top of page


FAA Airman Medical Certificate is required for all pilots including student pilots to carry a medical certificate at all times, which allows the pilot to act as pilot in command (PIC) of an airplane.

During the medical examination, the Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) is an FAA approved medical physician, which will test your vision, hearing, general health, cardiovascular, and have the applicate do a drug test. In addition, the AME will determine if the pilot applicate has any other conditions that will make the pilot incapacitated during flight.

There are three types of medical certificates:

Third class - Any pilot who flies for pleasure, not for hire.

Student pilots, recreational pilots, private pilots.

  • Under the age of 40 – 60 calendar months

  • Age 40 and older – 24 calendar months

Second class - Required for pilots that do fly for hire i.e., Commercial Pilots, Flight Instructors, Skydive Pilots, etc.

  • Valid for 12 calendar months

First class - Required for pilots with airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate, scheduled airline pilots.

  • Under age 40 – 12 calendar months

  • Age 40 and older – 6 calendar months.

The FAA says there is no minimum or maximum age to obtain an FAA medical certificate, anyone who can pass the exam may be issued a medical certificate. However, anyone under the age of 16 years old seeking a student pilot certificate is unlikely to use a medical certificate.

If a pilot wants to maintain his/her flying privileges, they must continue to see an AME at regular intervals.

Medical certificate Expiration:

All medical certificates use calendar months. Calendar months is the period from the beginning of a month to the end of that same month.

So, if a pilot received a Second-Class medical certificate on March 9, 2021, the privileges would expire at the end of the month on March 31, 2022. The privileges will drop down to Third Class privileges. Meaning that a pilot is unable to act as PIC of the aircraft.

Special Issuance

A statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) is a wavier for individuals with a static defect that cannot be changed. Examples for a SODA is for a person that maybe blind in one eye, upper or lower limb amputees.

Part 68

Under FAR Part 68, an FAA medical certificate is not required to operate small aircraft that are 1,320 pounds or less, which are Light Sport aircraft, under the sport flying regulations.


The three classes of medical certificates, and their specifics. The expiration time frame in calendar months.


Leave your comments below


bottom of page