TSA Requirements

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires all students that are undergoing training in the US for the Private Pilot certificate, Instrument Rating or an initial Multi-Engine rating to either prove their US Citizenship or complete a background check. If you are training for any of these qualifications, please ensure that you comply with the following: For US citizens. Please ensure that you have one of the following in your possession at the start of training:

*Valid, unexpired US passport, or

*US Government issued identification and one of the following US documents:

  1. Original or government issued certified Birth Certificate,
  2. Original Naturalization Certificate with raised seal,
  3. Original Certificate of Birth Abroad with raised seal, or
  4. Original Certificate of United States Citizenship with raised seal.

For Non-US Citizens: The following is an extract from the TSA explaining the new procedure. Note: flight training with AFIT Accelerated Flight & Instrument Training is in Category 3. This allows training to commence once the TSA has acknowledged receipt of the required information. Due to passage of Vision 100 РCentury of Aviation Reauthorization Act, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now required to screen all non-US citizen candidates for flight training on any aircraft. To accomplish this screening, most non-US citizens seeking flight training with FAA-regulated flight training providers (whether in the US or abroad) will need to submit information via:

The request will be submitted to the appropriate flight training providers, to verify that the applicant is truly seeking training at that facility. After this acknowledgement, the Transportation Security Administration will conduct an initial screening. If the results are favorable, the candidate may then be fingerprinted. After fingerprints are submitted, those results will be checked, and training may commence if approved by the AFSP. The law allows the Transportation Security Administration 30 days to process Category 1 applications and 5 days to process Category 2 applications after all information (including fingerprints) is received.

All information may be supplied online. A processing fee of $130 applies. Fingerprints are required as part of the process unless they have been provided previously or TSA advises otherwise. Currently, fingerprints may only be collected in the US, although TSA is working to allow collection at overseas locations. Further information is available at:

You may start your training after acknowledgement from TSA that they have received the required information. You must start your training within 180 days of the acknowledgement.
Exemptions. Most training programs are now exempted from the TSA requirements. The basic philosophy is the TSA rules should not apply to those people who, through their training, will not acquire new pilot skills that will increase their potential level of threat. For example, completion of a Commercial Pilot certificate in a single engine airplane, does not significantly increase capability and therefore, is not subject to the TSA rules. Similarly, if you complete an ATP and already hold a certificate with multi-engine privileges (US or foreign) you have not significantly increased your capability. Pilots with overseas qualifications that train in the US for equivalent US qualifications may also be exempt. There are likely to be cases that are unclear as the TSA requirements. Please contact us if you are unsure of your specific situation.

Foreign Pilots

Just to make sure all goes well, start the conversion process about three months before entering the US.

If you have a foreign license issued by a member state of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), you can easily get a special private pilot’s license to fly in the United States and to hire a U.S. registered aircraft. Naturally, you will also have to carry your own license, and the rules on the US license will be the same as those on your foreign license.

General Overview of FAA Req:

Contact an operations inspector. Note: that there is no fee if you are applying in the United States. If you are applying in a foreign country, bring a check from a U.S. bank or an American Express travelers check. Make the check out to the FAA for $68.00 (US). (Your instructor will assist you).

NOTES ON MEDICAL CERTIFICATES: If your license and your medical certificate are part of one document, and the medical certificate is not current, you must revalidate the medical portion in your country of origin before you apply for your U.S. license. If your medical certificate and your license are separate documents, and the medical certificate is not current, you may be able to get a U.S. medical certificate.

Contact a U.S. aviation medical examiner.

You can find a list at

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