It seems that you should be able to have an AME sign off on your First, Second, or Third Medical and also do the BasicMed exam at the same time.

If you are older, like me, the Third Class Medical would be in effect for two years and when it expires, I can take the course to extend the Basic Med for two more years. I could exercise the privileges of the Third Class Medical (e.g. fly to Mexico) for two years and then continue to fly under the restricted privileges of BasicMed for two more years.

As far as I can tell, getting the BasicMed paperwork doesn’t invalidate the other certificates and getting a Third Class (or higher) Medical doesn’t invalidate your BasicMed.

Is anyone aware of any FAA (or AOPA, EAA, etc,) guidance on the issue?


2 Answers 2


From the FAA's FAQ:

Q35: Can my AME provide the medical examinations under BasicMed?

A: All AMEs are state-licensed physicians and may elect to conduct physical examinations required under BasicMed. But the FAA does not require AMEs to provide medical examinations under BasicMed. It is up to the individual AMEs to decide whether to offer BasicMed medical examinations based on medical practice considerations

The key words in there are "may elect to". There have been several discussions about this on AOPA's forums (members only) and people's experience so far is that most AMEs won't do BasicMed. The only specific reason I've heard is liability: one explanation I read is that when acting as an AME, the physician is representing the federal government and is therefore more or less immune from liability. But if he does a BasicMed exam he's acting as a regular state physician, and his liability insurance may or may not allow it. So you just have to ask your AME if he'll do BasicMed or not.

As for whether BasicMed affects a third-class medical or vice versa, this is from the same FAQ:

Q2: How does BasicMed affect FAA medical certificates? Does FAA still offer the third class medical?

A: BasicMed does not affect medical certificates at all and did not do away with third-class medical certification. In fact, third-class medical certification is still required for GA aircraft and flights that do not meet the criteria for BasicMed. Nothing about the FAA’s medical certificate program has changed with BasicMed, and you can still apply for a first, second, or third class medical the way you always have. BasicMed is merely an additional qualification you can use to fly, in lieu of holding a medical certificate.

And this:

Q6: Can I exercise BasicMed and hold a medical certificate at the same time?

A: Yes. If you are operating under BasicMed, then you must comply with the BasicMed operating limitations (e.g. flying only within the U.S. and at or less than 250 knots). When operating under BasicMed, you are not exercising the privileges of your medical certificate.

Simply put, there is no link or dependency at all between an FAA medical and BasicMed. Your AME might do one physical exam and sign off both at the same time for the sake of efficiency, but that doesn't change anything about the renewal dates.

  • $\begingroup$ I know that some AMEs will do both. Both of my brothers just got Third Class and BasicMed from an AME. He didn’t know what the rules were for priority though. That’s the reason for the question. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Nov 2, 2017 at 2:59
  • $\begingroup$ Part of the question is not answered, though. Can he sign off on 3rd class and BasicMed at the same time so that they run concurrently, or would be have to get another BasicMed exam when his 3rd class runs out? $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Nov 3, 2017 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW Good point! I've updated my answer. In my defence, I answered the question in the title, not the question in the body :-) Hopefully now it covers both. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Nov 3, 2017 at 18:15

If the AME is likely to sign you off for the third class medical, then they would likely sign you off for BasicMed. Talking with AMEs and various practicing physicians, I have come to the opinion that using your primary care doc, or an industrial medicine doc who does work related physicals may be your best bet for BasicMed.

You can decide which medical certificate you are utilizing for a given operation.

The AME can sign off more than one physical concurrently, with no need to perform more than one examination. That question was recently addressed at an AME refresher.

  • $\begingroup$ Based on "Q6" quoted in Pondlife's answer, it seems that the pilot doesn't necessarily get to decide which certificate to use for all flight ops. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Nov 28, 2018 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ BasicMed can only be used for eligible operations. If one is conducting an operation that requires a third-class medical and is not satisfied by BasicMed, then only a third class medical may be used. If you mean something different, I am not following you. $\endgroup$
    – mongo
    Nov 28, 2018 at 22:13

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