US Drone Law
Cutting Edge Legal Analysis for
Cutting Edge Drone Technology
US Drone Law is not a law firm. The contents of this site do not represent legal advice and are for informational purposes only.
Wonders Never Cease!
The federal government actually created a simple, quick, convenient, and inexpensive drone registration process! Take five minutes and get your drone registered. Get Registered
Frequently Asked Questions
Part 107 Drone Rule
I took an online drone pilot training course from a third-party provider. Am I still required to take the FAA knowledge test to get a drone pilot license?
Yes. Prior drone training may be helpful to new applicants preparing for the knowledge test, but prior training, even if the training involved some type of test, cannot be substituted for the FAA’s knowledge test administered by a FAA approved testing center.
I already have a traditional pilot license (issued under part 61) but would like to fly drones as well. Do I need to obtain a separate drone pilot license?
Yes, if you plan to fly the drone for anything other than recreational purposes (under the authority of 14 CFR 107) then you will need to obtain a drone pilot license. The FAA created a separate drone pilot license (called a remote pilot certificate) for anyone piloting a drone under the Part 107 rule. The remote pilot certificate can be obtained by taking and passing an aeronautical knowledge test. However, anyone who holds a part 61 pilot certificate and has completed a flight review within the past 24 months may obtain the new remote pilot certificate by taking an online training course that focuses on drone-specific areas of knowledge instead sitting for the knowledge test. Everyone else will be required to take and pass the initial aeronautical knowledge test to obtain a remote pilot certificate.
The only other exceptions to the above would be drone operations under a Section 333 waiver and drone operations under a public COA.
You can take the knowledge test at an approved FAA testing center on the date the new Small UAS Rule (14 CFR 107) becomes effective. The new rule becomes effective 60 days after publication in the federal register. Publication occurred on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, which means the test should be available on or around August 27, 2016.
If you currently hold a conventional pilot license (Part 61), you can start training for a drone pilot license (remote pilot certificate) immediately at www.faasafety.gov.
Recreational Drone Use
Do I need any type of permission or license to fly a drone for recreational, non-business purposes?
No, but you must register your drone with the FAA if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs and will be flown outdoors. You are also required to comply with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in your operations of the drone. The Model Aircraft Rule prescribes some notification and safety requirements which you need to follow if you fly a drone for recreation purposes. You are also subject to any airspace restrictions that are currently in place in your area. The FFA publishes the B4UFly app which can help you identify restricted airspace.