Arizona is rife with places to fly a drone, from Mountain View II Park to Esteban Park AMA Field, Butcher Jones Recreational Site, Dynamite Park, and many more.
However, you can’t legally fly without a license. What steps are required to obtain a drone license in Arizona?
Here’s how beginners can get a drone license in Arizona:
- Meet the FAA’s eligibility criteria
- Request an FAA Tracking Number
- Register for the Part 107 exam
- Enroll in a study course
- Take the Part 107 exam and pass
- Complete Form 8710-13
- Receive your license
It may sound like many steps, but getting a drone license in Arizona is easier than it seems. This article will clarify the entire process from start to finish, so don’t miss it!
Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Arizona
This guide only covers obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate by passing the Unmanned Aircraft General–Small (UAG) exam through the FAA. You may know this certificate as the Part 107 license, a commercial certificate.
With that clarification out of the way, let’s review the steps from the intro on getting a commercial drone license in Arizona.
Meet the FAA’s eligibility criteria
The FAA administers commercial and recreational drone licenses and requires first-time applying pilots to meet its eligibility rules.
You must be 16 or older. You must also be capable of understanding, speaking, writing, and reading English. The FAA also mandates that pilots be mentally and physically capable of safe drone operation.
If you check all those boxes, the only other thing you must do to become a registered drone pilot is pass the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam.
Request an FAA Tracking Number
Do you meet the eligibility requirements? Great! You’re ready to move on to the next step: obtaining your FAA Tracking Number, aka an FTN.
What is an FTN? It’s an FAA-issued number you receive before taking the Part 107 exam. You must have an FTN to register for the test.
You’ll keep your FTN for all future dealings with the FAA, such as when you must recertify your drone license in two years (but we’ll get to that!).
The only way to get an FTN is to register on the Integrated Airman Certificate and Rating Application or IACRA website through the FAA.
Click the “register” button on the top right of the website, where you see the login bar. The first registration page has many boxes, but you can check off the appropriate ones, such as the applicant option.
Don’t forget to agree to the terms of service to proceed to the second page. Here, you’ll fill in your certificate information and personal information, such as your name, date of birth, and email address.
You’ll also create your IACRA login and password on this page. The FAA requires you to create and answer several security questions, so track your answers if necessary.
Once you register on IACRA, you’ll soon receive your FTN. You can always find your FTN information on the IACRA site, so don’t stress if you forget or misplace it!
Register for the exam
Now that you have your FTN, you can register for the commercial drone exam.
The FAA uses the PSI platform for test registration.
You must sign up for a PSI account if you don’t have one. PSI will confirm whether you can take the exam by checking your first and last name and FTN. If PSI lets you proceed, you can continue registering your account.
Once you get the confirmation email from PSI that you have a valid account, you can browse Knowledge Testing Centers near you.
A Knowledge Testing Center is an FAA-approved facility that administers the aeronautical knowledge exam. They’re prominent across the country, including Arizona, so search for your neighborhood and see what you find.
Select an available date and time to take the test that suits your schedule. Once you’re locked in, that’s when you’ll take the Part 107 exam.
Enroll in a study course
The commercial drone exam is 60 questions about topics like airspace classification, drone loading, weather, radio communications, drone performance, airport operations, preflight inspection procedures, emergency procedures, and overall drone rules.
It covers a lot of information, and if you’re not adequately prepared, you reduce your chances of passing. The FAA exam isn’t free to take and costs $175 for each attempt.
That’s a lot of money out of your pocket for retakes. Fortunately, you have no shortage of exceptional online test prep courses that promise you’ll pass the first time, or you’ll receive your course money back and the $175 to put toward your first retake.
Rather than make you search for these Part 107 prep courses (you have enough to focus on right now), we put together a list of the best ones for you.
Pilot Institute, UAV Coach, Drone Pro Academy, and Peltier Photo Courses are the courses we most recommend first-time commercial drone pilots look into, but truly, any course on the list above suffices.
The subject material is usually broken up into short lessons (in text and/or video format), you’ll have access to countless practice tests, and you can often request feedback from the course instructors.
You’ll learn from real, certified pilots who know FAA rules forward and backward. You can very often keep the course materials to continue studying until you take your test and beyond.
FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep
Peltier has quite the experience, making him qualified to teach about photography and drones in separate courses. He was a part of the U.S. Air Force as an F-15E flight instructor for a decade.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Take the Part 107 exam and pass
Test day is finally here! Pull out your government-issued photo ID the night before, as you must bring it to the Knowledge Testing Center to take the exam.
Here are some practical tips. Try to get as much rest as you can the night before. Eat at least one filling meal. Take some deep breaths, as you’re going to be fine!
You’re given two and a half hours to answer the 60 questions on the Part 107 exam. Each question is multiple-choice, with three answers for you to choose from. You should have plenty of time to complete the exam, so don’t try to rush.
It’s a paper-and-pencil exam, so you won’t know whether you answered the questions correctly while taking the test.
You must score 70 percent minimum to pass the Part 107 exam, which means answering only 18 questions incorrectly.
You will see your test results posted on the IACRA website. However, you might have to wait up to three weeks, so try to take a deep breath and relax in the meantime.
Complete Form 8170-13
You finally got your test results back, and you passed. Congratulations! You’re not quite done yet, though.
Next, you must apply for your drone license. You’ll once again have to log into IACRA’s website for that and fill out FAA Form 8170-13.
In IACRA, choose Start New Application, and select Pilot for your application type. Next, navigate to Certifications and select Remote Pilot.
Click Other Path Information, then Start Application. You’ll receive a series of prompts, so follow them and complete the required information.
You must have your Knowledge Test Exam ID. You should find this 17-digit string on the IACRA website where your results are posted.
Input the ID and sign the form electronically. Double-check your information and submit the form.
The TSA will perform a background check, then you’ll get your temporary license via email from IACRA.
Receive your drone license
That’s right, we said a temporary license. This printable license is a stand-in for the real Remote Pilot Certificate because the FAA must still process your application. This can take up to 12 weeks.
Rather than make you wait, you can use your temporary license the same as the official Part 107 license. Keep your eye on your mailbox, as that’s how the FAA will send it.
I have my commercial drone license in Arizona – Now what?
You’re now a commercial drone license holder in Arizona, enabling you to begin earning money from your drone, whether you’re using it for news, real estate, surveying, or other tasks.
» MORE: Drone Laws in Arizona
You must follow FAA federal rules no matter where you use your drone in the United States. Arizona also has state and local drone laws that you can read up on here.
The local laws only apply if you live in that city, town, village, or municipality, but state laws apply no matter where in AZ you fly.
Your Remote Pilot Certificate remains valid for two years from the date you receive it.
Renewing the license is easier than ever. Since 2021, the FAA allows you to take a free online exam to keep your Part 107 license current.
The exam is short, and you can change any incorrect answers before submitting your test. We covered all the steps for renewing here.