Why can’t an airman with a current and valid driver’s license medically self–certify to exercise sport pilot privileges if their most recent Special Issuance was withdrawn or last FAA medical certificate was denied, suspended, or revoked?

Response by the Federal Air Surgeon
To clarify that, if your most recent records on file with the FAA indicate that you were found ineligible to exercise airman privileges for medical reasons then, in the interest of public safety, you shouldn’t go out right away and use your driver’s license as medical qualification.

We understand that these conditions may not have been expected and may disappoint some people. That was not our intent, nor is it our intent that affected persons would have to maintain an airman medical certificate if they would rather use their current and valid U.S. driver’s license to medically qualify as a sport pilot.

We ultimately concluded that, in those cases where the FAA has existing knowledge of medical ineligibility, we need the affected person to address it and, hopefully have it resolved. To meet the intent of the rule, the affected person should apply for reconsideration of their eligibility. In some denial cases, applicants simply may not have provided enough information to the FAA or may not have supplied information that the FAA may have requested. In certain other denial cases, applicants may not have exercised their appeal rights, which could have led to certification in some cases.

The FAA wants to see as many pilots as possible take advantage of this exciting new rule and looks forward to working with individuals seeking to exercise sport pilot privileges. We also intend to work with EAA, AOPA, and other industry groups toward that end.