File this story under boring but important! While the nation was locked down for the pandemic, NASA National was hard at work putting the finishing touches on a new online licensing and medical application process, which greatly streamlines the procedure for all NASA members.
For medical examinations, which are required for racing at one-, two- or five-year intervals, depending on your age, the old system involved downloading a PDF, printing it, filling it out, taking it to your doctor then either faxing it or uploading it to the national office. Getting through the process also could differ a bit by region. Now, the process is the same for everyone, no matter what region you are in.
You still have to take a form to your doctor, but you fill in most of the form online, click a few buttons and you get the form via email. Print it out and take it to your doctor. Once you’ve visited your doctor, scan the form and upload it via a unique link provided in the same email in which you got the form. You can scan the forms using a computer or take a photo of them and upload them with your smartphone. The process has been optimized for mobile or desktop. The NASA National Office will review and process all forms as always, and communicate with the NASA member as needed.
Here’s the important part: The entire medical process is free unless you need expedited processing, which costs $79 for processing within four to eight business days, and $149 for processing within 72 hours. Expedited processing is only available to existing NASA members because new members and new applications require more attention than medicals that just need to be renewed. Cutoff time is 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
“Do it in the off season. Do it when you have the most amount of time,” said Aldrin Villanueva, who spearheaded these new processes with NASA CTO Roman Vaisman. “The earlier you can get this application in for your medicals, the better, Then there’s no rushing. Then you can worry about actually just racing.”
For licensing, the process is similar. If you need a regular NASA competition license, one for Time Trial or Team Racing Endurance Challenge or instructing, log into your account and follow the prompts to either apply for or renew your license. Just like a membership renewal, this process is done entirely online.
“So, in a nutshell, the whole goal is to use technology to deliver the best experience possible to NASA members,” Villanueva said. “We want to continue delivering the best possible experience to NASA members in the racing world. And this is part of our vision.”