Application Process for Medical Certification

Applicant History - Item 18. Medical History
v. History of Arrest(s), Conviction(s) and/or Administrative Action(s)

Arrest(s), conviction(s) and/or administrative action(s) affecting driving privileges may raise questions about the applicant's fitness for certification and may be cause for disqualification. (See Items 18.n. and 47). A single driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrest, conviction and/or administrative action usually is not cause for denial provided there are no other instances or indications of substance dependence or abuse.

The events to be reported are specifically identified in Item 18.v. of FAA Form 8500-8. If yes is checked, the applicant must describe the arrest(s), conviction(s), and/or administrative action(s) in the EXPLANATIONS box. The description must include:
  • The alcohol or drug offense for which the applicant was arrested, convicted, or the type of administrative action involved (e.g., attendance at an educational or rehabilitation program in lieu of conviction; license denial, suspension, cancellation, or revocation for refusal to be tested; educational safe driving program for multiple speeding convictions; etc.);
  • The name of the state or other jurisdiction involved; and
  • The date of the arrest, conviction, and/or administrative action

Note: If the applicant documented ALL of the above information on previous exams AND there are no new arrest(s), conviction(s), and/or administrative action(s) since the last application, the applicant may enter PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, NO CHANGE.

For all first-time reports of arrest(s), conviction(s), and/or administrative action(s) the Examiner must do the following prior to issuing an airman medical certificate:
  • Obtain a detailed history of the applicant's alcohol use, the circumstances surrounding all alcohol-related incidents (include those reported in 18v and any others that may have occurred)
  • Obtain copies of all court records and arrest reports related to the event(s) if the incident(s) occurred within the 5 years prior to the exam. This includes copies of relevant military records if the incidents occurred while the applicant was a member of the U.S. armed forces (includes military court records, records of non-judicial punishment, and military substance abuse records)
  • Document those findings in Item 60. (See Item 47)
  • Forward the court records, arrest reports, and any military records to AMCD
  • Advise the applicant that the reporting of alcohol or drug offenses (i.e., motor vehicle violation) on the history part of the medical application does not relieve the airman of responsibility to report each motor vehicle action to the FAA within 60 days of the occurrence to the:
Security and Investigations Division
AMC-700
P.O. Box 25810
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0810

Deferral Criteria:
The Examiner must defer certification for any of the following:
  • Inability to obtain and review the court and arrest records within 14 days of the date of the exam
  • For the alcohol- or drug-related driving incidents:
    • Any arrest, conviction, and/or administrative action for which the applicant registers a blood alcohol level 0.15 or higher
    • Any arrest, conviction, and/or administrative action for which the applicant refused blood alcohol testing
    • Any arrest, conviction, and/or administrative action within the preceding 2 years AND THERE HAS BEEN ANOTHER arrest, conviction and/or administrative action AT ANY OTHER TIME
    • Total of 3 arrest(s), conviction(s), and/or administrative action(s) within a lifetime
    • Total of 2 arrest(s), conviction(s), and/or administrative action(s) within the preceding 10 years

If the applicant is deferred, the FAA will require the applicant to:
  • Provide:
    • A detailed personal statement regarding his/her past and present patterns of alcohol or drug use
    • A complete copy of his/her current driving record in any state that he/she has held a driverÂ’s license in the last 10 years
    • Copies of any court records and arrest reports related to the event(s) that have not already been provided to the AME. This includes copies of relevant military records if any event(s) occurred while the applicant was a member of the U.S. armed forces. "Relevant military records" means military court records, records of non-judicial punishment, and military substance abuse records
  • Obtain:
    • A substance abuse evaluation from an addictionologist or addiction psychologist/ psychiatrist familiar with aviation standards.

Issue Criteria:
The Examiner may issue if:
  • NONE of the Deferral Criteria above are met
  • For reported incident(s) when the most recent incident occurred more than 5 years prior to the exam, based on the exam and a detailed interview, the Examiner determines the applicant's history does not indicate a possible substance abuse or dependence problem
  • For reported incident(s) when the most recent incident occurred within the preceding 5 years of the exam, based on the exam, detailed interview AND review of the court record(s) and arrest report(s), the Examiner determines the applicantÂ’s history does not indicate a possible substance abuse or dependence problem

For guidance on indicators of substance abuse or dependence see: