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BasicMed

AOPA worked hard for years on behalf of its members to bring about third class medical reform that the FAA refers to as BasicMed. AOPA has developed a suite of online resources for pilots and physicians, what we’re calling our “Fit to Fly” resources, to help you make the most of the reforms and enjoy your freedom to fly.

MORE THAN 54,000 PILOTS ARE FLYING UNDER BASICMED

Here's how you can join them.

I am new to Basic Med

Getting Started with BasicMed Process

Step 1
Step 1:
Get the form

Review if you're eligible for BasicMed and download the FAA Medical Exam Checklist. Complete the individual information section of the form.

See if you are Eligible Download the form
Step 2
Step 2:
See Your Doctor

Take your BasicMed Medical Exam Checklist (from Step 1) and get a BasicMed physical exam. Have your doctor fill out the rest of the checklist.

Find a Doctor
Step 3
Step 3:
Take Course

OWhen you have completed the Comprehensive Medical Exam checklist with a state licensed physician, complete the online medical self-assessment course and quiz, then print your course completion certificate.

Launch the Course
Step 4
Step 4:
File Documents

Print out the course completion certificate and keep it with your exam checklist in your logbook. Make sure you have a valid flight review and you are ready to fly!

I need to renew BasicMed

How to Renew your BasicMed

The process of renewing BasicMed depends on when you had your last BasicMed physical and when you last took the BasicMed course. Please fill out the form below so we can help steer you in the right direction on what you should prepare to do next in order to keep your BasicMed certificate.

1. When was your last BasicMed Exam?
2. When did you last pass the BasicMed Course?
Not sure when your last exam was?
Look yourself up in the Airmen Registry(Will open in another window)
Step 1
Step 1:
Get the form

Review if you're eligible for BasicMed and download the FAA Medical Exam Checklist. Complete the individual information section of the form.

See if you are Eligible Download the form
Step 2
Step 2:
See Your Doctor

Take your BasicMed Medical Exam Checklist (from Step 1) and get a BasicMed physical exam. Have your doctor fill out the rest of the checklist.

Find a Doctor
Step 3
Step 3:
Take Course

Once you have completed your FAA Medical Exam Checklist, take BasicMed, pass the quiz, and earn your BasicMed completion certificate.

Launch the Course
Step 4
Step 4:
File Documents

Print out the course completion certificate and keep it with your exam checklist in your logbook. Make sure you have a valid flight review and you are ready to fly!

Step 1
Step 1:
Take Course

Once you have completed your FAA Medical Exam Checklist, take BasicMed, pass the quiz, and earn your BasicMed completion certificate.

Launch the Course
Step 2
Step 2:
File Documents

Print out the course completion certificate and keep it with your exam checklist in your logbook. Make sure you have a valid flight review and you are ready to fly!

BasicMed FAQs for Pilots

What if I don't have a FAA medical certificate?

If you’ve never held a FAA medical certificate, you'll need to obtain one from an aviation medical examiner (AME), but you will just have to do that one time. If your regular or special issuance medical certificate lapsed before July 15, 2006, you will also need to get a medical certificate from an AME one time only.

And if you develop certain cardiac, neurological, or mental health conditions, you need a one-time-only special issuance for each condition.

Pilots whose most recent medical certificate has been revoked, suspended, or withdrawn, had his or her most recent application denied, or authorization for special issuance withdrawn, will need to obtain a new medical certificate before they can operate under BasicMed. AOPA’s interactive tool will help you see if you qualify.

What does it take to maintain flying privileges under BasicMed?

Once you qualify to fly under BasicMed, at least once every four years (48 months), you’ll need to visit a state-licensed physician. At the visit, you’ll need to provide your physician with an FAA-generated checklist, and your physician will need to affirm that he or she has performed an examination and discussed all the items on the checklist, including medications, with you. Your physician will have to affirm that he or she is unaware of any medical conditions that, as presently treated, could interfere with your ability to safely operate an aircraft. You will then need to retain the completed checklist with your logbook or in an accurate and legible electronic format. You would only provide it to the FAA if requested, such as during a routine ramp check, an investigation, or enforcement action.

Every two years (24 calendar months), you’ll also need to take the free Medical Self-Assessment Course. You’ll need to provide the FAA with some of the same certifications as you have in the past, such as an authorization for the National Driver Register to provide your driving record to the FAA, and a statement that you understand that you cannot act as a pilot in command, or any other capacity as a required flight crew member, if you know or have reason to know of any medical condition that would make you unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.

