AOPA recommends taking the following steps, in order:
1. Watch the Understanding BasicMed Video below:
2. Download, print, and complete Section 2 of the pilot information and medical history portion of the FAA Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC);
3. Schedule and undergo an examination with a state-licensed physician who will complete the FAA Medical Examination Checklist.Take the CMEC form with you to the exam.
4. Complete the AOPA Medical Self-Assessment online course, available at no cost to everyone!
5. Print the Course Completion Certificate at the end of the course and keep it and the completed Medical Examination Checklist form in your logbook or in an accurate and legible electronic format;
6. Ensure that you meet the flight review requirements of FAR 61.56 and any other applicable flight or instrument proficiency requirements, as necessary for you to act as pilot in command.
AOPA has created a BasicMed Eligibility and Renewal tool to help. Answer a few questions and we will guide you to a website page with step-by-step instructions on what you need to do to take advantage of BasicMed for the first time or for your renewal.
Disclaimer: The results provided by the questionnaire are for informational purposes only. You are responsible for ensuring your compliance with the BasicMed rules.
You will need to carry a valid state-issued driver’s license (and comply with all medical requirements or restrictions on that license) and your pilot certificate. You must keep in your logbook or store in an accurate and legible electronic format:
These records must be made available to the FAA upon request, but you are not required to carry them with you when you fly.
No. Neither the federal law nor the new rules contain an expiration date.
Yes. The reforms do not affect the rules for flight reviews and recency of experience requirements contained in FAR 61.56 and FAR 61.57.
Not at all. You may still fly light-sport aircraft with at least a sport pilot certificate and a valid driver’s license, in accordance with the existing Federal Aviation Regulations.
Right into your logbook (or electronically). Yup, that is it. You do not send the actual form to the FAA. Keep the completed CMEC form in your logbook with your course completion certificate. That is, it.
All the information the FAA requires is automatically filed when you complete the post-course form. The CMEC doctor visit information and your pilot certificate information are submitted before you receive your course completion certificate.
Keeping both your CMEC and course completion certificate in your logbook, or electronically, will make it easier to complete your 24-month renewal requirement of retaking the course. You will need your previous CMEC visit information to be reentered as part of the course completion between your 4 years to the day doctor exam requirements.
First of all, ground yourself until you are back on compliance with the BasicMed regulation requirements. Remember to have a Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) completed by a state-licensed physicians every 48-months to the day and earning a FAA approved online BasicMed course completion certificate every 24-months to the last day of the month.
If you are not sure what you need to do to get back in compliance or just want to have a guided checklist, try AOPA's BasicMed Eligibility And Renewal Tool. Answer a few questions and get an online page of the next steps to take.
Disclaimer: The results provided by this questionnaire are for informational purposes only. You are responsible for ensuring your compliance with the BasicMed rules.
Yes you can. Deciding to fly under BasicMed privileges does not in anyway stop you from reapplying for a FAA Class Medical in the future. Some pilot choice to fly under BasicMed for a period of time and then return to getting a Class medical so that they can fly larger faster aircraft or because they have decided to change the type of flying they are doing. Having held a BasicMed certificate does not affect your ability to reapply for a FAA Class Medical.
Hundreds of thousands of pilots can potentially fly under BasicMed. Under the reforms, pilots who have held a valid medical certificate any time after July 15, 2006 may not need to take another exam with an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner. AOPA has developed an online tool to help you determine if you may qualify for BasicMed.
To qualify for BasicMed you must:
If your most recent medical certificate has been suspended at any point in time or revoked, if your most recent authorization for special issuance was withdrawn, or your most recent medical application was denied, you will need to obtain a new medical certificate before you can operate under BasicMed. Learn more about common disqualifications and how you may be able to fly under BasicMed in the future.
The FAA maintains an airmen certificate database you can search online. You can also contact the AOPA Pilot Information Center by email at [email protected] or call (888) 462-3976 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
To help clarify medical certificate dates based on the 2008 change that extended the validity period of medicals in determining your eligibility for BasicMed:
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.
I. Mental Health - A mental health disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:
Furthermore, the FAA’s new medical rules do not apply toan individual with a clinically diagnosed mental health condition if, in the judgment of the individual’s state-licensed physician, the condition:
II. Neurological – A neurological disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:
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:
III. Cardiovascular -A cardiovascular condition, limited to a one-time special issuance for each diagnosis of the following:
If you were diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition, review the condition specific information about cardiac special issuance requirements before you begin the special issuance process.
