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Certificates and Ratings Issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The FAA issues a single mechanic certificate with an Airframe (A) rating, or a Powerplant (P) rating, or both (A&P) ratings to qualified applicants. 

The Requirements for a Mechanic Certificate (License)

The requirements are prescribed by Federal Aviation Regulations, 14 CFR Part 65, Certification; Airmen Other Than Flight Crew Members. The applicant must be:

  • At least 18 years old;

  • Able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language (with certain exceptions permitted);

  • Able to meet the experience, knowledge, and skill requirements for at least one rating; and

  • Able to pass all the prescribed tests within a 24-month period.

General Education Prerequisites or Medical Certificates

The FAA does not have educational prerequisites or require medical certificates for airframe and powerplant certification. However some employers may have established minimum high school education and physical requirements for employment at their organization. 

Correspondence Courses for Airframe and Powerplant Certification

The FAA does not recognize any correspondence course in lieu of practical experience or graduation from an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician school.


However, once you have met the experience requirements and received your authorization to test from the FAA, there are many methods to study for the required examinations. Based on your personal abilities, self-study, online courses, or test prep type courses or any combination are all viable options.

Military Experience Requirements

14 CFR Part 65.77 Experience Requirements - States - Each applicant for a mechanic certificate or rating must present either an appropriate graduation certificate or certificate of completion from a certificated aviation maintenance technician school or documentary evidence, satisfactory to the administrator, of - 

​      (a) At least 18 months of practical experience with the procedures, practices, materials, tools,                       machine tools, and equipment generally used in constructing, maintaining, or altering airframes,             or powerplants, appropriate to the rating sought; or

      (b) At least 30 months of practical experience concurrently performing the duties appropriate to                   both the airframe and powerplant ratings.

Presenting Documented Evidence. You must have your work experience evaluated by an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector through a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or International Field Office (IFO) to receive authorization to test. 




Acceptable forms for presenting U.S. Military aviation experience are:

     (a) A properly completed DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, which            lists the total time in service and the MOS, AFSC, or NEC codes assigned to the applicant. 



     (b) For service members still serving and as an optional addition to veterans, a letter from your                        executive officer, maintenance officer, or classification officer that certifies the length of your

          military service, the amount of time you have worked in each MOS, the make and model of

          aircraft and/or engine on which you acquired your practical experience, and where you obtained

          the experience.

     (c) Training records showing the type of aviation schools the applicant attended and/or a record of

          on-the-training (OJT). Active duty military, selective guard, and reserve members are eligible for a


NOTE:  Time spent in training or in a MOS, AFSC, or NEC for supervision and/or inspection does not

             count toward the 18 or 30 months of practical experience required in 14 CFR Part 65.77.

NOTE:  The military experience must be directly applicable to the Mechanic Certificate and ratings sought.


Evaluating Experience. Aviation maintenance experience gained as a U.S. Military service member will receive evaluations on its own merits to determine whether it fulfills the experience requirements. 

Joint Services Aviation Maintenance Technician Certification Council (JSAMTCC)

There is no evaluation required for an applicant presenting a JSAMTCC COE. Applicants may go
directly to testing for the written, oral, and practical tests without having to go through a FSDO for the
rating(s) sought.

Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application (FAA Form 8610-2)

The Requirements for a Mechanic Certificate
General Education Prerequisites
Correspondence Courses
Military Experience Requirements
Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application

The Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application (FAA Form 8610-2) is the document that provides all the pertinent information of the applicant and will be used through the complete certification process.

The front side of the 8610-2 provides for rating(s) sought, applicant's personal information, experience basis for certification, a record of experience, applicant's certification, and FAA Airworthiness Safety Inspector (ASI) endorsement indicating all experience documents were reviewed and considered to meet the regulatory requirements for the rating(s) sought.


The reverse side of the 8610-2 is where the Designated Mechanic Examiner (DME) documents the results of your oral and practical examination.

You will need to have 2 copies with original signatures for oral and practical testing. When the certificate process is complete you will receive one completed copy and the second copy will be part of your certification package and go to the Airman Certification Branch of the FAA in Oklahoma City, OK.


It is imperative that the FAA Form 8610-2 is completed correctly or it will delay your certification. Read and follow the instructions provided carefully. 


A few of helpful tips:

  • DO NOT use your social security number

  • Use your full name as it is indicated on the Identification you will be using

  • It is common practice for applicant's exiting the Military or in a temporary residence to use a relative's address as their permanent address and later change it after they have secured a permanent address. It must be a physical address.


NOTE: When you complete your oral and practical examination successfully, the DME will issue you a temporary airman certificate and your package will be sent to the FAA and once processed they will issue your permanent certificate. This process could take as long as 120 days to complete. Make certain that the address you use is where you can receive your permanent certificate by mail.

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