The FAA’s Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist, which is included in AOPA’s Pilot & Physician’s Guide, and the AOPA Medical Self-Assessment Course are available online, and eligible pilots can complete the steps to be qualified under the new rules.

What Aircraft Can I Fly?

Pilots flying under BasicMed are allowed to operate “covered aircraft” defined as having a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds and are not authorized to carry more than six occupants (up to five passengers plus the pilot in command), at altitudes up to 18,000 feet MSL and at an indicated airspeed of up to 250 knots. Pilots, if appropriately rated, can fly VFR or IFR in “covered aircraft.” Pilots flying under the exemption cannot operate for compensation or hire, and must operate within the United States, unless authorized by the country in which the flight will be conducted.

I have (or had) a Special Issuance medical – how does BasicMed help me?

If you have held a special issuance medical certificate anytime on or after July 15, 2006 and your medical status is unchanged, you should be able to fly under BasicMed provided you meet all the other qualifications, including being under the treatment of a physician for your medical condition. However, if you develop certain cardiac, neurological, or mental health conditions, you will need a one-time-only special issuance for each condition. Read more about health conditions here.

How to explain BasicMed to your doctor

AOPA has developed a Pilot & Physician’s Guide which includes the FAA’s Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC). The CMEC includes two forms, one for the airman and one for the physician. The physician's form should be used as a guide for the medical exam.

Airmen should bring their completed portion of the CMEC - an aeromedical self-assessment checklist developed by the FAA - to their scheduled doctor's appointment. The physician will review and discuss it, then complete a physical examination and affirm the absence of any medical condition that could interfere with the safe operation of an aircraft. Physicians are instructed to exercise their discretion to address any medical conditions identified and to determine if any tests are needed.

AOPA believes that BasicMed encourages pilots to have regular and frank conversations with their doctors, allowing both physician and flyer to arrive at an informed medical assessment and treatment plan if needed.

WHY MUST I NOT USE THE FAA'S MEDXPRESS SYSTEM?

The FAA’s MedXPress system is only for completing an application for an FAA First, Second, or Third Class medical certificate. If you are pursuing BasicMed qualifications, you must download and print the FAA’s Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist.

BasicMed FAQs for Physicians 

Your patient is asking you to perform a medical exam following a simple checklist that the FAA has specifically created to be completed by any state-licensed physician. If this is the first time a pilot has ever asked you to complete this checklist, that’s because it’s part of the FAA’s new medical rules that allow a private pilot flying certain small aircraft for non-commercial purposes to obtain  a medical examination from any state-licensed physician. 

The examination needed to complete this checklist is just like a wellness exam, much like those conducted for high school athletics, scuba diving certification, or for a U.S. Department of Transportation commercial driver’s license. The examination is intended to determine if an individual can safely operate a motor vehicle or watercraft.

Am I qualified to perform a BasicMed exam?

All state-licensed physicians are qualified to perform a BasicMed exam. Advanced practice providers, such as a CRNP (nurse practitioners) or Physician Assistant (PA), may assist with the exam but only a state-licensed physician may make the final signature affirmation on the checklist.

What is the purpose of a BasicMed exam?

The exam should include a review of each of the items on the checklist, a discussion with the patient about the reported past medical history, and any medications he or she is taking that could interfere with his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle or aircraft. Based upon this discussion and exam findings, you as the physician then determine if, in your clinical opinion, you are aware of any medical condition that, as presently treated, could interfere with the individual’s ability to safely operate an aircraft.

How do I perform a BasicMed exam?

  1. Your patient will arrive at your office having completed the “individual information” portion of the FAA’s Comprehensive Medical Exam Checklist. This assessment will capture the patient’s personal information and his/her medical history. It is intended to facilitate your examination as well as increase the pilot’s self-awareness of any medical conditions that may impact his/her ability to safely operate a small recreational aircraft. Note that before every flight, FAA regulations require pilots to determine that they are feeling well enough to safely operate an aircraft. The regulations state that the final go/no-go decision belongs to the pilot in command of the aircraft.
  2. After reviewing and discussing the aeromedical self-assessment, you will perform the physical examination as indicated in Section 3 of the FAA checklist.
  3. If, in your medical opinion, after completing the examination and discussing the patient’s medical history, the patient can safely operate a motor vehicle, in this case a small aircraft, you will complete Section 3 of the FAA examination form and return it to the patient. No further action is required of you.
  4. If, in your medical opinion, after completing the examination, you are aware of anything that could interfere with the safe operation of a motor vehicle, in this case a small aircraft, you are encouraged to work with the patient to develop an appropriate treatment regimen. Following treatment, you may complete Section 3 of the FAA examination form and return it to the patient. No further action is required of you.

