Updated 4 Nov 2019
What is an aviation reference number (ARN) and why do I need one?
An aviation reference number (ARN) is similar to a customer number. You will need an ARN if you intend to hold any sort of authorisation (such as a permission or licence) with us. ARNs can be issued to both organisations and individuals. The only pre-requisite is that the party must be a legal entity. This means that ARNs are not issued to business names, consortiums or partnerships. Only one ARN will be issued for each legal entity.
How can I find out what my ARN is?
If you applied for your ARN after 2 July 2018 you can check the number of your ARN by logging into our ARN online application portal. If you got your ARN before 2 July 2018, you can email us at email@example.com to ask us to provide you with your ARN.
Does everyone need an ARN?
Anyone who holds or intends to hold an authorisation (such as a licence or permission) with us will need to have an ARN. Organisations who hold an organisational permission will need an organisational ARN. If you work in an administrative role for a company with an organisational ARN, you will not need an individual ARN.
What identification do I need to apply for an ARN?
Individual ARN applications will need to provide 100 points of identification. This includes identity documents such as a passport, drivers licence, Medicare card and bank and credit card statements. Applications for an organisational ARN can use their ACN, or a copy of a certificate of incorporation. For government bodies, we will need a copy of the establishing statutory provision which proves it capable of exercising statutory rights in its own right. For foreign corporations, a copy of a certificate of incorporation, or equivalent document will be required.
Why do you require 100 points of identification?
We’re working to make all of your interactions with us easier. To do this, we need you to provide us with 100 points of ID when you first formally interact with us. This will usually be when you apply for an ARN. We won’t ask you to provide us with proof of your identity again, but we may need to check you are who you say if you ring us or email us. If you apply for an ASIC or AVID card you will need to comply with the provider’s identification requirements.
My ID for my ARN application needs to be manually checked – how long will this take?
If you fail the automatic document verification checks within the ARN application portal your certified documents will need to be manually verified by a Client Services Centre Officer. This will take up to five days.
Why have my identity documents failed the automatic validation?
We use the Australian Government’s document verification system. There are a range of reasons why your identity documents may fail the automatic document verification. The main reason is likely to be that the document is not recognised by the system. This will often be the case for foreign documents. You will need to upload a certified copy of your documents if your documents fail automatic verification.
Who can certify my documents?
There are a range of people who can certify documents. View our list.
How do I update the personal details on my ARN?
Keep your contact details up-to-date to avoid licences, certificates and registrations being sent to the wrong address. It’s a legal requirement to tell us if your details change if you hold any authorisation from us. If you applied for your ARN after 2 July 2018 using our online application system, you can update your contact details in the system.
Find out more about changing your details.
Why are you asking me what my sex is when I apply for an ARN?
We require information on an applicant's sex to inform medical questionnaires as part of flight crew licence applications. We will only ask you for this information once. We comply with government guidelines when we ask for this information and in how we use it.
What if I don't want my ARN anymore?
If you or your organisation is no longer involved in the aviation industry and you'd like to have your ARN closed, please email us the details at firstname.lastname@example.org. You might be asked to provide additional information. This is because some licences and certificates are perpetual, even though the rights of the licence or certificate cannot be exercised unless all conditions are met.
You'll also need to let us know if your organisation is no longer a legal entity, for example, if it's been de-registered by ASIC. Any certificates, licences or permissions issued in this name will need to be closed or transferred to the name of another party.
Information on what to do if an ARN holder is deceased can be found on our changing your details page.
When did CASA implement the ICAO Standard on language proficiency for flight crew?
CASA has been fully compliant with the ICAO Standards on language proficiency since 5 March 2008. The Standards applies to flight crew conducting international flights as well as to all new issues of operational flight crew licence (PPL, CPL, ATPL, FEL and Certification of validation).
With effect from 05 March 2008, holders of Australian flight crew licence conducting operations in international airspace and applications for new Australian operational flight crew licence (including Certification of validation) must comply with this ICAO Standards.
