Once you find the best drone for your purposes, you must register it and know how to get your Part 107 drone license if using it for commercial purposes. And every two years, there is a renewal process that must be completed. So, below, let’s talk about how to renew a drone license.
- Drone licenses technically don’t have to be renewed, but commercial drone pilots have to take a recurring knowledge test every 24 months to ensure they are up to date on the latest rules and regulations.
- The renewal process consists of a 2-hour training course and an exam.
- The recurring knowledge training and testing can be completed online and costs nothing to complete.
How to Renew a Drone License
Along with learning how to fly a drone, every commercial drone pilot must make sure their drone is registered and licensed. Registration is a critical part of drone ownership. And it’s essential to understand the consequences of what happens if you don’t register your drone. But overall, the renewal process is easy and takes only a short while to complete.
Technically, the renewal process isn’t for the remote pilot license itself. The license never expires, but what needs to be renewed every 24 months is the “knowledge currency” test. This test makes pilots go through an online training course, so they stay up to date on the latest regulations and procedures.
Regularly check the FAA website for any updates. Because drones are a newer consumer technology, updates to regulations and rules are constantly being implemented.
We also have a great article on how to increase drone range for anyone looking to modify their equipment.
Go to the FAA website and head to the safety page that has the FAA-Approved Knowledge Testing Center.
Login to your account associated with your current remote pilot certificate.
If you have to create a new account, select the option that says you already hold a remote pilot certificate.
Find the right course (Part 107 or Part 61), and fill out the information to enroll in the class.
Go through the course, which should take about 2 hours to complete. The course covers criminal penalties, emergency procedures, operating requirements, and flight restrictions.
Once you finish, complete the open-book knowledge test, which requires a 100% score to pass.
Once you pass the online exam, print out the certificate.
Remember to carry this certificate whenever you fly your drone.
Some Part 107 training course companies claim that you can complete the recurrent knowledge test through their website, but this isn’t true. You must go through the FAA website to complete recurrent training.
How much does the aeronautical knowledge test cost?
The initial knowledge test for commercial drone registration and certification costs $175. However, the recurrent knowledge test doesn’t cost anything.
If I’m flying my drone for fun, do I still need a license?
If your recreational drone weighs above 250 grams (0.55 lbs), you’ll have to register your drone with the FAA.
How long does it take to become a certified drone pilot?
The overall certification process is different for recreational and commercial drone users. A commercial drone license (the Part 107) requires a more extended training, process, exam, and background check. Overall, this takes a couple of weeks. On the other hand, recreational drone operators can certify and register their drones in an afternoon.
STAT: To pass the initial test for Part 107, you must score at least 70% on the exam, but the recurrent knowledge test requires 100%. (source)