How is it determined that a pilot is eligible for BasicMed?

It is the responsibility of the pilots to understand the regulations and determine if they are eligible to fly under BasicMed.

What should I be concerned about during the examination?

Persons who have a medical history of, or are diagnosed with, the conditions described below as identified by the FAA, may not use BasicMed until they have been seen by an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) and have been granted a special issuance medical certificate by the FAA. If they previously held a special issuance medical certificate for any condition below, it must have been valid on or after July 15, 2006 for the pilot to be eligible for BasicMed. If the patient has any of the conditions below and has not previously been granted a special issuance medical certificate for that condition by the FAA on or after July 15, 2006, they should contact AOPA’s Pilot Information Center for further information about qualifying for a special issuance.

  1. Mental Health - A mental health disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:
    • Personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts;
    • Psychosis, defined as a case in which an individual:
    • Has manifested delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis; or 
    • May reasonably be expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis;
    • Bipolar disorder;
    • Substance dependence within the previous 2 years, as defined in FAR 67.307(a)(4), or that:  
    • Renders the individual unable to safely perform the duties of or exercise the privileges of a pilot in command of a small aircraft under the FAA’s new medical rules;
    • May reasonably be expected to make the individual unable to safely perform the duties of or exercise the privileges of a pilot in command of a small aircraft under the FAA’s new medical rules; or
    • The individual’s driver’s license is revoked by the issuing agency as a result of a clinically diagnosed mental health condition.
  1. Neurological – A neurological disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:
    • Epilepsy.
    • Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.
    • A transient loss of control of nervous system functions without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.

Furthermore, an individual with a clinically diagnosed neurological condition is prohibited from exercising BasicMed privileges if, in the judgment of the individual’s state-licensed physician, the condition:

    • Renders the individual unable to safely perform the duties of or exercise the privileges of a pilot in command of a small aircraft under the FAA’s new medical rules; or
    • May reasonably be expected to make the individual unable to safely perform the duties of or exercise the privileges of a pilot in command of a small aircraft under the FAA’s new medical rules; or
    • If the individual’s driver’s license is revoked by the issuing agency as a result of a clinically diagnosed neurological condition.
  1. Cardiovascular - A cardiovascular condition, limited to a one-time special issuance for each diagnosis of the following:
    • Myocardial infarction.
    • Coronary heart disease that has required treatment.
    • Cardiac valve replacement.
    • Heart replacement.

Pilots requiring a special issuance medical certificate should contact the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for more information about obtaining a special issuance authorization for any of the above conditions. 

Why must I not use the FAA’s MedXPress system?

The FAA’s MedXPress system is only for completing an application for an FAA First, Second, or Third Class medical certificate. If you are pursuing BasicMed qualifications, you must download and print the FAA’s Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist.

What do I need to know about medication?

When a pilot visits his or her physician for the BasicMed examination, the pilot information and medical history portion of medical exam checklist completed by the pilot will list any prescription or non-prescription medication that the pilot currently uses, as well as information such as dosage and dosing interval. The physician should address, as medically appropriate, any medications the individual is taking and discuss the medication’s potential to interfere with the safe operation of an aircraft or motor vehicle.

While there is no list of specific medications that are prohibited for pilots flying under BasicMed rules, certain medications are not safe to be used at all while flying and others require a reasonable waiting period after use. Physicians should be mindful of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that may impact the safe operation of a motor vehicle, in this case a private recreational aircraft. This can include, but is not necessarily limited to, the use of sedatives, psychotropic drugs, antihistamines, narcotics or any other medication that can impair cognition if used while the pilot is operating an aircraft.

Pilots and the physician should consult available aeromedical resources to understand potential flight hazards associated with any medications being taken, such as whether the underlying condition the medication is being taken for makes flight unsafe, or to understand side-effects that may be unnoticeable before flight but could impair the ability of a pilot to make sound decisions in flight. In addition to the BasicMed rules, pilots taking medication must also comply with existing Federal Aviation Regulations, such as the self-grounding requirements of FAR 61.53 and FAR 91.17’s prohibition on operations while using any drug that has affects the person’s faculties in any way contrary to safety. AOPA’s online medical education course will include medication considerations when evaluating fitness to fly. The final go/no-go decision is the pilot’s responsibility.

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