website at Inspectors can access this notice through the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) at Operators can find this notice on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Web site at This notice is available to the public at

4.    Background.

a.    Public Law 108-458. On December 17, 2004, the President signed Public Law 108-458, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA). Section 4022 of that law requires the FAA to issue improved pilot certificates that are resistant to tampering; include a photograph; and are capable of accommodating a digital photograph, a biometric identifier, or any other unique identifier the FAA Administrator considers necessary. In section 4012(a)(1) of the IRTPA, Congress required the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in coordination with the FAA, to ensure that individuals are vetted against the terrorist watch lists prior to the issuance of an FAA certificate.

b.    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). On November 19, 2010, the FAA published an NPRM (75 FR 70871) titled “Photo Requirements for Pilot Certificates.” The NPRM proposed to fulfill the requirements of sections 4012 and 4022 of the IRTPA by requiring a photo of the pilot on all plastic pilot certificates, including Student Pilot Certificates. After the NPRM proposal, the FAA withdrew the requirement for a photograph and responds to section 4012 of the IRTPA to facilitate security vetting of all Student Pilot Certificate applicants before the FAA issues a Student Pilot Certificate.

c.    Timeframe Feedback. This final rule published January 12, 2016 and became effective April 1, 2016. The FAA began to get feedback from student pilot applicants with intentions of exercising PIC privileges on their eligibility birthday. Due to the timeframe required to process the student pilot application to ensure the TSA vetting process, student pilots were not able to exercise PIC privileges on their birthday because their Student Pilot Certificate was not processed in time.

d.    Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) Update. This notice provides procedures to allow for student applications to be processed by qualified individuals to allow for the exercise of PIC privileges on the applicant’s eligibility birthday until the FAA can update the processing path in the IACRA. The FAA projects the needed update to IACRA will be complete by November 1, 2016.

5.    Guidance. Qualified individuals processing student pilot applications for applicants with intentions of exercising PIC privileges should follow the following procedures.

a.    Submission of Application. Applicants for a Student Pilot Certificate may submit a paper FAA Form 8710‑1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application, to a qualified individual through a face‑to‑face interaction up to 90 days prior to their 16th birthday when seeking an airplane, rotorcraft, airship, weight‑shift‑control, powered parachute, or powered lift rating privilege (or up to 90 days prior to their 14th birthday when seeking balloon or glider rating privileges). This form can be found at

Note:  The FAA cannot ensure adequate processing time for applications submitted less than 30 days prior to the applicant’s eligibility birthday. The applicants are encouraged to allow as much time as possible for application processing time.

b.    Ensure Completion of Application. The qualified individual must ensure an applicant completes and signs FAA Form 8710‑1 in accordance with the instruction page and FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 5, Chapter 1, Section 3.

Note:  The applicant can review the Pilot’s Bill of Rights (PBR) and acknowledge receipt of this information during the application procedure. The PBR notification is part of FAA Form 8710-1 and the applicant acknowledges receipt through signing the application. If the applicant has any questions regarding PBR, refer them to the FAA Web page on this topic (, or to the Compliance Philosophy Brochure that discusses PBR (accessible at

c.    Verify Applicant’s Identity. The qualified individual must verify an applicant’s identity by inspecting an acceptable form of identification. Compare the identification with the personal information provided on FAA Form 8710‑1. For additional guidance on acceptable forms of identification, please refer to the current edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 61‑65, Certification: Pilots and Flight and Ground Instructors, appendix 2.

d.    Ensure Applicant Meets Eligibility Requirements. The qualified individual must ensure the applicant meets the FAA Aviation English Language Proficiency (FAA AELP) standards (refer to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61, 61.83) and medical qualifications (refer to 61.23). The current edition of AC 60-28, English Language Skill Standards Required by 14 CFR Parts 61, 63, and 65, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Web site ( are available resources to assist the qualified individual in determining if the applicant meets the FAA AELP standards.

Note:  A medical certificate is not required for the processing of a Student Pilot Certificate application. Inform the applicant of the medical requirements prior to exercising PIC privileges if soloing an aircraft other than a glider or balloon.

e.    Accept Application. The qualified individual should complete the “Instructor Action,” “Aviation Safety Inspector or Technician Report,” or “Designated Examiner or Airman Certification Representative Report” section, as appropriate, of FAA Form 8710‑1 by checking the “Accepted-Student Pilot Application” box and signing. The qualified individual who provides the PBR as part of the FAA Form 8710‑1, or who otherwise observed the applicant review the PBR notification, may check the box that states “I have personally delivered the Written Notification under the Pilot’s Bill of Rights to the applicant.”

f.    English Language Proficiency. The qualified individual should also check the “Meets FAA Aviation English Language Proficiency” box at the bottom of the last page of the application. If the applicant cannot read, speak, write, or understand the English language for reasons other than medical disability, then the application for a Student Pilot Certificate should be processed on FAA Form 8710‑1 by checking the “Rejected Student Pilot Application” box in the appropriate section and the “Does Not Meet FAA Aviation English Language Proficiency” box at the bottom of the last page. The applicant should be reported to the jurisdictional FSDO. Explain to the applicant that they will need to be evaluated by an FAA safety inspector and provide them contact information for the jurisdictional FSDO. The jurisdictional FSDO mailing information can be found at

Note:  If an applicant does not meet the FAA AELP eligibility requirements of 61.83, do not check the accepted box. The accepted box should only be checked once it is determined that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements. Check the “Rejected Student Pilot Application” box and continue processing the application. The terms “accept” and “reject” are used to notify the Airmen Certification Branch (AFS‑760) if the applicant does or does not meet the requirements for the issuance of a Student Pilot Certificate. If the applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements, the application should still be processed and mailed to the jurisdictional FSDO or AFS-760, as appropriate.

g.    Forward the Application to the FSDO. DPEs, Airman Certification Representatives (ACR), and certificated flight instructors (CFI) should forward the completed application to the jurisdictional FSDO.

Note:  All paper applications must have the jurisdictional FSDO sign off, including those that are processed by CFIs.

h.    Notify Applicant. The qualified individual should notify an applicant that AFS‑760 will typically process a Student Pilot Certificate in approximately three weeks from the date of receiving the application, provided that initial security vetting by the TSA indicates that the applicant is security-eligible for the certificate.

i.    Temporary Authorization. For the applicant to exercise PIC privileges of the Student Pilot Certificate on the applicant’s eligibility birthdate, the applicant should print a temporary authorization to operate from the FAA online service at This authorization is valid for no more than 60 days or until the applicant’s permanent Student Pilot Certificate arrives via mail.

Note:  Depending on the aircraft category the applicant intends to solo, a medical certificate may be required to exercise PIC privileges.

6.    Disposition. We will incorporate the information in this notice into FAA Order 8900.1 before this notice expires. Direct questions concerning the information in this notice to the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800) at 202-267-1100.


/s/ John Barbagallo

Deputy Director, Flight Standards Service