Applying for a Student Pilot Certificate

Thywissen, John A. Applying for a Student Pilot Certificate. 2019 May 10 [revised 2019 May 11; cited 2019 May 25]. In: Fly with John Thywissen, CFI, CFII, IGI [Internet]. Austin (TX): John A. Thywissen; 2003– Available from: http://www.flyjohn.com/student-iacra.html

Applying in IACRA

When applying to the FAA for a pilot certificate, you use their IACRA web site instead of a paper form. IACRA generates an application for you which your instructor reviews, and then IACRA sends it electronically to the appropriate FAA offices.

Steps To Submit an Application for a Student Pilot Certificate

  1. Open Firefox or Chrome (Web browser), and go to URL: https://iacra.faa.gov/.
  2. Select the Register link near the login button.
  3. Select the Applicant checkbox.
  4. Press the Agree to TOS and Continue button. (“TOS” means terms of service.)
  5. Fill in the user profile form:
    • Skip the first two fields (the Certificate Information section), unless you have ever had an FAA airman certificate. (This includes a previous student pilot certificate.)
    • Be sure to use your full legal name, not any nickname or initials.
    • Fill in the rest of the form.
  6. Press the Register button.
  7. Important: Record your IACRA username, password (in secure password storage), and the “FTN” (FAA Tracking Number) you get when registration is complete.
  8. Click the login link.
  9. Log in using your new username and password.
  10. In your Web browser, allow pop-up windows from IACRA. [Yes, having to do this is “stupid”, but IACRA is just screwed up this way.] (In Chrome: In the address bar, select the Pop-up blocked icon, then Always allow pop-ups and redirects from iacra.faa.gov.) (In Firefox: In the address bar, select the Pop-up blocked icon, then Allow pop-ups for this site.)
  11. Press the Accept TOS as APPLICANT button.
  12. Press the Start New Application button.
  13. Pick Pilot from the Application Type list.
  14. Select Student Pilot from the Certifications list.
  15. Press the Start Application button.
  16. IACRA will say it needs more personal information, and route you to a more detailed user profile page.
  17. Fill in the more detailed user profile form:
    • Again, skip the first two fields (the Certificate Information section), unless you have ever had an FAA airman certificate. (This includes a previous student pilot certificate.)
    • Be sure to use your full legal name, not any nickname or initials.
    • It is strongly suggested that you select “Do Not Use” for the SSN field.
    • Read carefully: The form asks for both “county” and “country”, which are easily mis-read.
    • The Residential Address section must be your permanent place of residence. If you get mail at at different address, check the Mailing Address is different from Residential Address checkbox.
    • The Map or Directions to Physical Residential Address is needed only if your permanent place of residence does not have a physical street address.
    • After you fill in the Residential Address section, click the Validate Residential Address button above the address fields.
  18. When you complete the user profile form, press the Save button. This will take you to the application form.
  19. Check the Personal Information section (pre-filled from your profile).
  20. Click on the yellow Certificate Held header.
  21. Answer the four questions, and press the Save button. (There will be no confirmation that the form was saved.)
  22. Click on the yellow Review and Submit header.
  23. Answer the one question.
  24. Press the View Privacy Act button, read the privacy info (in a pop-up window), and press the Close button at the top when done.
  25. Press the Review Application button, and carefully check the form (in a pop-up window), and press the Close button at the top when done. Only sections I and IV are filled in for student pilot applications. If nothing happens when you click the Review Application button, then your Web browser blocked the pop-up window. Change settings to Allow pop-ups from iacra.faa.gov.
  26. When you’re sure everything is correct, press the Submit Application button.

Meeting with Your Instructor

After you submit the application in IACRA, you must meet with your instructor. Your instructor will review the application, look at your photo ID, and then you both will electronically sign the application in IACRA.

Bring the following to a meeting with your instructor:

  1. Your FTN (FAA tracking number) that you got when you registered in IACRA.
  2. FAA-acceptable photo ID. The FAA recommends that you use a US driver’s license or a passport. Other acceptable IDs are US federal or state government photo ID cards, including military IDs. The ID cannot be expired.
  3. You will need to login to IACRA during the meeting to “sign” the application, so be sure to know your IACRA username and password.