Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Articles USA FAA - Pilot Training and MORE Student Pilot's Certificate Requirements

Student Pilot's Certificate Requirements

When do I need a student pilot's certificate?

Before you can fly solo. You don't need a student pilot's certificate to take flying lessons.

Am I eligible for a student pilot's certificate?

You are eligible if:

  • You are at least 16 years old. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you must be at least 14 years old.
  • You can read, speak, and understand English
  • You hold at least a current third-class medical certificate. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you only have to certify that you have no medical defect that would make you unable to pilot a glider or balloon.

How do I get a student pilot's certificate?

Upon your request, an FAA-authorized aviation medical examiner will issue you a combined medical certificate and Student Pilot Certificate after you complete your physical examination. Student Pilot Certificates may be issued by an FAA inspector or an FAA-designated pilot examiner. Applicants who fail to meet certain requirements or who have physical disabilities which might limit, but not prevent, their acting as pilots, should contact the nearest FAA office. Locate an Aviation Medical Examiner.

How long are my student pilot's certificate and my medical certificate valid?

They expire 2 years from the date they were issued.

Can I renew my student certificate and medical certificate?

No, but you can get a new one.

If my original Student Pilot Certificate has been endorsed for solo flying, do I lose this endorsement on my new certificate?

No, the endorsements are still valid. However, they are not transferred to the new certificate. Keep the old certificate as a record of these endorsements.

Should my flight instructor endorse my student pilot's certificate before or after my first solo flight?

Before the solo flight. The endorsement certifies that you are competent to solo.

If I solo in more than one make or model of aircraft, must I have an endorsement for each on my student pilot's certificate? If so, who should endorse the certificate?

Yes. Your flight instructor must make this endorsement before you solo in each make or model of aircraft.

Does the endorsement to solo allow me to make solo cross-country flights?

No. You also have to get a cross-country flight endorsement from you flight instructor.

Must I carry my student pilot's certificate with me when I am piloting an aircraft in solo flight?


Is there a charge for the student pilot's certificate?

Not when it's issued by an FAA Flight Standards District Office. However, an FAA-designated pilot examiner can charge for issuing student pilot's certificates. Also, an FAA-authorized aviation medical examiner can charge for your physical examination in connection with issuing the combination medical certificate and student pilot's certificate.


This article was published by Federal Aviation Administration. Please visit for current information - Reprinted with permission.

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