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What do I have to do to obtain a Canadian pilot's license if I already have an FAA one?

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Transport Canada has all the information here for each FAA license type (and type ratings); the necessary forms and contacts are here. These are the basic requirements for a private pilot, for example:

6.1 Conditions for Conversion - Private Pilot – Aeroplane.

(1) Must hold an FAA Private airman certificate with airplane category and class rating(s).

(1) Age: Must be at least 17 years of age.
(2) Medical fitness: Must hold either a Category 1 or Category 3 TCCA medical.
(3) Knowledge: Must pass the Conversion - Private Pilot Licence – Aeroplane, (FAAPA) written examination on air laws and communications. Must be able to read, write and communicate in English or French.
(4) Experience: Must provide proof of a minimum of 45 hours pilot flight time.
(5) Skill: No additional practical flight test is required.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Read, write and communicate in French." That'll probably catch a lot of Americans out... :/ $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 2:44
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    $\begingroup$ Is "either English or French" what is intended? $\endgroup$
    – DJohnM
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ If they meant "English and French," that is what they would have written. I'm surprised at this, however: you could only get away with speaking French in Quebec, where ATC are bilingual. Seems to me English should be required for a national certification. $\endgroup$
    – Justin
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 17:52
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If anyone came here like me looking for the ability to just rent in Canada once in a while, You can go here and fill out the form. Apparently it only takes 2 days and costs $45 to get the Foreign License Validation Certificate.

You have to actually go to a Transport Canada office, which is a huge inconvenience if you aren't in one of the few Canadian cities that has one, but when you do go it's pretty straight forward, and your license validation lasts for a year.

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