Real Answers from Real Pilots

Keeping your medical certificate safe

What do you guys do to keep your medical certificate intact? I’m a little concerned that I’m going to spill coffee on it, the dog’ll eat it, it’ll get torn up as I’m shoving charts into my bag… whatever. I was thinking about laminating it to give it a little bit more durability, since I’ve got to carry it around with me so often. Or am I being paranoid here?

I attached my old certificate to the inside front cover of my logbook. Never had an issue with it.


I would not laminate it. The rules may have changed since I was a student,
but you may need a CFI to endorse the back of your medical to authorize you
to solo. If you laminate it, that won’t be possible unless you are skilled
with a blade and can un-laminate it.

I’ve always folded mine neatly and kept it in my wallet. By the time I
renew it (every 12 months) it is still in tact and legible.

I have mixed feelings about Sergey’s suggestion. If you’re logbook gets
stolen, so does your medical. Then again, you can make the same argument
about a wallet being stolen. Slightly off topic, but as you mature into
your aviation career, you’ll learn that it is best to keep your logbook at

I suggest finding a plastic sleeve. They make them for ID badges. You can
decide if you want to wear it around your neck or keep it in your wallet,
or logbook, or flight bag. Knock on wood, just don’t make it easy for a
thief to steal ALL of your stuff.


Good point, Tory! Didn’t think of that…

I have my Instructor Badge, Liscense, and Medical in a little water proof ID badge sleave that I just carry with me whenever I fly so I have all the documents I need. It’s easier for me to have them all in one place rather than kept in different places.

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I keep my certificate and my pilots license in my wallet. That way they are always with me and are well protected.

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Why your old certificate? Just curious.


I’ve been flying now for 15 yrs. I’ve always kept my medical and license in my flight case and I’ve never had an issue. Not sure why you’d spill coffee on it, feed it to your dog or get it torn? I’m also hoping that’s the biggest issue you ever have in aviation.


I haven’t gone to get my new certificate yet, but my old Class 3 is still attached to my logbook. I will be getting my Class 1 soon, unless something comes up. That’s actually one of the two main reasons I haven’t committed to a start date yet.

ForeFlight. Has a spot in the logbook section for certs and qualifications, in this section you can enter in your med details and add a photo.

That being said, I also keep a fedex letter-size envelope with med cert, temp pilot certs, birth cert, etc in my flight bag.