Identifying Body Marks, Scars, Tattoos

Apr 2014

Guidance is compiled and interpreted by professional pilots and physicians at from the 2014 AME Guide page 119, FAA and FDA web data ( &, instructions specified in the Aeronautical Information Manual, Federal Air Surgeon Bulletins from 1999-2015, and 14 CFR Part 61 and Part 67 (the FARs).

I. Code of Federal Regulations

Legal References: 14 CFR 67.113(b), 67.213(b), 67.313(b),

Legal Extract (Applies to All Classes):

  • (b) No other organic, functional, or structural disease, defect, or limitation that the Federal Air Surgeon, based on the case history and appropriate, qualified medical judgment relating to the condition involved, finds -

    1. Makes the person unable to safely perform the duties or exercise the privileges of the airman certificate applied for or held; or
    2. May reasonably be expected, for the maximum duration of the airman medical certificate applied for or held, to make the person unable to perform those duties or exercise those privileges.

II. Examination Techniques

A careful examination for surgical and other scars should be made, and those that are significant (the result of surgery or that could be useful as identifying marks) should be described. Tattoos should be recorded because they may be useful for identification.

III. Aerospace Medical Disposition

The Examiner should question the applicant about any surgical scars that have not been previously addressed, and document the findings in Item 60 of FAA Form 8500-8. Medical certificates must not be issued to applicants with medical conditions that require deferral without consulting the AMCD or RFS. Medical documentation must be submitted for any condition in order to support an issuance of a medical certificate. Disqualifying Condition: Scar tissue that involves the loss of function, which may interfere with the safe performance of airman duties.

This page discussed the Identifying Body Marks, Scars, Tattoos section of the Fight Physical Examination required of pilots.

Reminder: use to familiarize yourself with aviation medical regulations and guidelines, but always discuss your specific situation with one or more AMEs before dedicating resources toward expensive clinical workups. Find an AME now