Many people interested in drone piloting don’t realize that they will also need a drone license to operate legally. You may have thought you were just purchasing a drone and were unaware that you were also going to need a license. The cost of the license is not a lot but there are some ways to help cover the costs. In this blog, we’ll go over how you can get a drone license.
You’ve just received your new drone, but now you need to get your license. Getting a drone license is not as hard as you might think, but you will need to take the time to learn the basic rules and regulations. Getting your license allows you to sell your aerial photography and video, which is why you bought the drone in the first place. In this blog, you’ll find out how to get a drone license.
How Do I Get a Drone License?
If you’re interested in flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will cover everything you need to know about getting your drone license, including what you need to take the test, how much it costs, and what you can do with your new license once you earn it.
How long does it take to get a drone license?
There are two types of drone licenses you can get, so let’s talk about each one. First, there’s an FAA pilot’s license, which can take up to 40 hours to complete (you can check out our full breakdown here).
Second, there are certification courses. There is an option that takes four days and costs around $2,000 or you can do something like LearnToFly3DR which takes 30 days but only costs $800 (more details on LearnToFly3DR here). These options allow you to become certified and licensed.
How much will it cost me?
If you want to fly drones for commercial purposes, then you’ll likely need an FAA Part 107 license. It is free to apply but if it’s approved, you must pay an annual fee of $270. That might seem like a lot but there are additional costs as well.
Before you can even apply for your drone license, you must be vetted by TSA and if your name appears on any federal no-fly lists, they will reject your application. Even with all of that said, getting licensed won’t necessarily make doing business easy or safe and that is where companies like Trusted Drones come in handy.
What will my training involve?
Your training will depend on what you need to learn. Are you planning to fly only recreationally or do you want to get into aerial photography or other more serious endeavors? These are all questions that your local government will be able to answer, so contact them and inquire about what training is required.
You’ll likely need an FAA pilot’s license of some sort, and you may also be required to take special classes for things like First Aid and CPR (more on those later). You should also know that most jobs require a commercial drone license—so if that’s your goal, check out our job post from earlier in September. Then go through your state-specific program.
Where can I get the training from
If you are in an area that has FAA-approved test centers, contact them to find out where you can get your training. Also, check with local flight schools and universities as they might be able to help. Depending on how long you have been flying drones and which version of the Part 107 rule is in effect when you apply for your license, it might be possible to qualify for either an online course or a paper-based test.
Unfortunately, it’s not yet possible to take both versions online so pick whichever is applicable based on how long you have been flying (1 year or 2 years). When registering for either kind of test, there is also an associated fee.
Will, there be a written exam
Yes, each state has its own written test. The FAA has developed model tests for all 50 states to use, but each state can change them and add additional questions. Some states may allow you to take an oral exam or submit an application instead of taking a written test.
Be sure to contact your local drone office for details and see How do I get a remote pilot certificate? for other information about getting your remote pilot certificate. If you’re taking flight lessons as part of your training, your instructor will help you prepare for any exams required by your state before beginning practical training with you in the aircraft.
We hope you enjoyed this post about obtaining your drone license. If you’re interested in learning more about learning how to fly drones, we encourage you to check out the FAA’s official drone learning page. Good luck in your studies and may you have a bright future in the world of drones!