There are new requirements in place regarding new students and their medicals in order to fly solo. The following is taken from the Advisory Circular:
A person may apply for a student pilot certificate with one of the following authorized individuals: a CFI, a DPE, through an FAA ASI or AST, or with an Airman Certification Representative (ACR) associated with a 14 CFR part 141 pilot school. All student pilot certificates will be issued by the Civil Aviation Registry (AFS-700) on a high quality plastic card stock containing tamper- and counterfeit-resistant features. Once a student pilot certificate has been issued, the pilot must hold a current medical certificate while exercising solo privileges in an airplane, rotorcraft, powered-lift, or airship. Sport, glider and balloon student pilots are not required to hold a medical certificate (refer to § 61.23(b)(3)).
A Temporary Airman Certificate will not be issued for use while waiting for the permanent certificate to be received. The permanent certificate must be in the pilot’s possession to exercise solo privileges.
The student pilot applicant can expect the pilot certificate to arrive via USPS approximately 3 weeks from the date of application submission.