Do You Need A Drone License?


You might have heard of the little requirement known as a drone license. It is for enhanced airspace safety, and the drone license is a section of the FAA’s recently built rules on drone flight. If you have been thinking of getting a drone, this will come as a shock to you.

What Is The Drone License, And Why Is That Needed?

The drone license, formally known as the remote pilot certificate. Comes under the new requirements from the FAA’s 14 CFR Part 107 rules back in 2016. Part 107 regulations are the legal framework for economic drone flight in the US.

Apart from imposing that commercial drone pilots should get drone licenses, Part 107 enforces several constraints on drone flight. The restrictions involve:

  • You cannot fly drones over moving vehicles or crowds.
  • You must fly within a visual line of sight.
  • You must yield the right of way to human-crewed aircraft within passengers.

Part 107 rules proceed to evolve and have been the subject of many rounds of revision and review in the last couple of years.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Drone License?

It takes the majority of the students four to six weeks to get that FAA drone pilot license from beginning to end.

How To Get A Drone License?

For those interested in getting the drone license, you will need to go through some steps, spend around a hundred dollars, and wait around two months. Below is a rough guide for the certification process to get started, but there are more detailed articles on a similar topic on the website.

The FAA needs some basic qualifications before applying for the drone license:

  • Your age should be minimum 16 years. 
  • Be able to speak, write, read, and understand English.
  • Be mentally and physically fit to fly a drone.
  • Apply to the FAA after passing a 60 question multiple-choice exam.

Before signing up for the knowledge test, you must secure an FAA Tracking Number (FTN), a unique code allocated to all airmen. It will be associated with you throughout your whole aviation career.

You will be able to sign up for the knowledge test in anyone from 700 FAA-certified testing stations in the US. This test is by Computer Assisted Testing Service (CATS). 

To pass this knowledge test, you will have to get around 70% correct responses. Every item is automatically selected from a much bigger pool of questions, guaranteeing that all sets are different. You will have 120 minutes to finish the test.

If you pass the test, you will have to go through a TSA background check before the application for the drone pilot is complete. Whatever is the case, you do not have to do anything else but wait for your results.

You will know that you have passed the background check when you get the e-mail containing the temporary certificate. Take out a print of that, carry it with you, and you can start flying the drone commercially. As the temporary certificate is valid, the permanent certificate must be approaching you through regular mail.

Is It Right To Fly A Drone Without A Drone License?

When it is about the drone license, the thing to remember is the keyword “commercial.” The FAA just needs a drone license for people who need to fly the drones for advance or profit of any business type. 

Drone pilots who plan to fly without a license should be cautious not to cross the line. Even when the drone pilot has not received any direct compensation for the operations, any operations output should not advance any business. It includes using a drone to take photos for advertisement, using drone-based monitoring for business. Or using information collected by a drone to maintain the health of crops.

What Is Commercial Drone Use?

Any drone flight operations resulting from indirect compensation or required to advance business is commercial use. You will need a drone license. These activities are mostly pretty easy to recognize. To survey a construction site or getting paid to take photos at a wedding are unquestionably instances of commercial drone use.


The enrichment of skills and knowledge of commercial drone pilots due to the knowledge test proved to be very profitable. Especially in airspace safety. Because there are thousands of licensed drone pilots, it is safe to say that this change has been a welcome one. Although the regulation of recreational drone flight continues to be very limited, this may not be the case everywhere.