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BasicMed Summary: Special Issuance Required

If you had a recent change in health or a medical event and have not previously had an FAA special issuance authorization for that condition, you may need authorization for special issuance of your medical certificate for that specific event or condition before you can qualify to fly under BasicMed.

IMPORTANT:

  • You must have a current and valid U.S. driver’s license to fly under BasicMed. If a health or legal event has caused a suspension, revocation, or cancellation of your license you are not eligible for BasicMed until you possess a current and valid U.S. driver’s license.
  • If you previously held an authorization for special issuance of your medical certificate for any condition below, the medical certificate must have been valid after July 14, 2006, for you to be considered eligible for BasicMed. If it was not valid after this date you must obtain a new one-time FAA special issuance medical certificate.
  • If you have had or were diagnosed with any of the conditions described below and have not previously had an FAA special issuance authorization for that condition, you may not fly under BasicMed until you have been granted a one-time authorization for special issuance of your medical certificate by the FAA.
  • If you were diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition, review the information about heart and circulatory system health conditions and which require special issuance requirements before you begin the special issuance process.
  • Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) are NOT able to grant the initial authorization for special issuance of a medical certificate. The AME must defer these medical applications to the FAA to determine eligibility for the initial special issuance authorization.
  • Pilots requiring an authorization for special issuance of their medical certificate should contact the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for more information before contacting the FAA or seeing an AME.

Call AOPA's Pilot Information Center at (800)872-2672, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, or email [email protected]. Please identify yourself as someone looking for assistance with special issuances requirements for BasicMed.

Tip: Consider enrolling in AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services program. The program provides access to AOPA’s Legal Services Plan attorneys and medical certification professionals who can evaluate your circumstances to help determine if:

  • You are eligible to fly under BasicMed
  • Your aircraft is a covered aircraft under BasicMed
  • Your intended operations will comply with the flight condition limitations under BasicMed

Step 1: Confirm that Your Condition Will Require a Special Issuance

Conditions Requiring an FAA Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate:

I. Mental Health Disorders—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 two years, as defined in 14 C.F.R. § 67.307(a)(4).

Furthermore, an individual with a clinically diagnosed mental health 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;
  • 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 mental health condition.

II. Neurological Disorders—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.

III. Cardiovascular Conditions—A cardiovascular condition, limited to a one-time special issuance for each diagnosis of the following:

  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack).
  • Coronary heart disease that has required treatment (stent, bypass, angioplasty).
  • Cardiac valve replacement.
  • Heart replacement.

Review the FAA website for full details on conditions that require special issuance.

Step 2: Authorization for Special Issuance of Your Medical Certificate

The FAA must grant the initial authorization for a special issuance of your medical certificate, not your AME.

Before you start the process of applying for authorization for special issuance of your medical certificate, contact the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for information about what you need before seeing an AME. We can help you with an overview of the requirements and address any concerns you should be aware of before scheduling your exam with an AME.

IMPORTANT: You may be able to reduce some of the time it takes for special issuance reviews by making sure you provide all the required information upon the initial application submission to the FAA. Failing to provide all required information during your initial application can greatly delay your approval. Contact the AOPA Pilot Information Center before applying; they can help confirm you are providing the required information and potentially reduce your wait.

Call AOPA's Pilot Information Center at (800)872-2672, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, or email [email protected]. Please identify yourself as someone looking for assistance with special issuances requirements for BasicMed.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment with an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)

If your last FAA medical certificate has expired, you will need to have a new physical exam with an Aviation Medical Examiner. Complete the MedXPress application and schedule the exam with your AME, who will defer your application to the FAA to determine your eligibility for authorization for special issuance of your medical certificate.

After Receiving Authorization for Special Issuance

Once you have received authorization for special issuance of your medical certificate, you will need to follow the same steps as you would for completing the initial BasicMed requirements, as outlined below. This will help assure that you are in good health and ready to fly.

Remember, you must have a current and valid U.S. driver’s license; it is required to fly under BasicMed.

NOTE: Some insurance companies require more frequent BasicMed renewals or even a third-class medical to obtain or maintain coverage. Contact your insurer for further details related to your policy when considering flying under BasicMed.

