Filling out paperwork and forms is not
something thats on my list of
favorite things to do. Like many
readers out there, I resent the
intrusions into my simple life with
demands to complete paperwork for the
bank, city hall, or a registration for
warranty on a new computer. And
most of all, I detest the endless
paperwork from the government. They
must know that too because they irritate
me further by always sending me the
Long Form at census time.
They make me file my income tax on a
quarterly basis. They returned my
initial passport application because my
signature touched the line in the little
box when I signed it.
Now, theyre after us all to apply
for a new format pilots license.
youre a pilot, youve been
notified by now. Transport Canadaseems
to know they needed to send at least two
reminders to me. As usual, I lost
the first one having never even read it.
When the last one came in the mail, it
stated that ATPL and commercial licenses
will be first to be processed into the
new booklet format. All these will
be replaced by March 31, 2009. Private
licenses will be changed at a later date.
If you dont apply, your license in
the OLD format will no longer be valid
when your medical expires.
Since Ill be out of the country for
most of the winter, it was necessary to
bite the bullet and apply right away.
It turns out to be quite a simple
process, and almost painless. Apart
from the passport-style photograph
required, there is no cost to the pilot.
The whole thing is similar to applying
for a passport, including having a
guarantor sign to confirm your identity
matches the picture. One nice
change that they have made is the
requirement for the guarantor has been
relaxed. You no longer need to
find a lawyer, a doctor or professor who
has known you for two years to vouch for
you. At this time, your guarantor
can be anyone you know provided he/she is
a Canadian passport holder and meets a
few other criteria. It makes things
Something else coming down the pipe is
the new requirement for Language
Proficiency. Theyre saying it
will apply to new licenses only, and
there are tests being set up involving
some interactive role-playing, probably
right at the flight schools. It is
quite simple but as usual, Transport
seems to have described it to seem very
The whole point of this article then is
to reassure you that this entire change
is not something you need to be afraid
of. The procedure is simple, it
involves just one page on which your
name, address and a few other details are
inserted. You need the passport
picture done, then you mail it off to
your local office of Transport Canada.
The websites involved explain in great
detail (more than you need to know
actually) all the policies, procedures,
and other information. But
dont lose any sleep over it. Im
the worst one for this type of bureaucratic
paper shuffling and if I can honestly
tell you not to worry, then dont.
Just do it. It really is painless.
My application got into the mail November
15, and the little booklet was in my
hands December 07, 2008. Seems an
incredibly short time given were
dealing with two organizations that are
usually not know for punctual service,
Transport Canada and the Post Office.
Surprises never cease.
The website youll need is
Best of luck to you.
Barry Meek firstname.lastname@example.org
surprises never cease. Transport Canada
had stated these new licenses would not
be sent out immediately. I took
that to mean it may come to me sometime
in the New Year. However, Im
happy to say that as of this date (Dec.
04) my new license booklet is here in my