You can do a FIRC anytime while your certificate is valid and have it renew your certificate. If you do it within three months of your expiration date, it will renew with the same month of expiration, but if you do it sooner you'll get a new date.
What if I have 1 year 3 months remaining on my CFI certificate. Can I do online FIRC now, all but the last section. And then in a year click the final submit button. Am I going to get the original date? Asking for a friend.
With Gleim you can start it up to 24 months in advance of the expiration date? I just renewed using them and completed all modules except the last one in Jan. I waited until Feb to finish the last module and submit it to retain my original expiration date.
Off topic a bit, what is everyone's fav online course these days? Haven't had to do a FIRC for over a decade (no longer 121 captain) so wanted some good options. I don't care about it being the cheapest/fastest, I do like a good UI but also don't need to dive too deeply per se as I'm not planning to teach anytime soon.