FAA Remote Pilot Requirements

First-Time Pilots

To become a pilot you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)

  • Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS

  • Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center

Pilot certificate Requirements

  • Must be easily accessible by the remote pilot during all UAS operations

  • Valid for 2 years – certificate holders must pass a recurrent knowledge test every two years

Application Process

* Applicants who do not wish to complete FAA Form 8710-13 online may choose the paper process. Please note that the processing time will be longer if a paper application is used since it requires in-person approval and signature by a designated pilot examiner (DPE), an airman certification representative (ACR), or an FAA-certificated flight instructor (CFI), and must then be mailed to a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) for final review and signature. Additionally, a temporary remote pilot certificate will not be provided to the applicant.

Instructions for completing the paper application process may be found in Chapter 6, Section 4 of the Part 107 Advisory Circular.

  1. Schedule an appointment with a Knowledge Testing Center (KTC), which administer initial and recurrent FAA knowledge exams

    1. View the list of Knowledge Testing Centers (PDF) to find one near you.

    2. Applicants must bring government-issued photo ID to their test

  2. Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge test – initial knowledge test areas include:

    1. Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation

    2. Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation

    3. Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance

    4. Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance

    5. Emergency procedures

    6. Crew resource management

    7. Radio communication procedures

    8. Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft

    9. Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol

    10. Aeronautical decision-making and judgment

    11. Airport operations

    12. Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures

  3. Complete FAA Form 8710-13 for a remote pilot certificate (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application) using the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA)*

    1. Register using the FAA IACRA system

    2. Login with username and password

    3. Click on "Start New Application" and 1) Application Type "Pilot", 2) Certifications "Remote Pilot", 3) Other Path Information, 4) Start Application

    4. Follow application prompts

    5. When prompted, enter the 17-digit Knowledge Test Exam ID (NOTE: it may take up to 48 hours from the test date for the knowledge test to appear in IACRA)

    6. Sign the application electronically and submit to the Registry for processing.

  4. A confirmation email will be sent when an applicant has completed the TSA security background check. This email will provide instructions for printing a copy of the temporary remote pilot certificate from IACRA.

  5. A permanent remote pilot certificate will be sent via mail once all other FAA-internal processing is complete.