The Operational flight crew licence does not include student pilot licence, for which a different English standard (GELP) applies.
GELP stands for 'general English language proficiency'. The GELP requirement for holders of student pilot licence (SPL) is an uniquely Australian standards which came into effect on 01 January 2009. It is different from the ICAO Standards and thus will not be described on this page.
Note for SPL applicants: CASA does not accept the ICAO - styled ELP for the issue of a SPL. For more information, see the general English test criteria and student pilot licence FAQ pages.
Where can I apply for an assessment of my English language proficiency (ELP)?
Advice: Apply for ELP assessment only after you have been instructed in aviation English (including R/T procedures and ICAO phraseology) and have almost completed flying training for your licence.
The first tier (Level 6 ELP only) is meant only for applicants who are potential expert speakers (of any nationality) in aviation English.
It is unlikely for an applicant who has neither received instruction in aviation English (including R/T procedures and ICAO phraseology) nor practised/applied same through adequate flying training exposure in both the aerodrome and airspace environment to be able to achieve an ELP rating. While a good command of general English is a helpful pre-requisite to proficiency in aviation English, applicants should not mistake fluency in the former as equivalent to fluency in the latter.
Native English speakers who have speech defect or strong regional accent, which could render communication difficult with ATC or/and pilots of other aircraft, may not qualify for Level 6 ELP.
At this assessment tier, CASA has trained, assessed and authorised many of its approved testing officers (ATOs) to conduct (only) Level 6 ELP assessments. The authorised ATOs may only assess applicants who have the potential to be level 6 ELP speakers, and grade them at either that level or not. They are not permitted to grade candidates at a lower level of ELP, which shall be the role of CASA approved ELP specialist centres.
These ATOs may be contacted at various aerodromes and flying training schools throughout Australia.
Note: Not every ATO is authorised to conduct Level 6 ELP assessment.
The second tier has Australian ELP specialist centres authorised by CASA to assess applicants at all ELP levels (4, 5 or 6).
Applicants should note that CASA approval is more related to the ELP 'Tests' conducted by these organisations rather than the organisations themselves. Therefore, when applying for an assessment, applicant should inform the assessor at the language specialist centre that they seek a CASA approved ELP assessment. This is to ensure that the applicant does not inadvertently undertake an ELP test which is not approved by CASA.
May I undertake an assessment with an overseas language assessment centre and have the result endorsed in my Australian flight crew licence?
No. CASA only accepts assessment reports from its approved ELP assessors, who are all based in Australia. CASA has not approved any overseas based ELP assessor.
However, a couple of CASA approved (Australian-based) ELP specialist centres have licensed overseas agents. Subject to confirmation of their bona fides by the parent organisations here in Australia, CASA may consider accepting assessments conducted by these overseas centres. CASA acceptance of ELP assessments by these licensed overseas agents is not automatic and shall be solely at the discretion of CASA. Each application shall be assessed on its merits.
Note: ASL in New Zealand is not approved. Though CASA has approved some ELP specialist centres in Australia, these centres may have specific tests which are yet to receive CASA approval, and thus won't be accepted by CASA.
I hold a New Zealand CAA-issued flight crew licence holder and want my licence to be recognised by Australia. How does this affect me?
If you apply for the issue of an Australian licence on the basis of your equivalent New Zealand professional licence, you are expected to have in your New Zealand professional licence an ELP rating which is compliant with the ICAO SARP. If you do not have one, you may apply to have your ELP assessed here in Australia.
Does CASA recognise English language proficiency ratings endorsed by the regulatory authorities of other countries?
It shall be at the sole discretion of CASA to recognise an overseas English language rating. One of the requirements CASA will require is for the foreign aviation regulatory authority issuing the ELP rating to be fully compliant with the ICAO SARP on language proficiency.
What does CASA mean by full compliance with the ICAO SARP on language proficiency?
