May a US citizen (no pilot license) fly a US ultralight into Canada or any other country?

Due to a special exemption, Canadian pilots may fly a basic ultralight (registered but no certificate of airworthiness) into the US.

I don't think a US ultralight may be flown into Canada or any other country as it is not registered and does not have a certificate of airworthiness. Is this true?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Unless you add the phrase "legally" or "in compliance with regulations", the answer has to be "yes"! $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2021 at 22:04

1 Answer 1


Interesting question!

Ultralights can be registered with the EAA's vehicle registration program, which issues a registration ID beginning with the letter "E". The problem is that in Canada you need a license to operate the aircraft. That is why there is no reciprocation between the US and Canada for that special exemption rule. In Canada, ultralight pilots are required to have a license. If you have a US pilot's license from Recreational on up, and an "E" registered ultralight, you are compliant with Canada's requirements. From Transport Canada's website:

Foreign licence validation certificate (for recreational pilots)

Visitors to Canada may have a foreign pilot licence validated for private recreational purposes. The foreign pilot licence must be valid:

  • under the law of the issuing state
  • and for privileges appropriate to the reason you’re flying

You may apply for a foreign licence validation certificate before arriving in Canada. The certificate will be issued for a period of one year. After a year you may renew it or apply for a permanent Canadian pilot licence.

To learn more about the certificate, including how to apply, read Advisory Circular 400-003: Foreign Licence Validation Certificate.

To my knowledge, no other country has the same type of ultralight aircraft rules as the US.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @StephenS Canadian ultralight licenses are actually permits and not ICAO compliant either. But that's not relevant to Canada and the US; if they accept each other's permits then there's no issue. ICAO does not enforce license requirements, individual countries do. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2021 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ That is incorrect. It varies from country to country. I have updated my answer with more relevant info about this. You can use a Rec Pilot license in Canada if it is validated. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2021 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ Sec 4.0(2) does not support your claim that a license lower than Private can be validated. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Jun 25, 2021 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS Neither does it say that it can't be. It says "private recreational purposes." $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2021 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ That doc lists 7 specific license types that can be validated, and the lowest is Private. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Jun 27, 2021 at 0:49

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