How to Renew Your Drone Pilot License (Remote Pilot Certificate Recurrency)

Flying a drone legally, safely, and responsibly in the National Airspace System requires that pilots of manned and unmanned aircraft have extensive aviation knowledge. This is why the FAA requires drone pilots to pass the initial knowledge test in order to demonstrate that you know the procedures for piloting your unmanned aircraft alongside manned aircraft. As with any professional career, it is also important to keep this knowledge current and to stay on top of any changes. Your initial exam is only good for 24 calendar months. After this time period, you are required to take another exam, the recurrent exam. The FAA doesn’t send renewal notices or anything to remind you. It is completely up to you to track when you are due for the exam, to schedule the exam, and of course to pass it. More info and a link are below to help you locate a testing center.

The FAA part 107 Regulations require the Remote Pilot to take the recurrent knowledge test within 24 calendar months of the previous knowledge test in order to keep your Remote Pilot Certificate current. It might be useful to note that you have until the end of the calendar month, so it is not just to the date of when you passed your prior exam. As with the initial exam, the FAA requires a score of 70% or higher in order to pass.

There are some differences in the recurrent knowledge test from the initial FAA test that you took. The recurrent test is 40 multiple choice questions, and you have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete it. One difference is that the FAA has dropped the weather section along with loading and performance from the recurrency test topics.

The FAA provides this chart to give you an idea of topics and the breakdown for the recurrency knowledge test:

You can register for the recurrent test by following this link to Carolina Drone Academy’s Resource Page. Look for the link where to take the part 107 Exam and this will take you to the FAA’s vendor website to schedule the exam. Be sure to take your part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate when you go to take the test as the FAA requires you to present it at the testing center.

If by chance you let your certificate lapse, there is no penalty or fine. Please recognize that you are not legally authorized to fly any commercial drone flights until you pass the recurrent exam.

Once you pass the recurrent exam, you continue to use the same Remote Pilot Certificate (the Plastic Card that many call their Drone License). As required by the FAA, you should have your Remote Pilot Certificate and you also are required to show upon request that you are current with your latest passing test results score sheet from the testing center.

About Carolina Drone Academy

Carolina Drone Academy specializes in providing premier drone pilot training with in-person drone training courses and hands-on drone pilot flight training across most commercial sectors including the US Military, law enforcement, media and advertising companies, colleges, engineering, construction, and other government agencies. Please visit for the latest course offerings including in-person FAA 107 exam preparation classes, hands-on pilot flight training, advanced drone filming and photography, along with other specialized drone solutions.

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