How to Replace Your Lost or Stolen Private Pilot’s License

Private Pilot Application

Misplaced your Private Pilot’s License and don’t know where to start when it comes to getting it back? The feeling of losing your license can feel overwhelming, but don’t worry. It’s not as inconvenient or annoying as it seems to replace the one you lost. 

The FAA has made replacing your Private Pilot License a breeze. It’s as simple as going online to order a new one.

Ways to Replace Your Private Pilot’s License


There are two ways to replace your Private Pilot’s License. The first way is by requesting a replacement online. You can order a replacement through the Airmen Certification online services site on the FAA’s website. 

If you already have an account through Airmen Services, then you can sign in with the email and password you used to create your original account. All you would need to do is give the reason for why you are ordering a replacement.

Pilot's License

Chances are you don’t have an account with Airmen Services, then you’ll need to provide information such as your first and last name, date of birth, certificate number, etc. to create an account. 

If you lost your license and don’t have access to your certification number, then the best way to find out that information is by calling the FAA at 866-878-2498. If you ask them to provide your certification number they’ll ask for verification by having you provide your social security number.

By Mail

The other way to replace your lost or stolen license is by mail. There are two different items you can mail in. You can either mail an Application for Replacement of a Lost, Destroyed, or Paper Airman Certificate Form to the FAA. Or you can mail a signed and written request that states your name, date of birth, social security number or certification number, and the reason you need it replaced.

Luckily, there is only a small, $2 fee for each certificate you request. This is relatively inexpensive compared to having to replace your driver’s license or passport.

Information to Keep in Mind

There are a few things to keep in mind when going through the process of reinstating your license. If you decide to go by mail, you’ll need to allow 4 to 6 weeks for mail processing and 7 to 10 days for online processing. If you need to replace your license as soon as possible, you’ll want to use the online option.

Also, the FAA can only issue one copy of each certificate. You will have to wait 60 days after ordering a replacement to order another one.

Another part to keep in mind is that the FAA won’t include the original date of issue on the newly issued certificate. They will replace the date on the certificate with the date it was reissued. 

Lastly, the FAA can’t issue you a new certificate if the one you lost has already expired. You’ll need to go through the process of getting your license renewed, and talk to an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). Once you pass your medical examination, you will be able to contact a CFI and schedule a biennial flight review. After your BFR, you’ll be able to apply for your plastic private pilot’s license. 


The best way to replace your Private Pilot’s License is to order a new one online. The process is simple and saves you a lot of time and effort compared to ordering a new license by mail. Once you have your new license, you’ll be back to flying in no time!

By Liz Brassaw

Liz Brassaw is the Chief Pilot and Chief Flight Operations Officer for Thrust Flight. She is a CFI, CFII and MEI with over 2,500 hours of flight instruction given. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the Utah Valley University School of Aviation Sciences. She’s passionate about flying and enjoys instilling that love in the instructors on her team and the new students she trains.

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