Can I get a Pilot License with a Prior DUI Conviction?

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A few years ago, I was convicted on a DUI.  Now I’m considering becoming a pilot, but wonder will my prior criminal conviction prevent me from receiving an aviation licence.  Can I still get a pilot license despite my conviction?



According to FAA regulations for a pilots license, you can receive a plane license (certificate) even if you have a felony conviction on record.  However, in cases where the conviction is for an alcohol or drug offense, you cannot apply for a license within one year of your last offense.   Alcohol and drug-related offenses under the Code of Federal Regulations 61.15 include "growing, processing, manufacture, sale, disposition, possession, transportation, or importation of narcotic drugs, marijuana, or depressant or stimulant drugs or substances" as well as operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a drug or alcohol.  Additionally, if you are convicted of a drug or alcohol-related felony after you have received your aircraft license, the FAA can either suspend or revoke your certificate up to one year after the conviction.  In this case, you are required to submit a written report of each motor vehicle action no later than 60 days after the action.  The report should include:

(1) Your name, address, date of birth, and certificate number;

(2) The type of violation that resulted in the conviction or administrative action;

(3) The date of the conviction or administrative action;

(4) The State that holds the record of conviction or administrative action; and

(5) A statement of whether the motor vehicle action resulted from the same incident or arose out of the same factual circumstances related to a previously reported motor vehicle action.

Consult with an aviation attorney to fully understand the requirements to receive your pilot license.