Every 2 years the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate must be renewed.
§ 61.197 Renewal of flight instructor certificates.
(a) A person who holds a flight instructor certificate that has not expired may renew that certificate by—
(1) Passing a practical test for—
(i) One of the ratings listed on the current flight instructor certificate
(ii) An additional flight instructor rating
(2) Presenting to an authorized FAA Flight Standards Inspector—
(i) A record of training students showing that, during the preceding 24 calendar months, the flight instructor has endorsed at least five students for a practical test for a certificate or rating and at least 80 percent of those students passed that test on the first attempt
(ii) not applicable
(iii) A graduation certificate showing that, within the preceding 3 calendar months, the person has successfully completed an approved flight instructor refresher course consisting of ground training or flight training, or a combination of both.
(b) The expiration month of a renewed flight instructor certificate shall be 24 calendar months from—
(1) The month the renewal requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are accomplished
(2) The month of expiration of the current flight instructor certificate provided—
(i) The renewal requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are accomplished within the 3 calendar months preceding the expiration month of the current flight instructor certificate
(ii) If the renewal is accomplished under paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, the approved flight instructor refresher course must be completed within the 3 calendar months preceding the expiration month of the current flight instructor certificate.
(c) The practical test required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section may be accomplished in a flight simulator or flight training device if the test is accomplished pursuant to an approved course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter.
§ 61.199 Expired flight instructor certificates and ratings.
(a) Flight instructor certificates. The holder of an expired flight instructor certificate may exchange that certificate for a new certificate with the same ratings by passing a practical test as prescribed in §61.183(h) of this part for one of the ratings listed on the expired flight instructor certificate.
(b) Flight instructor ratings. (1) A flight instructor rating or a limited flight instructor rating on a pilot certificate is no longer valid and may not be exchanged for a similar rating or a flight instructor certificate.
(2) The holder of a flight instructor rating or a limited flight instructor rating on a pilot certificate may be issued a flight instructor certificate with the current ratings, but only if the person passes the required knowledge and practical test prescribed in this subpart for the issuance of the current flight instructor certificate and rating.