How to Get a Drone License

There is a lot of confusion that surrounds operating drones and FAA regulations. Do I need a license? Don’t I? Do I have to register my drone?

While you don’t need a license to fly when it is strictly as a hobby, it’s not a bad idea to receive instruction or get a license to ensure you are confident and knowledgeable.

If you are planning to fly your drone for business purposes, then you are required to obtain an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate.  

Regardless of if your drone is used for fun or business, registration is mandatory for drones weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds. Register your drone here.

The drone industry has exploded, especially in the wake of COVID. From deliveries to entertainment to real estate and construction, commercial opportunities for the use of drones are on the rise.

According the FAA, more than 1.6 million drones have been registered and 183,000 remote pilots have been certified since implementing the small drone rule in 2016.

To get a drone license you will need to:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Study for the Part 107 knowledge test either independently or through an approved course (Sterling offers a Part 107 exam prep course and study guide).
  • Pass the knowledge test (Sterling is an approved knowledge testing center).
  • Apply for and obtain your Remote Pilot Certificate. You can apply 48 hours after passing the exam.
  • Pass a background check by TSA. (Vetting begins automatically during your application process)
  • Once you have your license you will need to pass a recurrent knowledge test every 24 months.

Unlike a pilot license, there are no mandatory training requirements or timeframes to become certified. Our training course is self-paced and takes a minimum of 10 hours of study time.

However, if you already hold an FAA Part 61 Pilot Certificate (other than Student Pilot) and have had a successful flight review endorsed in the past 24 months you are the exception to the rule. Upon completing a free online training course you can receive a temporary remote pilot certificate immediately upon submission of your application through the FAA’s IACRA site.

Ready to get your drone flying? Contact us today about in-person instruction or enroll in our online course.

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