CASA may consider accepting a foreign ELP rating if it possesses at least two essential characteristic, namely:
The overseas flight crew licence has been issued by an ICAO contracting State that has complied with the ICAO SARP on language proficiency or has indicated to ICAO it will comply by a particular date, and
The ELP rating has been endorsed in the overseas flight crew licence with an acceptable level of proficiency (Levels 4 or 5 or 6) and which carries an expiry date (except for Level 6), and
May I have my Australian flight crew licence updated with a CASA-recognised ELP rating in a foreign flight crew licence?
Provided you furnish CASA with a certified true copy of your foreign licence, and CASA recognises the ELP recorded in the overseas flight crew licence, your Australian licence may be updated with that ELP (including its rating level and expiry date).
I want to convert my foreign flight crew licence to an Australia equivalent licence. I have an ELP rating on my foreign licence. Will CASA convert it?
It depends. If CASA does not recognise the ELP issued by the foreign regulatory authority, you may apply for an ELP assessment in Australia. The issue of an Australian flight crew licence requires as a minimum a Level 4 ELP rating.
What if I don't have an ELP on my foreign licence? Will CASA still convert my overseas licence?
Only if you undertake an ELP assessment in Australia with one of CASA's approved assessors and achieve at least a Level 4 ELP rating.
Do I have to have a language proficiency rating for the (non-English) language of another country if I fly over there?
English is the accepted international language for aviation. But if you propose to fly within a foreign country (other than to/from its international airports) you should check with the regulatory authority of that country.
How do I get a copy of my flight crew licence displaying my ELP rating?
Flight crew licence holders shall apply for an updated copy of their flight crew licence which includes their ELP rating. The cost recovery for the application is $25.00. Use Form 61-9R - Request for licence reprint if making a payment.
When should I apply for my new Part 61 licence?
CASA is reminding pilot licence holders that an application to convert your pilot licence to the new Part 61 licence does not need to be submitted to CASA until one of the following events occur:
You need to apply for an additional licence
You are issued a flight crew rating
You complete a flight review
You are issued an endorsement on a flight crew rating
You are issued a flight activity endorsement.
For more information, see When will I receive a new Part 61 licence?
When licence holders are ready to submit their notification, application and completed 61-9TX form to CASA, they should ensure they have read and completed any required forms in full, and make sure to provide all supporting documents requested, such as notifications from your flight instructor or examiner. This will help reduce unnecessary delays in processing applications.
Currently CASA is receiving more applications for licence conversions than can be managed immediately. Applications are being prioritised so those pilots who have a need to convert their licence to Part 61 are not disadvantaged.
CASA is doing everything possible to keep up with the demand for new licences.
How do I convert my overseas licence to an Australian licence?
As a general rule, to convert a foreign licence to an Australian flight crew licence you must pass a Flight Rules and Air Law written examination and a flight test, and obtain an Australian medical certificate. If you want to convert an overseas rating (eg instrument rating or instructor rating) you need to pass a flight test and either an aural examination or written examination. Examinations and flight tests can only be conducted in Australia.
Pilots holding a New Zealand CPL or ATPL can obtain an Australian licence under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.
View the details on converting overseas licences
How do I get a rating or an endorsement entered onto my pilot's licence?
A rating is normally issued by the Approved Testing Officer (ATO) who conducts the flight test by entering a record in the pilot's logbook. The ATO sends to CASA a notification that the rating has been issued. CASA then updates the pilot's licence record.
Some delegates are only authorised to conduct the flying training. The rating is then issued by someone else (eg an ATO or a CASA officer).
A Licence re-print will cost $25. An applicant can either fill in the payment form ( form61-9r.pdf (PDF 536.79 KB)) and attach it to the Rating application – or call CLARC on 131 757.
The same process applies to endorsements, except that an instructor or an approved person may conduct the training and issue a certificate to the applicant, only an ATO with 5.23 delegation may issue the endorsement and/or enter the 'sticky strip' in the pilot's logbook.
