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Drones for Commercial Flying: How to Get a Drone License

I buy a drone, now what? Do I need a drone license to start flying? Not all drones require a drone license, it all starts with the type of drone.

Types of flying drones

There are various types of drones, ranging from simple photography drones to high-definition photography drones, drones suitable for amateurs, drones used by professionals, and common quadcopter drones. , there are also hexacopter drones and even octocopter drones.

So, what kind of drones require a flying license?

In general, if you are flying a drone for any reason other than recreational purposes, you will need a Part 107 license from the FAA.

Do I need a license to fly a drone?

A drone license is a certification and a guarantee. Whether you are flying a drone for recreational or commercial purposes, you will benefit more from obtaining a drone certificate.

When we fly a drone recreationally, we need to take the Recreational Drone Safety Test (TRUST) and learn the basics of how to fly a drone. The test only takes about 15-30 minutes and is completely free.

It’s worth mentioning that if the drone you fly recreationally weighs more than 250 grams (FYI, the DJI Mavic 3 weighs 895 grams/31.5 ounces), you will need to register your drone with the FAA. Registration costs just $5, is valid for three years, and you can use the same registration number on multiple drones. The drone is registered with FAADroneZone.

If you fly a drone for any reason other than recreational purposes, you will need a Part 107 license from the FAA. This includes undergoing multiple FAA qualifications, as well as the $160, non-refundable Part 107 test, which requires a 70% passing score and covers FAA rules and restrictions and knowledge of how to fly a drone.

need a license to fly a drone

How to get drone license?

If a drone pilot plans to make money flying a drone, he or she must obtain a drone license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Obtaining a driver's license is not difficult. If you are qualified to take the FAA exam and successfully pass it, you can obtain a drone license. We’ll start with the step-by-step instructions on how to get your drone license.

Basic requirements for applying for a Part 107 license:

  • 16 years or older
  • Ability to read, write, understand and speak English
  • Submit an application to the FAA after passing the Part 107 exam on how to fly a drone responsibly and safely
  • Be physically and mentally fit to fly a drone
  • You will also need to obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) before signing up for the knowledge test. This unique code will stay with you throughout your aviation career.

drone commercial photography

The Importance of Obtaining a Drone License

Obtaining a drone license will help us start making money with our drones. Once you plan to use your drone for commercial purposes, after obtaining a license, you can find employment and earn a good salary in real estate photography, freelance videography, aerial surveying, thermla drone inspection and more.

What is an FAA Tracking Number (FTN)?

An FAA Tracking Number (FTN) is an identification number issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to identify an individual's records during the flight training and certification process. Once you're ready to get your drone pilot license, the first thing you'll need is an FAA Tracking Number (FTN).

Please obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) by creating an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile.

Study a lot to pass the Part 107 exam

To successfully pass the Part 107 exam on your first try, you must study and master a great deal of aviation knowledge. This includes drone laws, restrictions and flight operations, airspace classifications, flight restrictions, weather, emergency procedures and much more, and you’ll need a score of at least 70% to pass.

Before taking the Part 107 exam, you can find courses and study guides online to help you pass.


Schedule an exam

Find a local knowledge testing center and schedule your exam. The test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and you will have two hours to complete it. You will need a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport, to register for the test.

Once you pass the test, you will receive a 17-digit Knowledge Test exam ID number. Don't lose it as you will need it for the next step.

Apply for a license

After passing the exam, return to the IACRA website and complete FAA Form 8710-13 to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate. You can find this under "Start a New Application." Select Pilot, then under Certification, select Remote Pilot, then select Additional Path Information and Start Application.


After you submit your application, TSA will conduct a background check on you. Once you pass this part of the process, you will receive an email and you will receive your temporary drone pilot license that you can print.

Take off

Approximately one week after completing these steps, you will receive your paper drone permit in the mail. A drone license is valid for two years, after which you need to pass the test again. Keep your drone pilot license with you whenever you fly a drone.

What if I have a pilot's license?

drone flying with pilot's license

If you already have a Part 61 pilot certificate for a manned aircraft, the approval process is similar. You will need to take the FAA Part 107 sUAS ALC-451 course and then follow the steps listed above to fill out the same Form 8710-13 on the IACRA website.

You must prove your identity to an FAA-designated pilot examiner, pilot certification representative, or FAA-certified flight instructor at an FAA Flight Standards District office.

The operation of drones is much simpler than that of manned aircraft, but you still need to study courses and take exams.

Start your drone commercial flight

Autel Drones offers camera drones and commercial drones, along with matching drone accessories to help you make the most of your new hobby, side hustle, or career. The Autelpilot store recommends your first commercial drone for photography: the Autel EVO II Pro V3.

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Am I just a beginner? Check out these best drones for beginners in 2024 and learn how to fly a drone.


Do I need a license for drone photography?

If you are doing commercial drone photography, get a drone license as soon as possible. Commercial photography without a drone license violates drone flying regulations, which may have adverse consequences for you.

Do you need a license to operate a drone?

If you are making money using a commercial drone, getting a drone license is a must. Drone flying is for commercial operations, such as real estate photography, sports event photography, movie advertising, geographical surveying and mapping, etc. Please bring your drone license with you.

How to renew drone license?

Drone licenses are only valid for two years, once your drone pilot license expires, reapply for the exam and obtain a drone license. This means that in order to continue flying commercially, you will need to take the Part 107 exam and obtain a drone pilot license every two years.

View more:

How To Register Your Drone With The FAA?

Drone License Explained: New Regulations in China and the United States

Getting A Drone License: Everything You Need To Know

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