This article is from the Hanggliding and Paragliding FAQ, by Joao Geada with numerous contributions by others.
NOTE: this answer is specific to the USA. In other countries
different organizations and different legal requirements apply.
Not really, but a program analogous to FAA licensing exists and is
administered by the USHGA (US Hang Gliding Association). This program
consists of a specific set of flying skills corresponding to a series
of pilot proficiency ratings (Beginner through Master) each of which
carries a set of recommended operating limitations. Beginner rated
pilots, for instance, should only fly from hills under 100 ft in
height in mild winds and under the guidance of an instructor. While
these ratings don't carry the force of law in quite the same way as
FAA pilot's licenses do, the majority of flying sites in the US
require that pilots hold some specific USHGA rating to be allowed to