The new rule only allows Pilots to fly certain aircraft that are operated pursuant to several conditions. The aircraft must meet the following requirements:
The aircraft is not carrying more than five (5) passengers;
Yes, a BasicMed pilot can act as a safety pilot when required by 14 CFR § 91.109 for flight in simulated instrument conditions.
An FAA rulemaking amendment supported by AOPA and effective December 22, 2022, expanded BasicMed rules to allow a required pilot flightcrew member who is not acting as PIC to operate under BasicMed. A pilot is a required flightcrew member during those portions of the flight the pilot is acting as a safety pilot required by 14 CFR § 91.109 for flight in simulated instrument conditions.
Whether operating under BasicMed as a required pilot flightcrew member or PIC, pilots must meet the same BasicMed eligibility and qualification requirements.
Yes, the FAA final rule for BasicMed does apply to the person acting as PIC, including flight instructors. As an example, the FAA has noted that flight instructors meeting the requirements of the new rule may act as PIC while giving flight training without holding a medical certificate, regardless of whether the person receiving flight training holds a medical certificate.
As long as the twin engine aircraft is not authorized under Federal law to carry more than 6 occupants and has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds, you will be able to fly a twin-engine aircraft as long as you operate in accordance with the additional conditions in the new rule, listed above.
No. A "covered aircraft" which conforms to the limitations of the new rule is defined as one that is authorized under Federal law to carry not more than six occupants; and has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds.
No. A "covered aircraft" which conforms to the limitations of the new rule is defined as one that is authorized under Federal law to carry not more than six occupants; and has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds. AOPA has acquired an STC for Piper PA-32 models that allows BasicMed operations if the optional 7th seat is removed. The STC is available at no cost to the pilot.
Yes, if you do not exceed 250 knots indicated airspeed. The aircraft must be operated as follows: the covered aircraft is not authorized to carry more than 6 occupants (and is not carrying more than the pilot and five passengers) and has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds. The individual is operating the covered aircraft under visual flight rules or instrument flight rules. Also, the flight, including each portion of that flight, is NOT: carried out for compensation or hire, including that no passenger or property on the flight is being carried for compensation or hire; at an altitude that is more than 18,000 feet above mean sea level; outside the United States, unless authorized by the country in which the flight is conducted; or at an indicated air speed exceeding 250 knots.
Yes. The rule makes no distinction among category or class of aircraft. If the aircraft meets the provisions for “covered aircraft” you can fly it in accordance with limitations in the new rules, listed above.
You can fly under the medical reform provisions outside of the United States only if authorized to do so by the country in which the flight is conducted. It’s a good idea to check with AOPA or the aviation authority for the country in which you intend to fly to determine what conditions you will need to meet to fly internationally.
If you want to exercise privileges outside of those established under BasicMed, you will need to apply for and be issued a medical certificate by completing an FAA medical application and having a medical exam done by a designated FAA Aviation Medical Examiner.
You can download the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) directly from the FAA website
We suggest that you share information about BasicMed and the exam steps before your scheduled CMEC exam.
AOPA has developed a guide to BasicMed for Pilots and Doctors to help both pilots and doctors understand the regulations and their responsibilities. You can share the PDF or the direct link to the Physicians Guide To BasicMed here on the AOPA website directly with the doctor BEFORE your exam. But remember that you, the pilot, also needs to be ready for the conversation and a good way to do that is to explore AOPA’s online BasicMed Resources or contact the AOPA Pilot Information Center by email at [email protected] or call (888) 462-3976 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
No. The third-class medical process requires the doctor to note whether a patient’s condition is “normal” or “abnormal” and explain any abnormal findings. Under BasicMed, the physician is directed to conduct a medical examination and “address, as medically appropriate, any medical conditions identified.” In addition, the results of the exam are not sent to the FAA. Instead, the pilot keeps the completed checklist with his or her logbook or in an accurate and legible electronic format and provides it to the FAA only if requested.
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 the medication name and dosage. The physician will then 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, in discussion with their 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 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 contrary to safety. AOPA’s online medical education course will include medication considerations when evaluating your fitness to fly. The final go/no-go decision is made by the pilot.
Doctors are often asked to affirm that a patient is medically fit for a specific job or activity. Many physicians are willing to administer such exams. But the pilot also needs to be ready for the conversation and a good way to do that is to share AOPA’s BasicMed resources with the physician before their schedule appointment and suggest the doctor contact the AOPA Pilot Information Center by email at [email protected] or call (888) 462-3976 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time with their specific questions.
