Basic Med with Special Issuance
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I have a rusty pilot friend (over 20 years) who got a new 3rd Class medical in Dec 2019.  Since he was a on blood thinners for a while (stint placed in his leg) several years earlier, the FAA gave him a one year Special Issuance which expires April 2021.  I haven't seen his actual letter and not being the expert, I have advised him to contact AOPA Medical and talk to his AME.

It seems to me that because his SI or medical certificate was not revoked or suspended, just expired, that he would be eligible for Basic Med.  I'm just asking here, because I'm curious, and don't want him to waste a lot of time he doesn't have to.
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You are correct.  He can just get a copy of FAA Form 8700-2, go to his physician, and get the ball rolling.  Once the physician signs it, he takes the Basic Med Education Course, and boom -- he's done.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Form/FAA_Form_8700-2_.pdf
https://basicmedicalcourse.aopa.org/

And for further guidance on diong that examination...

https://basicmedicalcourse.aopa.org/pub/bundles/course_61001/downloads/AOPABasicMed_Pilot_and_Physicians_Guide.pdf
basicmed-physicians-guide_final.pdf (aopa.org)