Mechanic Certification: Subpart A - General (by 14 CFR Section)

Section 65.3, Certification of Foreign Airmen Other Than Flight Crewmembers

Normally, the FAA issues these certificates only to United States (U.S.) citizens or resident aliens residing in the United States. However, if the FAA determines that the issuance of a certificate to a person located outside of the United States is necessary for the operation and continued airworthiness of a U.S.-registered civil aircraft, it will issue a certificate to that person, providing they meet the necessary requirements.

Section 65.11, Application and Issue

Any person who meets the criteria for obtaining a mechanic certificate must apply by means of FAA Form 8610-2, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application. If a mechanic has had a certificate suspended, they may not apply for additional ratings during the time of suspension. A revocation of a mechanic certificate prevents that person from applying for a certificate within a period of 1 year after the revocation.

FAA mechanic certificate

Section 65.12, Offenses Involving Alcohol and Drugs

Any person, who has been convicted of violating federal or state statutes relating to drug offenses, can be denied their application for a certificate or rating up to 1 year after the date of conviction. The violation can be relating to any one or more of the following actions: growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, disposing, possessing, transporting, or importing narcotic drugs, marijuana, depressants, or stimulants. They may also face the suspension or revocation of any certificate that they currently hold.

Section 65.13, Temporary Certificate

A qualified applicant who successfully passes all required tests with a minimum score of 70 percent may be issued a temporary certificate, which is valid for not more than 120 days. During this time, the FAA will review the application and any supplementary documentation and will issue the official certificate and rating.

Section 65.14, Security Disqualification

This section was added following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It basically states that anyone determined by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to be a security threat will either have their application held if they are applying for a certificate, or have the certificate that they do hold revoked.

Section 65.15, Duration of Certificates

Mechanic’s certificates are effective until they are surrendered, suspended, or revoked. The difference in these terms can be summarized in the following manner:
  • Surrendered means given up voluntarily.
  • Suspended means the FAA temporarily removes the certificate from the holder.
  • Revoked means the FAA permanently removes the certificate from the holder.

Section 65.16, Change of Name: Replacement of Lost or Destroyed Certificate

An application for a change of name on a certificate issued under this part must be accompanied by the applicant's current certificate and the marriage license, court order, or other document verifying the change.

If the technician changes his or her name, or is seeking a replacement certificate, an application must be submitted to the FAA at the following address:

Federal Aviation Administration Airmen Certification Branch (AFB-720)
P.O. Box 25082 Oklahoma City, OK 73125

It should be noted that there is a nominal charge for this service.

Section 65.17, Test: General Procedure

The FAA has designated certain persons to administer tests associated with obtaining a mechanic certificate. The minimum passing score for these tests is 70 percent.

Section 65.18, Written Tests: Cheating or Other Unauthorized Content

If the mechanic or repairmen applicant is determined to be cheating, or otherwise involved in unauthorized conduct, they are not eligible for any certificate or rating under this chapter for a period of 1 year. Furthermore, current ratings the person already holds may also be suspended or revoked. Examples of unacceptable conduct for written tests are:
  • Copying or intentionally removing the test.
  • Giving or receiving any part of a copy of the test.
  • Giving or receiving help during the test taking period.
  • Take any part of the test on behalf of another person.
  • Using any material or aid during the test taking period that is not provided by authorized test administrators.
  • Intentionally causing, assisting, or participating in any of the previous acts.

Section 65.19, Retesting After Failure

Should the mechanic or repairman fail to achieve the required minimum passing grade, there are two options they may consider when desiring to apply for retesting:
  • Wait a period of 30 days after the date of test failure and then take the test again.
  • Seek additional instruction in the subject matter areas failed and provide a signed statement from the certificated technician providing the instruction stating the applicant has received necessary instruction and is ready for testing.

Section 65.20, Applications, Certificates, Logbooks, Reports, and Records: Falsification, Reproduction, or Alteration

14 CFR part 43, sections 43.9 and 43.11 define the requirements for a technician to make appropriate entries in the maintenance/inspection records for the work performed. This proper documentation is fundamental to safe and efficient operation of the U.S. civil aircraft fleet. Therefore, the FAA takes strong action against those who would participate in the falsification of those records. The following actions are the basis for suspending or revoking any certificate or rating held by the person who:
  • Makes fraudulent or intentionally false statement on an application.
  • Makes fraudulent or intentionally false statement in any logbook, record, or report required to show compliance with any certificate requirements.
  • Reproduces a certificate or rating for fraudulent purposes.
  • Alters any certificate or rating under this part.

Section 65.21, Change of Address

If the technician changes his or her address, the FAA (at the address shown below) must be notified in writing within 30 days after the change of permanent residence:

Federal Aviation Administration
Airmen Certification Branch (AFB-720)
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125

Refusal to Submit to a Drug or Alcohol Test

Any technician who refuses to submit to a drug test, which is required by 14 CFR part 120, section 120.15, is subject to denial by the FAA of any application for additional certification or ratings, as well as suspension or revocation of any existing certificate or rating he or she currently holds. Part 120, section 120.117, Implementing a Drug Testing Program, requires a urine sample from the employee. Part 120, section 120.37, Misuse of Alcohol, requires that the employee submit to a breath test. Each section contains a “Definitions” section and a section titled “Employees who must be tested.” Persons involved with “Aircraft maintenance or preventative maintenance duties” are listed in both sections. There are various types (or rather times) when testing is required:
  • Pre-employment
  • Periodic
  • Random
  • Post-accident
  • Testing based upon reasonable cause
  • Return to duty testing
  • Follow-up testing

The numerous test methods and the harsh penalty imposed by the FAA on those who involve themselves with these unauthorized substances or abuse the allowable use of alcohol indicates the concern that the FAA has for the possible impairment of technicians. Aviation maintenance is a professional career choice that demands the highest caliber technical person to be capable of functioning at his or her maximum potential. There is no room in this profession for a person to be involved with substance abuse. By doing so, the technician not only endangers themselves, but their co-workers, and ultimately the customer who is expecting to have an airworthy aircraft delivered following a maintenance activity.
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