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How to Get a Drone License in Colorado (Explained for Beginners)

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Few states countrywide get the acclaim of Colorado since it’s a phenomenal place to fly a drone.

You can’t go wrong, as Royal Gorge Bridge, Hutchinson Park, the Cathedral Pines Trailhead, Monument Rock, and other sites offer majestic views.

You’ll need a drone license to explore these places to the fullest, so how do you get a drone license in Colorado?

Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Colorado:

  • Check the FAA criteria
  • Get your FTN
  • Find your nearest Knowledge Testing Center
  • Study ahead of the exam
  • Take the Part 107 exam and pass
  • Submit FAA Form 8710-13
  • Print your certificate and begin flying

This beginner’s guide is designed to navigate you through all the steps required to earn a commercial drone license in Colorado.

I’ve even got Part 107 online test prep resources for you to explore.

Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Colorado #

This guide will share how to earn a commercial drone license in Colorado, officially referred to as the Remote Pilot Certificate and colloquially called the Part 107 license.

This FAA-administered license grants you commercial drone freedoms, including the capacity to earn money using a drone.

You still need a license if flying exclusively as a hobbyist, but not the Remote Pilot Certificate.

Now that we’ve made that distinction, let’s review what’s required to become a commercial drone license holder in Colorado.

» MORE: How I Passed Part 107 (And the Course That Helped Me Do It)

Check the FAA licensing criteria #

Are you at least 16 years old? Do you understand English, meaning you can read, speak, write, and comprehend it? Do you feel mentally and physically capable of operating a drone?

You can proceed if you answered yes to the above questions, as you meet the FAA’s commercial drone pilot eligibility criteria.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll become a license holder, guaranteed.

You must still pass the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test, better known as the Part 107 exam, but I’ll get to that.

Get your FTN on IACRA #

Pilots must have an FAA Tracking Number to book at a Colorado Knowledge Testing Center. The FAA Knowledge Testing Center is where you’ll take the exam, as I’ll explain more shortly.

You must have an account on the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application website, better known as IACRA. This is an FAA website.

It’s free to register on IACRA. You’ll see a login box at the top right of the webpage and underneath that, a link to register.

Click the link and check off the relevant roles, selecting instructors, admin, and certifying officers. You must agree to the IACRA terms of service before moving on to the second page.

Skip the Certificate Information section, as you don’t have the relevant information yet.

Input your personal information, create a username and password, and select two security questions and their answers.

You’ll receive a confirmation email after clicking the green Register button. IACRA will then send you a unique FTN.

Find your nearest FAA Knowledge Testing Center #

Let’s talk a bit more about Knowledge Testing Centers.

You take the Part 107 exam in person.

Knowledge Testing Centers are buildings approved by the FAA for taking the test. You can use the PSI website to search for the nearest Knowledge Testing Center in your part of Colorado.

PSI is a testing resource that administers many types of FAA exams, not solely commercial drone tests.

» MORE: FAA and the Knowledge Testing Centers (PSI)

You must have a PSI account to schedule an appointment at a Knowledge Testing Center. PSI will ask for your FTN and first and last name to verify your eligibility.

When PSI approves you, you can continue registering for an account. After account approval, select a date and time to take your Part 107 exam.

You could probably take the test tomorrow if you wanted to, but I recommend scheduling at least a few weeks out so you can study.

Study ahead of the exam #

You can take the Part 107 exam as many times as required, but you must pay a $165 fee to do so each time, so it’s best if you can pass the first few times.

While the FAA’s free study materials on its website are helpful, aspiring commercial pilots have had great experiences with online drone schools.

Many of these schools have Part 107 prep courses designed to teach you everything you need to know about the FAA’s drone flight rules so you can pass your exam the first time.

The schools are backed by generous refund policies and high pass rates.

When I say a generous refund policy, by the way, I mean it.

Many online drone schools promise to give you a full course refund and pay for your second exam attempt, so you have nothing to lose by enrolling.

Are you wondering what’s the best beginner-friendly Part 107 drone course?

Check out this resource below, as we’ve reviewed all the options out there and compiled them into one handy list for your perusal.

» MORE: Best Drone Courses for Beginners (Part 107 & More)

Between the study material and practice exams, you’ll feel ready for anything the exam will throw at you. 

Take the Part 107 exam and pass #

Test day is coming up! Pull out your government-issued photo ID the night before your exam, as you must have it to get into your local Knowledge Testing Center and take the Part 107 exam.

Try to get some rest so you feel fresh for test day, and eat an energizing meal to fuel your synapses. I know that’s easier said than done with nerves and all, but it will benefit you if you can.

Get to your Knowledge Testing Center early so you have a few extra minutes to review your test materials one more time.

The Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam is 60 multiple-choice questions. Each question has three responses to select from.

The exam will cover topics like emergency procedures, airport operations, drone performance, and the effects of substances on flight proficiency.

You’re timed, as you have two and a half hours to complete the test.

Most test-takers found that this is more than enough time to answer all the questions and even check their answers, so don’t feel like you have to rush.

The FAA considers a score of 70 percent a passing grade, so you can get 18 answers wrong and still pass.

» MORE: Get a Drone License (Ultimate Guide)

Submit the FAA Form 8710-13 #

Take a breath. Whether you passed or failed, you can say you took the Part 107 exam.

You will have to wait up to three weeks for your results. It can feel like waiting on pins and needles but remain patient. Your results will appear on the IACRA website when they’re available.

If you pass, the next step is completing Form 8710-13 to receive your license:

  1. Choose Start New Application after logging into IACRA.
  2. Pick “Pilot” for the Application Type.
  3. Select “Remote Pilot” under Certifications.
  4. Next, click Other Path Information, then Start Application.
  5. You’ll be prompted from there, so continue until you’re asked to sign your application electronically.

You will have to input your Knowledge Test Exam ID at one point. This 17-digit code will appear under your IACRA profile.

Print your drone certificate and begin flying #

You must consent to a background check by the TSA after submitting your application. You will receive a confirmation email after your background check with a temporary license to print.

This license is a stand-in for your Remote Pilot Certificate, which the FAA will issue through the mail in six to eight weeks after completing its internal processing.

You can use the temporary license the same way as you would the FAA-mailed version.

I have my commercial drone license in Colorado – Now what? #

Congratulations – you’re officially a drone license holder in Colorado.

After celebrating this accomplishment, there’s plenty more you can do. You should register your drone if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds. You can register with the FAA. The registration lasts for three years.

You should also read up on your state’s drone laws. Colorado requires you to follow all FAA drone regulations as part of federal law.

Additionally, you must obey two state laws, including one that prohibits drones from Colorado state parks.

» MORE: Drone Laws in Colorado

Cherry Hills, Telluride, Denver, Boulder, Aurora, and Lakewood have local drone policies that you can read more about by clicking the link above.

You must stay abreast of those laws whether you live in those cities or towns or are only visiting.

Your Remote Pilot Certificate will expire within two years, which the FAA does intentionally to keep you current on your drone knowledge.

You’ll have to renew it if you’re interested in continuing to fly a drone commercially.

It’s easier than ever to renew your drone license since April 2021, when the FAA did away with the requirement of having to take the Part 107 exam again.

You can now take a short online exam from the comfort of your own home. The best part is the exam is free.

Upon passing, you can fly your drone for the next two years.

Check out the link below for full steps on registering for the recurrent certificate exam, what you need to know, and how to pass.

» MORE: Renewal of Your Part 107 Certificate – 5 Steps to a Part 107 sUAS Recurrent Certificate


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