Your CFI certificate number is in fact your pilot certificate number ending with CFI. And no it does not end with a CFII or MEI, read my post about that as well. I got an email yesterday from a CFI, nicknamed Kazoo, asking me the following question:

Its been years since I’ve taught and in that time I had signed a
number of log books using my SS#/Certificate. Do you folks know of
others who were able to change their SS# at the SS administration
using this as a case for a change?

And here is my best shot at answering this question:

  • I have been a CFI since 1999, so I am in the same boat (airplane) as you. I had been using my SS#, which was also my “Pilot Certificate” number, and was a part of my CFI certificate number, as the CFI certificate number is your pilot certificate number plus “CFI” at the end.
  • I have singed dozens, if not more, logbooks using this SS# + CFI.
  • I did try with the Social Security Administration, I think back in 2003, to use this particular case as a reason to change my SS# and get a new one.
  • The SSA guys told me that it is not a good enough reason. They said, if I can prove that my SS# has been “misused”, or “pirated”, only then they can issue me a new SS#.
  • Obviously, SSA and FAA do not fall under the same department, hence there is no mutual “working” relationship.

So, in your case Kazoo, I suggest that if you have not already done so, fill out the FAA form to change your Pilot Certificate number from your SS# to a randomly generated pilot certificate number, and at the same time change your CFI number as well.

However, if your flight instructor certificate is expired, you would not be able to change it until you reinstate your CFI certificate. Reinstating a CFI certificate is easy, and in many cases takes just about a week.

And if you feel like someone has misused your SS# from the pilot logbooks that you signed off back in the days, then this is something you would have to prove to the SSA. If you are able to get a new SS# from the SSA, please do all of us a favor and write a comment here so others can benefit from it as well.

P.S. – from my past experiences with the SSA, if one office does not understand your situation, try a different one. 🙂

Looking forward to hear back from you, either way.