FTN Number – Student Pilot Certificate

How to Get a FTN Number

So you recently heard you need something called an “FTN Number” before you can register for your FAA written exam or get your Student Pilot License.

The good news is getting this number is totally free and will only take you about 10 minutes or so to complete online following the steps outlined in the video above.  If you’re not a video person, no problem, we’ll also explain in the text below how you can register on IACRA to get your FTN number (FAA Tracking Number).

Registering to take your FAA Pilot Test

So what lots of folks call the “pilot test” is really more correctly referred to as the Private Pilot Written Exam.  This exam is 60 questions, lasts 2.5 hours, and you must both register online as well as receive an endorsement from an approved instructor or course prior to being able to take the exam.

To register online, you will first go to https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx

Then click “register” on the upper right part of the screen, directly below where you would enter your login credentials if you had already signed up.

You will want to check the box for “applicant” (not any other boxes), and then follow the promts to complete the process.  It is just like signing up for a new email account.  Once you complete the process, you will be given a “FTN number” to go along with your username and very complicated password (yes the FAA makes you choose an obnoxiously long password).  Write down all three, username, password, and FTN somewhere safe because I guarantee you will forget one or all of those.

Reserving a time for the test

Now that you have your FTN number, you can register to take your written exam at https://faa.psiexams.com/faa/login

You’ll click on “Create an Account” and follow the prompts to create a new account with PSI (the testing company that administers the test for the FAA).  There is an 800 number on that page that will link you with tech support if you need help, but don’t set your expectations too high for the level of service you will receive from them (PSI is now a monopoly on all FAA testing).

Once you create an account you will select the test type you want to take (most likely Private Pilot Airplane designation – PAR ).  You will also pay your fee online and select the testing center nearest you based on your zip code.

THIS IS IMPORTANT. Before you book a time, call the testing center you are planning on using as the times and availability listed on the site are generally not correct for when the test proctor person will actually be available at your local testing center.  You do not want to book a time, pay for it online, only to show up in person prepared and ready to go on that day and time to find you’ll have to come back tomorrow when the proctor is available.

Getting a Student Pilot Certificate

If you wish to also get a student pilot certificate, more good news, you’re already about halfway there (assuming you already have your account set up on IACRA).  To apply for a student pilot certificate you will want to “Start a new application” when logged into your IACRA account.  You will be applying as a “student pilot”, and the link here can also help guide you through the specifics of what to put on the form.

You should keep in mind that once you submit your student pilot application you will have to schedule a time with a flight instructor to sit down in person, both log into your respective IACRA accounts from the same computer, provide verification of your US citizenship and identify to the instructor, and then they will help you complete the process via the IACRA website.  There is not a way to fully complete and submit your application to the FAA without being face to face with an instructor or FAA representative.


If you still have questions you can always reach out to us here: Ask A Question

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