In reading CFR Part 61, 5-502 it says:
5-502 REINSTATEMENT. A holder of an expired flight instructor certificate issued after November 1, 1975, may have all ratings reinstated by accomplishing a flight instructor additional rating practical test. If appropriate, for an additional flight instructor rating, an aeronautical knowledge test may be required (refer to § 61.183(f)).Does this mean that I could have my flight instructor certificate with all the ratings reinstated by just doing the practical test? Would the flight test have to be in a multi-engine plane or include all the items in the CFII flight test guide in order to reinstate these ratings?
The FAR that covers this question is FAR 61.199. It covers the reinstatement requirements for CFIs with expired certificates.
In short this regulation states that expired (non-military) CFIs have two options:
- Take a practical test for one of the ratings you already hold on your expired certificate
- Take a practical test for an additional rating (one that you don't already hold on your expired certificate)
To determine the required tasks for the practical test you will need to look in the respective PTS for the rating you choose for the appropriate "task table", for example here's the one from the CFI-A PTS:
Here's the table for the MEI (comes from the same PTS as the CFI-A)
Here's the one from the CFII PTS:
You'll then need to go through the PTS to determine what is required under each task for the practical.
Does this mean that I could have my flight instructor certificate with all the ratings reinstated by just doing the practical test? Would the flight test have to be in a multi-engine plane or include all the items in the CFII flight test guide in order to reinstate these ratings?
Hoss has given you the long answer, but the short answers to your two questions are "yes" and "no". And it's up to the examiner, not you, to structure the test so all the necessary items are accomplished, although you get to choose which of the three possible tests you want to do (ASE, AME, or IA).
That said, while you do not need any written test, you might want to complete a Flight Instructor Refresher Course (like the one AOPA offers on line). When I reinstated in 1990 after letting my CFI lapse while assigned overseas, the FIRC I attended was invaluable in preparing for the practical test. Although in-person attendance isn't an option at the COVID moment, the on-line option is excellent.
BTW, the relevant regulation is 14 CFR 61.199(a). What you quoted above appears to be from the Inspector's Handbook, FAA Order 8900.1.