You let your CFI expire?
A Flight Instructor certificate expires every 24 calendar months. There are many different methods available to renew an Unexpired Flight Instructor certificate. But once the certificate has already expired, then it needs to be reinstated.
The process of reinstatement involves taking a checkride with an FAA examiner. Written exam is not required.
If you had a CFI, CFII and MEI (all 3 ratings), then you can pick any ONE of the ratings and take a practical exam for it and this should result in complete reinstatement. If you did not have all 3 ratings, then consider adding the one that’s missing.
Choosing CFII or MEI is usually a better choice. They both can be completed in 3-4 days each. I’d also go and attend some FAA approved FIRC program. I personally have been using American Flyer’s online FIRC for about 20 years now. They have a lifetime renewal membership for cheap.
You should also visit FAA Safety website and go through the available online safety seminars.
Visit our CFI Reinstatement page, and enroll to get your’s reinstated.
And yes, it is 3-4 days of training even if you have not flown a small airplane in a while. We have been helping pilots get this taken care of for more than 2 decades now. We will help with making this process very easy for you.