If you have ever heard me give a talk that addresses filling out the FAA medical examination form you may have heard me mention the title to this article.
When completing the FAA medical examination form, or Form 8500-8 as most aviation medical examiners know it, it pays to be as truthful as you can be. There are several areas on the form that you need to be as forthright as you can be. If you are not truthful and the FAA becomes aware of that, the agency can deny your medical under 14 CFR 67.403: "(a) No person may make or cause to be made— (1) A fraudulent or intentionally false statement on any application for a medical certificate or on a request for any Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate (Authorization) or Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) under this part;..."
Question 13 on the front of the form asks, "Has Your FAA Airman Medical Certificate Ever Been Denied, Suspended, or Revoked?" If this answer is true, make sure you bring a copy of the letter from the FAA that granted you a special issuance if you had been denied for a medical condtion or, the letter from legal that stated when you could return to obtain a new medical certificate after a suspension or revocation. The AMEs are instructed not to issue your medical certificate if you answer in the positive, but if you bring a copy of the letters I noted above, the AME could issue or at least phone Medical Certification to obtain verbal permission to grant issuance.
The other question on the FAA medical history section of the form that the FAA has "no humor" about is question 18.v. History of Arrest(s), Conviction(s), and/or Administrative Action(s). This is a question that concerns your being stopped for an offense of "driving while intoxicated" or "driving under the influence." If you are stopped and undergo a field sobriety test for being under the influence, and are ultimately arrested, you need to do two things. You need to report this to AMC-700, FAA Security and Investigations Division, located at Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, within 60 days (FAR 61.15(e)). Here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions about this subject:
At the top of that page is a link to the "Notification Letter" that you can complete and send or Fax to the Security Division. You should also report this on the very next FAA medical examination you complete, although the Security Division will report your notice to the medical certication people when they receive your notification.
You need to obtain the arresting officer's report as your AME will request this at the time of your reporting this. The AMEs have been told not to issue your medical certificate without obtaining this report. They must review this form and will have you undergo an evaluation if your breathalyzer test was greater than 0.15. Also, there is a rumor out there that if you are stopped for a potential DUI, you should not consent to a breathalyzer test. This is also known as a "refusal." Don't believe that rumor. The FAA medical (and legal) folks consider a refusal equivalent to a DUI and will treat you as if you have had one.
Falsification or making a false statement, if the FAA legal folks think it egregious enough, could cost you every one of your airman certificates and ratings.
So, listen when I recommend that the "truth shall set you free."