BasicMed - Lessons Learned So Far

BasicMed continues to be a very popular topic in general aviation these days. Our industry segment is seeing new pilots, experienced pilots who have been out of aviation for a while, retiring professional pilots, and former military aviators who are aware of this new alternative to medical certification. Our Pilot Information Center stays busy answering questions about what it is, how it works, and how to participate. 
Photography of a young female pilot with another pilot by a Cessna TTx with a windsock.Essex Skypark (W48)Baltimore MD USA

Because of this ongoing interest, I’m going to jump back in this month to BasicMed and cover a few items that are generating questions. We are into the second year since the rule became effective in May 2017, and the rule requires that every 24 calendar months, pilots must renew the online medical self-assessment course to remain eligible.

When you visit our home page,, look for BASICMED right under the picture at the top of the page and you will see links to “Get Started” or “Re-Take Course.” That will take you to the BasicMed landing page, where you will find all the information you need. Click on “Take the Course” in the lower right corner at the top of the page.

If you are renewing the course, you will log into your account using the email address and password that you used to create the account. From there you will go through the 7 chapters of the course content and complete the quiz in Chapter 8. After completing the quiz, you will enter your personal information and the physician information from the BasicMed physical exam you did two years ago. Remember, the physical exam is due every 48 months, so at the two-year renewal, you will just enter the same information as before. Print out your new completion certificate and you’re done!

If you’re doing BasicMed for the first time, visit the landing page, watch the introductory video that will walk you through the process, then download the exam checklist and locate a state-licensed physician for the physical exam. When your doctor has completed the exam and signed the form, you can then complete the online course, take the quiz, fill out the certificate completion form, and print your certificate.

Remember that an FAA medical exam with an aviation medical examiner does not meet the BasicMed requirement, so if your AME is willing to do the exam for you, make sure everyone understands that you are there for a BasicMed exam and not a third-class medical exam! If you are asked to provide a “confirmation number,” that’s a warning flag that the AME staff may not know what BasicMed is.

Don’t confuse BasicMed with a medical certificate. They are two totally different animals and don’t “co-mingle”! If you have questions, please give us a call so we can help.

BasicMed is a great improvement in the way pilots fly, and it’s being demonstrated every day by 50,000 pilots and counting. Take advantage of it and get out and fly this summer!

Portrait of Gary Crump, AOPA's director of medical certification with a Cessna 182 Skylane at the National Aviation Community Center.
Frederick, MD USA

Gary Crump

Gary is the Director of AOPA’s Pilot Information Center Medical Certification Section and has spent the last 32 years assisting AOPA members. He is also a former Operating Room Technician, Professional Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician, and has been a pilot since 1973.
Topics: BasicMed

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