How To Get a Third Class Medical Certificate

The 3rd class medical certificate is a document that is very important for anyone who wants to become a pilot in the future. This certificate serves as a promise from the doctor that the person who has this document will not be in danger of dying when flying and also meets all safety standards. 

Let’s review how the 3rd class medical certificate works, what the requirements are, and how to obtain one. 

How Does a Third Class Medical Certificate Work? 

The third class medical certificate is not as long-lasting as a first class certificate but it is still valid for a certain period of time. This document lasts for twelve months. As soon as you get your 3rd class medical certificate, you cannot fly until the time period is over.

What Is a 3rd Class Medical Certificate? 

A 3rd class medical certificate is a document that proves that the doctor has examined and given you the green light to fly. It also proves that the applicant does not have major health risks that would make him/her dangerous when flying. 

How Much Does It Cost to Get the 3rd Class Medical Certificate?

The prices vary depending on where you live and how much it costs to get the certificate.  There are some medical exams that may be cheaper than others, such as an eye exam or a blood test.

As far as the cost of the entire process, it will cost you somewhere around $75  and $150 depending on where you live and how long the medical examination takes.

What Are the Third Class Medical Certificate Disqualifications?

Disqualifying conditions are those medical conditions that would cause the applicant to be unsafe to fly. The medical condition must be so severe that it makes you dangerous to fly when sober. 

If the applicant has a disqualifying condition, he/she will not be able to obtain a 3rd class medical certificate. The following are the most common disqualifying conditions: 

  • Color Blindness (you can still get a medical certificate and be a qualified pilot — your certificate will contain a limitation of not flying by color signal controls or at night). 
  • History of heart disease or any other circulatory problems that would make flying difficult for him/her. 
  • The applicant cannot have uncontrolled hypertension as it could lead to a stroke in-flight and that would make him/her dangerous when flying in the future. 
  • It is not possible for applicants who have aneurysms or high blood pressure to fly because they are prone to sudden death from them while in the air. 
  • It is also possible for applicants with diabetes, epilepsy, brain tumors, and epilepsy to not be able to get a 3rd class medical certificate. 

What Are the Requirements to Obtain a Third Class Medical Certificate?

Applicants must follow all of the FAA standards when obtaining their third class medical certificate. To do that, they must follow the following requirements: 

  • You must be at least 16 years old to obtain a 3rd class medical certificate (there is no upper age limit). 
  • You must have completed a high school education or GED and be able to read, write, communicate in English and understand simple math problems. 
  • You must get an eye exam from an ophthalmologist or optometrist with normal color vision who can also check for any diseases of the optical system such as glaucoma, cataracts, and other abnormalities. 
  • You will need to get a medical exam by a physician licensed to practice medicine by the Federal Aviation Authority. The physical must include an evaluation of your blood and heart, as well as any current illnesses you might have. 
  • You will need to provide all of the necessary documents when applying for your 3rd class medical certificate. 
  • You will need to fill out and mail the FAA Form 8710-1 (Medical Application). 
  • You will also have a hearing test before filling out the medical application.

Steps To Obtain a 3rd Class Medical Certificate 

There are six steps to obtaining a 3rd class medical certificate. Applicants need to follow the following steps to obtain a third class medical certificate: 

1. Contact an ophthalmologist and get an eye exam and color vision test (if required) and check for diseases of the optical system like glaucoma, cataracts, or other abnormalities. 

2. Get a letter of recommendation from your flight instructor or any doctor licensed to practice in the USA. 

3. Schedule an appointment with a physician licensed by the Federal Aviation Authority that will do your physical exam. 

4. You will then need to fill out a Medical Application for a Third Class Medical Certificate

5. Take your exam from the physician and mail it in to the FAA. 

6. You will then pay for your medical certificate and wait to get it. 

Obtaining Your Medical Certification

Make sure you follow these steps to avoid any major risks in becoming a pilot, ensuring your safety while flying. Remember that if you are not 100% sure about the risks of becoming a pilot, it is better to stay at home than risk getting disqualified from flying because of certain health conditions.

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Where do I get my medical certificate?

You can get your 3rd class medical certificate at your local Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) office.

Do I need a medical certificate?

Yes, all pilots need to have a medical certificate in order to fly an aircraft. 

How long is a 3rd class medical good for?

The 3rd class medical certificate is good for 60 months (5 years), if you are under the age of 40. It is good for 24 months (2 years) if you are over the age of 40. 


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