On March 31, 2008 a new FAA rule came into effect for mechanics.
14 CFR 65.15(d) was added and says “Except for temporary certificates issued under §65.13, the holder of a paper certificate issued under this part may not exercise the privileges of that certificate after March 31, 2013.” What this means is after that date you may not exercise you’re A&P privileges if you have one of the old paper A&P certificates and have not obtained a new plastic certificate. If you’ve already obtained a new plastic certificate you’re in good shape, no further action required.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) requested the FAA make their pilot and mechanic certificates more counterfeit proof in an effort to aid law enforcement officials in the war against illegal drugs. The security features in the new plastic certificates include micro printing, a hologram, and an ultraviolet-sensitive layer that contains certain words and phrases. You might ask “How is this going to help law enforcement officials? Well I’m not really sure myself, but I take comfort in thinking that they know the bad guys better than me and if this helps keep some drugs off the streets and away from our kids, then it’s small price to pay.
How do you obtain the new plastic certificate? Just go to this website: http://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/airmen_certification/ You’ll find several options for obtaining a new plastic certificate. You can order it on-line or you can print out a paper form and mail it in. There will be a nominal $2.00 charge for a replacement certificate. However, if you still have your social security number as you’re A&P number, you’re in luck! You can request to change you airman certificate number and you’ll receive a new plastic certificate with a new random number at no charge. NOTE: You A&Ps with Inspection Authorization (IA) please pay special attention here. After you change your certificate number from the social security number to the new random number you must contact your local FSDO and have the number on your IA card changed also. If these two numbers don’t match, your IA card is invalid and you may not exercise your privileges as an IA.
I realize that everyone has nearly 3 ½ years to get this done but the word isn’t spreading very fast. So spread the word to everyone you know, even to your pilot buddies and customers.
Pilots only have until March 31, 2010 to their certificates changed over.
Author: Barry Proctor
FAASTeam Program Manager
From Oct 09 Nuts & Bolts