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.

I’m curious if the note or paragraph 5-196 on FAA order 8900.1 applies here. I understand this paragraph is talking about pilot certificates and the note mentions “permanent FAA-issued certificates.”

However, I found a Reddit post with a letter from the Office of the Chief Counsel that uses almost identical language to the note on the FAA order. Obviously no way to know if this letter is legit or not.

Also, are flight schools who laminate airworthiness certificates and registrations considered to be altering them?


Personally I’ve never laminated my medical cert nor have I ever seen the need to. If you’re truly concerned I’d simply slide it into a plastic card holder or sleeve.

As for registrations and AW certs I’d have to assume that’s legal since everyone I’ve ever seen has been and I’ve seen plenty checked by FAA inspectors.



I laminated my FCC radio operator permit. I have shown it to several inspectors and never had an issue with it. I have never felt the need to laminate my medical certificate. I keep all such things in my wallet and almost never have to take them out.


I too have laminated my FCC license because you get one and can keep it almost indefinitely. However, depending on your age you’re either getting a new medical every 6 months or every year so it doesn’t seem that necessary to laminate. Like others have said, you can always put it in a plastic sleeve.


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Thanks. I agree and this is what I have started doing. Appreciate the response.


Of course, please let us know if we can help with anything else. Hopefully you’ve had a successful and productive last year of flying! Glad to see ya back here :slight_smile: