Recently, I was driving some friends around when they started complaining that I was driving "too slow" (basically not over the speed limit). I stated that my reason for being cautious was I did not want to jeopardise my PPL / NPPL (in progress).

I would like to know however, what driving convictions actually do affect pilot licenses or get them revoked?


2 Answers 2


In the US, driving while under the effects of alcohol and drugs may have a adverse effect on your medical certificate. Additionally, I have heard (from an FAA inspector) second hand that in one instance, someone who had a driver's license revoked for a large number of speeding and reckless driving circumstances, eventually had a medical certificate revoked.

Arrests, and administrative actions require reporting to the FAA Aeromedical branch within 60 days and failure to do so can not only affect a medical certificate, but also pilot certificates, instructor certificates, A&P certificates, controller certificates, etc. The penalties for non-reporting are significant.

Addendum: US pilots are required to make TWO reports relative to substance and alcohol issues. Part 67 requires reporting notifications, arrest, etc. to the Aeromedical Branch. Part 61 requires a notifying Security at FAA upon conviction or disposition.

Reference item 8 in the below FAQ which is provided for AME guidance:


Also, according to FAA documentation, the normal look back on substance abuse is 2 years.


For a Private Pilot, the licenses are completely separate and have absolutely no relation to each other.

In addition, there are no criminal record checks for a Private Pilot in the UK.

Things get very different when moving to commercial licenses and looking for careers.

I'm trying to find some further legislation with you - I would expect the CAA have a good amount of discretion on who it issues licenses, but any revocation could be subject to legal appeal.

Edit / Update:

I have found this wording in the ANO:

(1) Subject to article 172, the CAA or a person approved by the CAA for that purpose must grant licences of any of the classes specified in Part 1 of Schedule 8, authorising the holder to act as a member of the flight crew of a non-EASA aircraft registered in the United Kingdom, if it is satisfied that the applicant is—

(a)a fit person to hold the licence; and

Which does appear to give the CAA some leeway over who it grants licenses to. I'll try and see if there's a further definition.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a citation for the claim in this answer? I'm not in the UK, admittedly, but I am in the EU and to get my student's license had to sign a piece of paper that the CAA could do a check against the records of the police. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ @aCVn Hard to cite a negative I'm afraid, though I did try and find something to the contrary. There are certainly no overt/standard Police checks that I'm aware of or that I had to go through. These checks are well defined int he UK and I have them regularly for employment - I'm ignoring things like terrorism and such which are much more complex shades of grey. I'm sure there are behind the scenes checks on watchlists $\endgroup$
    – Dan
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ So someone with a DUI (not me by the way!) could get a private license?! $\endgroup$
    – Cloud
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 14:51
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Cloud A DUI would make it difficult to get a medical clearance. I don't know about the EU but where I'm from you have to basically go to rehab if it is a recent conviction before you can pass the medical. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Cloud I don't know about driving under influence specifically (I suspect that would have been caught by the police check for the student certificate, if not the medical examination, in my case; don't know about the UK), but one of the questions that I distinctly do recall my AME asking (straight off the CAA form) was how much alcohol I consumed. In my case the answer to that one was a total non-issue. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 10:38

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