The comprehensive medical exam must be conducted by a state-licensed physician. The FAA notes that “all States license medical doctors (M.D.s) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.s) as physicians, although Federal and some State laws may permit the licensure of other persons, such as doctors of dental surgery (D.D.S.) as physicians. While the FAA expects that a specialist physician, (e.g., D.D.S., dentist, podiatrist) who does not also hold an M.D. or D.O. would not have the breadth of training to conduct a medical exam as required in this rule, the FAA will rely on each State-licensed physician to determine whether he or she is qualified to conduct the medical exam. AOPA recommends that you consider consulting with the doctor who has the best knowledge and history of your health so you both can make a proper determination of your medical fitness to fly.
To demonstrate compliance with the BasicMed rules, keep the completed checklist with your logbook (or in an accurate and legible electronic format). You do not have to provide the checklist to the FAA unless specifically requested to do so.
No. The BasicMed regulations require an exam by a state licensed physician performed in accordance with the new rules, and the completion of the FAA Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist
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, print and complete the FAA Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist
If you held a valid medical certificate under special issuance after July 15, 2006 and your medical status has not changed, you should be able to fly under BasicMed provided you meet all other qualifications, including being under the care and treatment of a physician for the medical condition that resulted in the special issuance. If you develop a new medical condition that, under the rule, requires a special issuance, you will be required to obtain a one-time only special issuance from the FAA before you can use BasicMed. Learn more about Special Issuance requirements under BasicMed.
The rule allows a pilot to hold both a medical certificate and BasicMed qualification, so it isn’t necessary to surrender your valid medical certificate. However, even if a pilot chooses to operate under BasicMed rules and is not exercising the privileges of a medical certificate, the FAA still has the authority to pursue enforcement action if there is evidence that the pilot does not meet the medical certification standards for the medical certificate under 14 CFR Part 67. FAR 61.53 applies to operations that require a medical certificate but also apply to operations under BasicMed. A pilot who know or has reason to know of any condition that would make him/her unsafe for flight must self-ground whether the hold a medical certificate or BasicMed qualification. Before you surrender any airman certificate, consider contacting AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services program or an experienced aviation attorney.
AOPA went straight to the source and surveyed insurance carriers. We learned that, nearly across the board, medical reform should have no negative impact on insurance coverage, most carriers told us is that if a pilot is compliant with FAA regulations, the pilot may be in compliance with their company insurance requirements as well. Nevertheless, as each insurance policy may be different, it is best to read and understand your policy and consult with your insurance company with any questions.
You can do that. Just keep seeing your aviation medical examiner for a periodic FAA medical examination at the frequency required by FAR 61.23. If you decide later that you want to use BasicMed, just follow the steps to get qualified. If your medical is still current, no problem as you can hold both a medical certificate and operate under BasicMed at the same time. You just must decide before each flight which privileges you will be operating under. You can’t change from BasicMed operations to medical certificate operations mid-flight.
The free AOPA Medical Self-Assessment course is available online.
If you are having technical issues, please email the AOPA Pilot Information Center at [email protected] or call (888) 462-3976 Monday through Friday, 8:30-6:00 pm Eastern Time.
The AOPA Medical Self-Assessment Course should be compatible with all browsers but our developers recommend the Google Chrome browser on personal computers and Safari on iPads. Attempting to complete BasicMed on a smart phone may not be successful, so we recommend tablets or PC’s to complete the course. Additionally, there may be issues accessing PDFs linked in the course if you are using a computer on the FAA’s network.
The course is free of charge and you do not need to be an AOPA member.
It takes about an hour to complete the online course.
If you do not pass the quiz on your first attempt, it is recommended that you review the course material, including the additional information featured in the learn more sections throughout the course, and retake the exam to pass with a minimum score of 80 percent.
You can save your progress and return to the quiz (up to 90 days), but you are not legal to fly under the reforms until the course is successfully completed, the quiz is passed, and you have received the certificate of completion. Remember you can't earn your completion certificate until after submitting your most recent CMEC exam information via the post course submission form.
AOPA will submit the course information on your behalf to the FAA along with your Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) in the post online course submission form. You will print the course completion certificate and keep it with the CMEC in your logbook or in an accurate and legible electronic format.
You'll need to print it out and keep it in your logbook, or store it in an accurate and legible electronic format. When you fly, you'll need to carry a valid state-issued driver's license (and comply with all medical requirements or restrictions on that license) and your pilot certificate. You'll need to have (but not necessarily carry) a logbook or legible electronic record containing the completed medical examination checklist, as well the certificate showing your most recent completion of the online course. Be sure to store your completion certificate and medical checklist safely, whether electronic or on paper.
