Effective October 1, 2012, pilots must register and use FAA's MedXPress to complete an electronic application for an Airman Medical Certificate or Airman Medical and Student Pilot Certificate, FAA Form 8500-8.
The FAA MedXPress system allows anyone (except air traffic controllers) requiring an FAA Medical Certificate or Student Pilot Medical Certificate to electronically complete the FAA Form 8500-8. Information entered into MedXPress though the FAA system will be transmitted to the FAA and will be available for your AME to review at the time of your medical examination.
NOTE: MedXxPress is only the initial step required for acquiring an aviation medical certificate. After the electronic submission, a medical examination by an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) is required to complete the certification process. The FAA MedXPress system is not available for submission of FAA Air Traffic Control Specialist exams at this time.
A MedXPress submission must be done before seeing the AME for the exam. This system enables electronic collection of medical history and the affidavit that pilots complete ahead of the AME encounter and the actual FAA flight physical.
As with many branches of the Federal Government, the FAA is taking steps across the board to become more efficient and to reduce costs. The mandatory move to electronic records, including this requirement for pilots, is consistent with those initiatives.
One of the significant enhancements will establish a tracking program so that pilots and AMEs can query the system and electronically determine the status of applications.
Future enhancements will also transition air traffic control specialists (ATCSs) to MedXPress, after internal FAA coordination and some modifications to the ATCS certification system.
The FAA encourages all pilots to start this now. It will be mandatory on October 1, 2012. FlightPhysical.com also encourages all pilot applicants to begin using MedXPress today. MedXPress is located on the FAA servers, and they promise information security. Medical applicants can call the FAA directly with any technical issues concerning MedXPress. The FAA's MedXPress Support phone number is 877-287-6731. Note this number is not a general FAA help line, but it is strictly for issues regarding the FAA's electronic medical record portal for pilots.
If you lose your confirmation number you may be able to obtain it by contacting the FAA's AVS National IT Service Desk by email at: 9-NATL-AVS-IT-ServiceDesk@faa.gov or by phone at: 1-877-AVS-NSD1 or 1-877-287-6731.