Step 4: Download the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist

After receiving your authorization for special issuance, download the FAA’s Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC). Complete the BasicMed Section 2: Individual Information portion of the checklist before you visit your state-licensed physician.

Step 5: See Your Doctor

Take your FAA Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) (from Step 4) to your state-licensed physician and get a BasicMed-specific exam that is part of the CMEC. Consider talking to your physician about any health concerns related to your event or condition for which you received the special issuance authorization. Have your physician fill out Section 3 of the checklist. You will need this BasicMed-specific exam information each time you complete the BasicMed online course (see Step 6). Keep the completed CMEC with your logbook or in electronic format.

NOTE:

  • Any state-licensed physician may perform a BasicMed exam.
  • Seeing an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) is not required.
  • Under no circumstances should you complete MedXPress, the online application required to pursue an FAA Medical Certificate, prior to seeing a physician for a BasicMed exam.
  • If seeing a physician who is also an AME for a BasicMed exam, be sure there is no confusion about what type of exam is scheduled and reject any request to complete MedXPress.
  • Please be aware that you are required to have a legible copy of the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) with your logbook or in electronic format to be made available to the FAA upon request.

Step 6: Complete the Online Course and Submit Your CMEC Information to the FAA

With your FAA Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) available, complete the BasicMed online course and pass the quiz. This includes completing the quiz and then filling out the online form at the end of the course with your FAA pilot information and the physician’s information from the completed CMEC. Finally, submit the online form and print your course completion certificate. AOPA will securely submit your completed course information to the FAA on your behalf.

TAKE THE BASICMED ONLINE COURSE or visit BasicmedicalCourse.AOPA.org

IMPORTANT: Using the online form at the end of the course, you must submit details from your most recent BasicMed Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) to the FAA with each course completion. Earning the course completion certificate without a current CMEC and BasicMed-specific exam (that is part of the CMEC) does not meet the legal requirements to fly under BasicMed. Under the Federal Aviation Regulations, anyone who makes an intentionally false statement on the CMEC may face FAA legal enforcement action, such as revocation of their FAA certificates as well as other serious penalties.

Step 7: Keep Both Documents with Your Logbook or in Electronic Format

Download and print your course completion certificate and keep it and your Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist with your logbook or in electronic format. It is your responsibility to maintain custody of these records and make them available to the FAA upon request. Do not send any BasicMed-specific medical paperwork to the FAA!

Step 8: Keep an Eye on Your Health

Remember, as PIC under BasicMed you must monitor your health and decide if you are fit to fly. If you experience any new medical events or a change in your health, consider grounding yourself and seek medical care.

NOTE: If any new medical event or change in your health is listed under the Conditions Requiring an FAA Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate (see Step 1), you will need to apply for an authorization for a special issuance medical certificate for that specific event or condition before you can qualify to fly under BasicMed. (Special issuance authorization for a previous medical event or condition does not cover any new events.)

Step 9: Go Fly

That's it! Make sure you have a current and valid U.S. driver’s license, have completed a valid flight review, and keep your course completion certificate and Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist with your logbook or in electronic format. As PIC always assess your health before every flight.

BasicMed limits to remember:

  • Your aircraft must be authorized to carry no more than six occupants
  • You must fly with no more than five passengers
  • The aircraft must have a maximum certificated takeoff weight of no more than 6,000 pounds
  • You may fly at or below 18,000 feet msl
  • You may fly up to 250 KIAS
  • You cannot not fly for compensation or hire (except flight instruction, which is allowed)

Have questions?

Call AOPA's Pilot Information Center at (800)872-2672, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, or email [email protected].

Need more information about BasicMed and what it means for you?
Visit AOPA's free BasicMed resources.


Reduce the Wait:

You may be able to reduce some of the time it takes for special issuance reviews.

  • Make sure you provide all the required information upon the initial application submission to the FAA. Failing to provide all required information during your initial application can greatly delay your approval.
  • Contact the AOPA Pilot Information Center before applying; they can help confirm you are providing the required information and potentially reduce your wait. Please identify yourself as someone looking for assistance with special issuances requirements for BasicMed.

Call AOPA’s Pilot Information Center at (800)872-2672, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, or email [email protected].