How To Get a Commercial Drone License USA?

I have talked about how to get commercial drones in the UK, but now it is my turn for the United States.

What steps do you have to take to finally obtain your commercial drone license in the USA, and what are the costs? And also help you to become a licensed drone pilot in the USA.

Everything you need to know about getting a commercial drone license in the US is here, so without wasting any time, let’s start.

Step By Step: How to Get a Commercial Drone License In the USA?

First, I want to welcome you to entering the drone world of America. By getting a commercial drone license, you can explore more with your drone and use it for commercial purposes.

After getting it, you will be a certified pilot, and you can hoover your drone where only professional ones can fly!

But do you know what is the path to obtaining this license? If you want to know, keep reading.

To fly drones for commercial purposes, you must get a special license from the FAA. This process involves getting an FAA tracking number, preparing for and passing a knowledge test, and obtaining a remote pilot certificate.

Each step is important to ensure you’re prepared to professionally handle the responsibilities and challenges of flying drones. It’s also important to understand the FAA’s regulations and requirements to be a successful drone pilot.

read more:

Do I Need a License to Fly a Drone Commercially?

Do I Need a License to Fly a Drone?

What is FAA Part 107?

Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, is a US Department of Transportation. Drone pilots must get a special license called an FAA Part 107 certificate to fly for commercial purposes.

This license ensures you know the same rules as airplane and helicopter pilots so you can fly safely and avoid any problems.

You can learn all the rules from the FAA’s website, but the Part 107 license is like a test to ensure you understand the basics and can handle any situation. And it is a must to get a commercial drone license in the US.

The Steps You Have to Take to Become a Commercial Drone Pilot:

Step 1: Get an FAA Tracking Number (FTN)

For the first step, you must acquire an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) before doing anything. This unique identifier is vital if you want to register for the drone pilot knowledge test.

To get your FTN, you’ll need to create an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile on this website:

What is the FTN?
The FTN is a number assigned to you by the FAA that stays with you throughout the course of your aviation career. Your FTN is assigned to you by the FAA after you complete your registration in IACRA or will already exist if you have a previous airman certificate. Please record your FTN as it will be required later by your instructor and/or certifying officer

Step 2: Schedule and Pass the Knowledge Test

Now that you have your FTN code, you can schedule an appointment to take the Unmanned Aircraft General–Small (UAG) knowledge test at an FAA-approved testing center.

This exam covers various topics related to drone operations, airspace regulations, and safety procedures.

But you must bring a government-issued photo ID to the test center on the day of your appointment.

The UAG knowledge test assesses your understanding of the following areas:

  1. Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) applicable to small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS)
  2. Airspace rules and regulations
  3. Risk management and hazard identification
  4. Operating limitations and procedures
  5. Communications and navigation systems
  6. Emergency procedures

And also, another required knowledge that every commercial drone pilot should know. You will be given 2 hours to finish the test.

Step 3: Apply for Your Remote Pilot Certificate

The third step you must take to obtain a commercial drone license in the USA is once you’ve successfully passed the knowledge test, you should apply for your remote pilot certificate. This involves submitting the appropriate FAA Form 8710-13, including your FTN and test results.

The FAA will review your application, and if approved, you’ll receive your remote pilot certificate, enabling you to fly drones for commercial purposes.

Step 4: Complete the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate Application

Once you’ve passed the knowledge test, the next step is to make your official application for a remote pilot certificate.

For this purpose, you must complete FAA Form 8710-13 through the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certificate and Rating Application (IACRA) system. I will help you with the steps, which are so simple.

Here’s how to complete the application for a remote pilot certificate in the US:

  1. You have to log in to IACRA with the username and password.
  2. Then find the “Start New Application” and select the following options:
  • Application Type: Pilot
  • Certifications: Remote Pilot
  1. On the “Other Path Information” you have to choose the appropriate category for your drone operations.
  2. Now, it is my turn to initiate the application process.
  3. Follow the prompts on the application form, and make sure you provide accurate and complete information.
  4. Enter the 17-digit Knowledge Test Exam ID from your recent exam when prompted.