You will have 90 days from the time you pass the course's quiz to re-enter the website. You will be returned, upon login with the same account as the course completion (use the return user login), to your profile page. Click the "File with the FAA and download certificate" button. This will take you to the FAA BasicMed submission form. Fill out the form and provide the required information that matches your airmen record and the information on your most recent CMEC form. Remember, you must complete this form every 24-month to the last day of the month to record your course completion and CMEC exam information to the FAA. Once you have submitted the form, you will be able to download your BasicMed completion certificate.
NOTE: The date of your course completion, the date you passed the quiz, is what your BasicMed course requirements timeline is based on, not the date of the CMEC submission to the FAA. Completing the course early doesn't give you an advantage if taken before the doctor visit. So, while you can delay submitting your CMEC on the post-course form for an upcoming BasicMed exam, it will not extend your window of renewal. Remember you are not legal to fly under BasicMed if you have not earned your actual course completion certificate. You do not earn the certificate until both the course is completed (course reviewed and quiz is passed) and the CMEC is submitted electronically to the FAA.
After 90 days, you will need to retake and pass the quiz in order to continue to the form and provide the required information to receive your certificate of course completion.
After completing the course, you have the option of opting in to have your pilot information and course completion date saved. If you do not check this opt-in box, during your post-course FAA submission form, your information will not be saved when you return to your BasicMed account. AOPA has not and will not save any medical information or examination dates.
Please keep all information concerning your medical examination in your own records along with your BasicMed course completion certificate in either your logbook or electronically. You will need your exam information for the 24-month requirement that requires you to retake the online course and resubmit your previous CMEC exam information in the post course form to earn your new renewal course completion certificate.
You do not need to change the printed address that appears on your course completion certificate. You just need to submit a change of address request with the FAA electronically. Keep the confirmation of the address change with your original completion certificate and completed doctor exam form in your logbook. You can update your address during your next renewal cycle when you submit your information to the FAA on the post-course form.
Please email the AOPA Pilot Information Center at [email protected] or call (888) 462-3976 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, and provide your name, pilot certificate number, and the information that needs to be corrected.
Be aware, you should not be tempted to enter temporary or placeholder information in the post-course CMEC form to download your certificate while you wait for your actual information. Only enter actual data from your most recent BasicMed exam preformed by a license state physician. Any information that you enter in the post-course form is sent directly to the FAA and is associated with your airmen record.
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.
The course will be periodically updated, and you will need to successfully complete the course every two years (24 calendar months) and this includes passing the quiz. The new course completion certificate will reflect the most recent date that you successfully completed the course, and this certificate is your proof of compliance with the requirement of 14 CFR 61.23(c) for successfully completing an online medical education course within the past 24 calendar months.
If you did not opt in to have your pilot information saved, you will need to successfully complete the course again in order to obtain a course completion certificate.
After completing the course, you may “opt in” by clicking a checkbox on the form that will then allow AOPA to save your pilot information to allow you to reprint your certificate anytime during the two-year period. Log in to the course and the reprint option will be on your account page.
If you did not opt in to have your pilot information saved, you will need to successfully complete the course again in order to obtain a course completion certificate.
Creating an account is required in order to track your course progress. This allows you to exit and re-enter the course later and resume where you left off.
This course is open to all individuals without any requirement to be an AOPA member or create an AOPA web account, so you will need to create a separate account for this course so that your course progress can be tracked.
Currently, this course is not tied to the Air Safety Institute transcript. We hope to implement this feature in the future.
FAA WINGS credit is now available for the course. Please use your WINGS account credentials when creating your BasicMed account for record matching.
After completing the course, you may “opt in” by clicking a checkbox on the form to allow AOPA to send you reminder emails when it is nearing your 24 calendar month deadline to renew the online medical education course, as required by 14 CFR 61.23(c). Remember, you are responsible for ensuring that you are qualified to act as PIC.
If you would like to take the course but are not doing so to satisfy the medical education course requirements of 14 CFR 61.23(c), you may close your browser window after completing the quiz. By doing so, you will not receive a certificate of course completion and your coursework will not satisfy the requirements of 14 CFR 61.23(c).
We’ve tried to answer the most common questions our members are asking. We’ll keep this page updated as we get new information. In the meantime, feel free to contact the AOPA Pilot Information Center at 888.462.3976 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern time or email [email protected]. For a more in-depth review, consider enrolling in AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services program.