Don't Confuse BasicMed with FAA Medical Certification


Pilots who acquired a BasicMed qualification when it first became available in 2017 are coming up on the renewal date for their BasicMed physical exam and Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC). 14 C.F.R. 61.23(c)(3) requires that a pilot flying as PIC under BasicMed must undergo a comprehensive medical examination during the previous 48 months. This is calculated to the day rather than to the end of the month, so a pilot who completed an exam and CMEC on May 1, 2017, would be due for a new exam and CMEC on May 1, 2021. Other pilots may be considering pursuing BasicMed for the first time. As a reminder, any state-licensed physician may perform a BasicMed exam. Seeing an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) is not required. Under no circumstances should one 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. For more information on BasicMed, see AOPA’s online resources.

Chad Mayer

Legal Services Plan, Attorney
Chad Mayer is an in-house attorney with AOPA’s Legal Services Plan who counsels Plan members on a daily basis. He is also a Commercial Pilot, a Remote Pilot with sUAS Rating, and an Advanced/Instrument Ground Instructor. The AOPA Legal Services plan is offered as part of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services.

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