Membership Eligibility

Membership in the Civil Air Patrol is rewarding, but sometimes is not a good fit for everyone. Because of this, there are eligibility requirements prospective members must meet. Membership in Civil Air Patrol is a privilege reserved for those individuals who desire to promote the objectives and purposes of CAP.

Civil Air Patrol membership requirements are detailed in CAPR 39-2, Civil Air Patrol Membership


Be at least 18 years of age or be a member of the Armed Forces on active duty at any age.


Be a citizen of the United States of America or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States of America and its territories and possessions or any lawfully admitted non-citizen residing in the United States specifically approved by the National Commander's designee (CAP/DP).

  • Those persons in "admitted for permanent residence" status must possess and present a current Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151 or I-551) when making application for CAP membership. If an alien's status changes from "admitted for permanent residence" other than by reason of acquiring citizenship, the alien is no longer eligible for membership.

  • Requests for waiver of the citizenship criteria for lawfully admitted non-citizens residing in the United States who were not admitted for permanent residence will be submitted through the wing and region commander along with a copy of the membership application to CAP/DP. The waiver, if approved, will be only for the period of residence within the United States.


Subject to being waived by the Chief Operating Officer and/or National Commander, as noted below, any one of the following may be the basis for rejection of membership.

  • Conviction of a felony by any court of record whether federal, state or military. (Requires both Chief Operating Officer and National Commander concurrence to acceptas member.)

  • A pattern of arrests and/or convictions including but not limited to sex offenses, child abuse, DUIs, dishonesty and violence.

  • Discharge from the armed services under other than honorable conditions.

  • Falsification of information on the membership application.

  • Previously terminated or non-renewed for cause from membership in CAP.(Requires both Chief Operating Officer and National Commander concurrence to accept as member.)

  • Any other unfavorable information brought to the attention of CAP officials at any level.

Confidential Screening

All individuals applying for active membership must be screened and registered by National Headquarters. The screening process requires that the individual complete a FBI fingerprint card used by National Headquarters to request a FBI criminal records check to determine membership eligibility. Final decision as to each individual's eligibility rests with the National Commander and the Chief Operating Officer. This decision is final and is not subject to appeal or to the "complaints" procedure under CAPR 123-2, Complaints.

  • Reports received from the FBI are maintained in strict confidence by National Headquarters and reviewed by only a small group of officials charged with making recommendations to the National Commander or his or her designee as to the member's eligibility. National Headquarters will not release these reports or associated documentation. Such reports will be retained for at least five years after the individual is no longer a member of CAP.

  • Members may be re-screened periodically as required by National Headquarters or upon request of unit commander of assignment or commanders of higher echelons with reason to question a member's continued eligibility. Members late renewing 180 days after their renewal date must submit a new FBI fingerprint card (see paragraph 6.2.). All active members must notify the National Headquarters Screening Division (CAP/DP) of changes in the information originally submitted on their CAPF 12 within 30 days of any change that might make the individual ineligible for membership (i.e., changes in residency status, military status, arrests, etc.). Upon receipt of the updated information, National Headquarters will follow the established procedures for reviewing background information to determine continued membership eligibility. National Headquarters will notify the wing commander concerned of the pending membership eligibility review. A new fingerprint card may be requested by National Headquarters if necessary to complete the review process. Failure to properly notify National Headquarters of any change in information shall be grounds for termination of membership.

Membership Dues

National and Squadron membership dues are required for new members. National dues are $45 for Cadets and $82 for Senior Members. Senior Members are also responsible for Squadron dues of $40