(Note: It may take up to 48 hours for the test date to appear in IACRA.)

  1. Electronically sign the application and submit it for processing.

These are all the steps that make you closer to your commercial drone license.

Read more: do i need license to fly dji mini 3 pro?

Step 5: Receive Your Temporary Remote Pilot Certificate

At first before receiving your physical license, you will receive an email with instructions on how to print a temporary remote pilot certificate from IACRA.

This temporary certificate will be valid until your permanent certificate arrives in the mail.

Step 6: Congratulations! Get Your Permanent Remote Pilot Certificate

After taking all these steps FAA will complete all internal processing, and you will get your permanent remote pilot certificate in your mail.

Important Note:

To ensure you maintain your skills and knowledge as a drone pilot, it’s crucial to complete recurrent training every 24 months.

This training, provided by the FAA, helps you stay up-to-date with the latest regulations, airspace changes, and safety procedures for operating drones.

Also, remember to keep your remote pilot certificate readily available whenever you fly your commercial drone. This helps to validate your compliance with FAA regulations and demonstrates professionalism in your drone operations.

But why do some people bother themselves to get this license? What is it needed for? Is getting a commercial drone license necessary in the US?

Step By Step How to Get a Commercial Drone License In the USA

What are the reasons To Get a Commercial Drone License USA?

What will happen if we don’t get a commercial drone license? Don’t forget to get the license to use the drone commercially.

Although the FAA has been tolerant and kind in the past, it’s crucial to stay on the right side of regulations after increasing the number of drone pilots to avoid heavy fines or even going to jail.

For hobbyists, the consequences of flying without a license might be a warning letter or drone confiscation.

But for commercial pilots, the consequences are higher: you could face fines up to $32,666 per violation or even criminal charges. In extreme cases, terrorism charges and decades in prison could be on the line.

Get your license before taking off to ensure a smooth and safe commercial drone operation. It’s a small investment for peace of mind and a healthy flying experience.

And it does not cost you so much! The benefits of having a commercial drone are far more than the costs to be counted. Let me tell you how much you should spend on getting a Commercial Drone License in the US.

How Much is the Commercial Drone License Cost in the US?

If you want to plan for getting your commercial license, you can see all the cost of the commercial drone license in the US in the following:

  • FAA knowledge test: $175
  • FAA application fee: $150
  • Flight review: $100 to $200 (it depends on the instructor)

Read more: How Much Does a Commercial Drone License Cost?

In addition to these fees, you may also need to pay for study materials and training courses. I have provided a breakdown of the costs in a table:

Item Cost
FAA Knowledge Test $175
FAA Application Fee $150
Flight Review $100-$200
Study Materials $50-$100
Training Courses $50-$200

You must spend about $275 to $475 to get a commercial drone license in the USA.

How long does it take to get a Commercial Drone License in the US?

There is no specific duration for this process, and it is better to note that a big part of this process is getting ready for the knowledge test.

There are many ways you can study for it, but we’ve found that sticking to the set of study materials is the most productive way to pass it.

Generally, you will need 8-12 weeks to get your commercial drone license. But you know better than it depends on the person and the situation.

Grand Exit

Now you know the steps to get your commercial drone license in the US, the money you must spend, and the Time you must dedicate.

Pay attention that this process is not about getting a piece of paper; it’s about becoming a responsible commercial drone pilot, a guardian of airspace safety, and an ambassador for the transformative power of drones.

So, seize the moment! Get on this exciting adventure whenever you want and enroll in your pilot training.

The world of new opportunities awaits your professional license, so start now. Ask me any questions regarding our topic: “How to Get a Commercial Drone License USA? Cost + Time Spent”

I will answer ASAP!


Hi, I'm Oliver, the content writer and translator. Growing up with a fascination for all things aviation-related, I was naturally fascinated by the concept of drones. I spent many hours each day learning everything I could about them. After some time, I decided to build my website about drones and answer all the questions and worries about drones and also evaluate new drones. I welcome your feedback and consideration. Message me using the form on the contact page

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