Drone Pilot License Test: How Difficult Is It To Pass
The Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 regulations require drone pilots to pass a written exam to receive a drone pilot license. 99% of students who complete DARTdrones Part 107 Test Prep Course pass the exam on their first attempt.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), every remote pilot who uses a drone to obtain monetary compensation must possess a drone pilot license. The license allows remote pilots to use drones for professional purposes, including drone photography, drone videography, aerial mapping, aerial surveying, aerial surveillance, and more. If you expect to earn money from any of your drone activities, including posting to a monetized YouTube channel, having a drone license ensures your drone operation meets legal requirements.
Requirements For Taking The FAA Part 107 Exam
There are some basic requirements applicants must meet to take the drone pilot test. Here is a quick run-down of what you’ll need to take the exam.
Locations to Take Your FAA Part 107 Exam
Applicants for the drone pilot license test can take the test online or at a physical Knowledge Testing Center location.
Ensure You Have Proper Identification to Obtain Your Drone License
All test applicants must provide an official U.S. government-issued photo ID. Permissible forms of identification include state ID, state driver’s license, military ID card, passport, or residency card.
Cost to Take Your Drone Pilot License Exam
The drone pilot license test runs about $150 as of 2021. If you fail the first attempt, you can retake the test 14 days later at no additional cost, but you’ll have to pay the $150 fee again if you fail a second time.
To qualify for the exam, applicants must:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Read, write, speak, and understand English
- Be physically and mentally capable of flying a drone safely
How Difficult Is The Drone Pilot License Exam?
Passing the Part 107 drone pilot test requires highly specialized knowledge of flight-specific scenarios, rules, and operational skills. Unless you have been flying drones for some time or have previously taken the knowledge test, you will need to spend some time studying for the exam.
The FAA Part 107 drone pilot license test is quite challenging. Attempting to pass the exam without studying will almost certainly provide less than stellar results. That said, it’s not rocket science, and 15 to 20 hours of dedicated study time should help you prepare well enough to pass the test on the first try.
Why is the test so difficult? The FAA administers the Part 107 knowledge test for aspiring drone pilots as if they were potential crewed aircraft pilots. Some of the questions may even be the same as the ones on the private pilot test.
For drone pilots with no experience flying crewed planes, the wide range of knowledge questions on the drone pilot test can feel overwhelming. But with the right resources and some expert instruction, aspiring drone pilots can pass the test with flying colors.
What Is On the Drone Pilot License Test?
The drone pilot license exam contains 60 multiple-choice questions. Applicants must receive a score of at least 70 percent to pass the exam and be eligible for a drone pilot license. 60 questions are randomly chosen from a much larger pool of questions, and no two tests are exactly alike. The drone pilot license test is timed, and applicants have a maximum of 2 hours to complete the exam.
The test questions fall under one or more of the following topics:
- FAA Rules and Regulations
- Loading and Performance Operations
- Safety Protocol
- Airspace Permissions
- Weather Patterns
- Mapping and Charts
How To Properly Study For Your Test
If you choose to study independently, you can find free FAA study guides online. Download the free 87-page study guide and print it out, or read the 624-page Part 107 regulations before attempting the exam. The information is technical, a bit tedious, and densely packed in a fairly dry presentation with no accompanying diagrams, pictures, or other illustrations. But a determined and self-motivated individual could find enough information to help them earn a passing test grade.
Most people will do better with organized information in a friendly format and more succinct information. If the FAA’s free online study materials are too overwhelming, you may benefit from FAA Part 107 test prep training.
The prep course offers easy-to-understand reading material, instructional videos, sample questions, practice exams, and practical tips. You can complete the prep course online or with a mixture of in-person and online personalized study sessions.
Unlike the FAA study guides, the prep training provides understandable information organized in full-color, visually stimulating presentations. DARTdrones Part 107 Test Prep Training students have a pass rate above 99 percent.
In addition to preparing for the drone pilot license test, the course also helps students become better drone pilots. Students gain a deeper understanding of aeronautics and aerospace as a whole and can fly drones more competently.
Apply For Your Official Drone Pilot License
Once you pass the drone pilot license test, you must apply for the actual license. This separate and final step is required to receive your official drone pilot license.
- Register on the FAA’s IACRA website after clearing your Part 107 exam
- Enter your 17-digit Exam ID
- You will receive a temporary drone pilot license in your email
- You will receive your permanent drone pilot license in the mail within 10-14 days
- The drone pilot license is valid for two years
Prepare For The Part 107 Written Test
DARTdrones provides various helpful resources to help remote pilots study and pass the drone pilot license exam, including a fully online course. If you prefer active hands-on instruction, we provide a professional aviation pilot personal mentor for all in-person, hands-on study sessions.
Learning to fly a drone safely and skillfully is vital to becoming a successful commercial drone pilot. And once you have your drone pilot license, the opportunities are nearly endless.
About the Author
Mike is an instrument-rated pilot and a self-described transportation enthusiast and weather geek. As a former light rail instructor for Harris County Metro, Mike trained new operators to safely operate trains on Metro’s new rail extensions in the city of Houston. Mike returned to Austin and discovered Drone photography. Taking his new hobby to the next level by combining his aviation, rail trainer, and industrial sales experience, Mike Joined DARTdrones to share his passion for aviation with student drone pilots to help them become safe, competent and confident drone pilots.
DARTdrones is the nation’s leader in drone training, program development and consultation, offering online and in-person courses in 40+ cities across the United States. DARTdrones takes pride in their comprehensive curriculum, developed by a former US Navy Helicopter pilot, as well as their 40+ flight instructors who are all manned and unmanned aircraft pilots. Visit us online at www.dartdrones.com, call 800-264-3907 or email the DARTdrones Team at [email protected] to learn more.