How long will it take CASA to reissue my licence when I've done a rating or endorsement, if I request a reprint?
You should allow up to 10 working days from when CASA receives your documents for your licence to be updated, finance to be completed and the licence to be reissued.
Note: When your rating or endorsement is issued, apart from a few exceptions, the ATO should enter a record in your logbook. Once the entry is made in your logbook, you are authorised to use your rating or endorsement.
My flight crew licence has just been reissued but it's missing a licence, an endorsement or rating. How can I fix this?
Flight Crew Licences issued by CASA only show authorisations that are currently issued by CASA. Some licences, ratings and endorsements are no longer issued and are therefore not be included when a licence is reissued. For example, a Senior Commercial Pilot Licence is no longer printed on a licence. This also applies to aircraft endorsements that are no longer listed in the Civil Aviation Orders or where a previous model has been included in a class endorsement.
If you hold a licence, rating or endorsement that you think should be included on your licence, please let CASA's Licensing and Registration Centre (CLARC) know by emailing, faxing or calling CLARC. You will need to provide details about the missing licence, rating or endorsement.
I have been told that a particular rating/endorsement is no longer on my licence because of a change to the CAOs. Where can I find a list and summary of these changes?
The Flight Crew Licensing Manual or Civil Aviation Orders (CAO) 40.1.0 for aeroplanes and CAO 40.3.0 for helicopters.
I've applied for a job overseas. How do I get a letter of verification for my FCL?
We can send your employer a letter that verifies your licence details. This letter costs $50 and will include information we hold about you such as:
your licence details, including endorsements, ratings and approvals
your aviation reference number
your aviation medical details
details of any suspensions, cancellations or any action taken by CASA.
Complete Flight crew licence verification Flight crew licence verification form 452 (PDF 163.71 KB).
I've applied for a job overseas and the overseas organisation wants a letter confirming that I haven't had any accidents or incidents. Can CASA provide that information?
No, CASA does not hold that information. You can apply to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for this information by completing an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary request form. The request must be made by the licence holder.
Who can certify documents?
Anyone who is entitled to witness a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration is acceptable. There are other people who CASA will accept for this purpose such as a CASA delegate, Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME)
Please refer to the list of acceptable persons on the CASA website.
Who can sign a statutory declaration when I'm overseas?
NB: A Statutory Declaration may be made outside of Australia before any of the prescribed people listed in Part 1 or Part 2 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 as amended who are authorised to practise under a law in force in a State or Territory of Australia.
Please note: that Statutory Declarations made outside of Australia may also be made before an Australian Consular Officer or Australian Diplomatic Officer (within the meaning of the Australian "Consular Fees Act 1985." )
What is the typical processing time for an ASIC/SPL/other licence etc?
Usually around 4 weeks where a background check is required. If you already hold a valid background check then approximately 1-2 weeks. The process is delayed if there are complications with the security check or the application documents are not filled out correctly.
How do I apply for an SPL?
Download the application form and information sheet from the CASA website.
If you are under 18 you do not need to undergo a security check but you do need to prove your
nationality with a current passport, full birth certificate citizenship certificate or national ID card.
Can I go solo without my SPL?
No, you need an SPL and a class 2 medical certificate.
How can I obtain a new copy of my FCL?
You can ask CASA for a copy of your licence by sending an email or fax to CLARC. Note there is a fee of $25 for this service. An application form can be downloaded from the CASA website.
I haven't flown for a long time. Is my licence still current and what do I need to do to fly now?
Flight crew licences issued by CASA remain valid unless suspended or cancelled.
Before you fly you must have a current medical certificate, have a current security check status (if over 18) and undergo a flight review with a suitably qualified instructor. You should contact your local flying school to discuss your requirements.
I'm having trouble filling in my form - who can help me?
In the first instance contact your flying school. Otherwise call CASA's Licensing and Registration Centre (CLARC) on 131 757.
Where can I find a particular FCL form?
FCL forms are available on the CASA website under 'Forms and manuals'.