Medical certificate replacement
Answered By AOPA
My medical certificate was destroyed after I inadvertently washed my wallet. How do I get a replacement?
4 Replies
AOPA Staff Answer
To receive a replacement medical follow the instructions on this FAA webpage . The page even provides information on how to get a temporary certificate that’s good for 60 days.
This is the FAA's quality assurance program.  When they fax you the 60 day auth. to fly,  They will be QA-ing your file.  all 104 airmen a year.  At the end of 60 days they finally get around to it and give the new certificate to the federal mail ontractor who has 14 days to your mailbox.  So you will have a down period.

EXCEPT: you CAN call them on the 57th day and ask them to fax you the replacement so you are not "down" during the mail contractor period after 60 days.  IMO the agency needs to give up on paper certificates and do it electronically. They are loathe to email, as it's "not secure".

1432 Posts
Bruce Chien:
IMO the agency needs to give up on paper certificates and do it electronically. They are loathe to email, as it's "not secure".

Actually, it's not just fax any more.  The FAA will email a temporary replacement document for lost/stolen/destroyed certificates (pilot, CFI, and medical).  Go to
...and Login.  Look in the Certificates box to "Request temporary authority to exercise certificate privileges".

As for permanent certificates going electronic, that was something Jim Viola was pushing until he left the FAA this year to become President at HAI. The argument was always that they wanted to be able to physically take away suspended/revoked tickets so you couldn't show an Inspector your invalid ticket  Jim's counterargument was that today, Inspectors have cell phones with data and can check the status of your tickets in seconds 24/7.  We'll see if someone else picks up that cause at FAA HQ.

I'm aware of that part of the DOT DIY page. But they still can only email under very limited circumstances. They CAN and will email your the full page letter that is the 60 day auth. But the certificate itself, which you need after the 60th day, is either fax or crawl mail.  

So my guy in CT who showed up a the FSDO for his CFI ride without a valid certificate- I was able to get Windsor Locks the letter in about 20 minutes (by fax) so he wouldn't get pilot discipline (didn't get his checkride that day, however).

I advise airmen to call on the 57th day and ask it to be faxed. So far that has been IMO the only Reliable way to not be downed after day 60. Their metric  is, "well we got it out B4 day 60.....the delivery is not our issue".