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FAA Introduces Online DUI/DWI Motor Vehicle Action Reporting

FAA has long required the holder of any pilot certificate to report a Motor Vehicle Action (MVA) as defined in FAR 61.15(c) within 60 days.

FAA has long required the holder of any pilot certificate to report a Motor Vehicle Action (MVA) as defined in FAR 61.15(c)[1] within 60 days. Common examples of a reportable MVA include a driver’s license suspension, or a conviction, for Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated (DUI/DWI). However, until recently, these reports could only be sent by mail or fax to FAA’s Security and Hazardous Materials Safety Office (formerly Civil Aviation Security Division). FAA has now rolled out a new online reporting option[2], which enables a pilot to enter their email address into a website and receive a customized reporting link via email.

 

FAR 61.15(e) details the information required when making a report. FAA has a template[3] available for mail or fax submissions, and its use is optional. It is worth noting that the template has fields for information beyond what is required by the regulation (e.g., telephone number), but does not distinguish them from required information. The web form contains fields similar to the template. However, the web form uses an asterisk to denote required information, which is a welcome change.

 

Failure to timely report an MVA can lead to certificate action, and the Legal Services Plan recommends keeping proof of submission in case there is ever any question about whether a report was timely made. Until now, this meant either sending the report by certified mail with return receipt requested, or saving a fax send confirmation. For pilots electing to make a 61.15 report through the FAA’s website, it may be advisable to keep screenshots, as well as call on the phone the next business day to confirm the submission went through successfully. At present, a confirmation email is not automatically sent after submitting a report through the web form. Pilots with questions should consult with aviation counsel to ensure any required reports are properly submitted.



Chad Mayer

Legal Services Plan, Attorney
Chad Mayer is an in-house attorney with AOPA’s Legal Services Plan who counsels Plan members on a daily basis. He is also a Commercial Pilot, a Remote Pilot with sUAS Rating, and an Advanced/Instrument Ground Instructor. The AOPA Legal Services plan is offered as part of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services.

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