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

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Indiana’s range of drone-friendly parks and locales – including Taggart Riverside Park, the Nest-RC Field, Military Park, Garfield Park, and American Legion Mall–make it a desirable place to use a UAV.

You can’t put the cart before the horse, as you must have a commercial drone license to launch.

How do you obtain your commercial certificate in Indiana?

Here’s how to get a drone license in Indiana:

  • Check the FAA’s eligibility guidelines
  • Make an IACRA account to get your FTN
  • Register on PSI to book your test appointment
  • Study for the Part 107 exam
  • Take the exam and earn a passing grade
  • Send in Form 8710-13 to get your license

The process might sound straightforward in bullet points, but there are many nuances that require explanation, especially for beginners.

That’s why I put together this guide. First-time pilots in Indiana should not miss it.

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

The FAA administers two types of drone licenses in the United States (including Indiana):

  1. Commercial
  2. Recreational

The former is for pilots eager to earn side income or make a living using their drones, while the latter is purely for fun.

Most aspiring pilots pursue a commercial license to expand their flight options. If you want to do the same, follow these steps.

** » MORE:** How I Passed Part 107 (& The Course That Helped Me do That)

Check the FAA’s eligibility guidelines #

Did you know the FAA only allows certain pilots to take the Part 107 exam, also known as the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small UAG test?

That’s not to be exclusionary. Rather, it’s to keep the skies safe.

Don’t worry. The criteria list isn’t extensive. The FAA requires that you’re in proficient mental and physical shape to operate a drone capably. You also need a full comprehension of English.

Lastly, you must be at least 16.

Make an IACRA account and get your FTN #

I know I just threw a lot of acronyms your way all at once, so allow me to break it down.

IACRA is the shortened name for the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application. This FAA site keeps drone pilots up-to-date on required documentation, ratings, training, and certifications.

It’s a must for pilots, as a lot of important information gets stored on your IACRA profile. For instance, there’s your FAA Tracking Number, better known as an FTN.

Your FTN is your unique identifier that validates your pilot status. You must have an FTN to take the Part 107 exam. Every pilot who makes an account on IACRA gets one, and you’ll keep it for your career as a commercial pilot in Indiana.

So how do you get started? Good question! Click here for a link to IACRA’s website. On the homepage, you should see a login box. There’s a link to register under the login box, which you should click next.

This will take you to a page where you’re asked to select roles for registration. You have many potential options to check off under categories such as Instructors and Certifying Officers.

Realistically, the only relevant option at this stage for you is Applicant. However, please check off as many roles as required when registering.

You must agree to the IACRA terms of service to proceed to the second page. As you do, you will see a section called Certificate Information. You don’t have an Airman Certificate Number yet, so you can leave this section blank and still successfully register.

The section you should begin with on the second page is marked Personal Information. Input all the information requested there, then answer two security questions. Finally, you can create your username and password.

You will receive a confirmation email from IACRA after you register containing your account details, including your FTN.

Register on PSI to book your test appointment #

Now that you have your FTN, you can continue to the next stage of registering for the commercial drone exam.

You must create an account on PSI, an FAA testing partner, to lock in your test appointment.  You can visit the PSI website by clicking here.

You can’t register for an account without verifying your identity through your FTN, so you can see why you need it.

Once you create your PSI account, log in and click the Find a Test Center link. You must take the Part 107 test at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center, as it isn’t offered online.

That link will take you to a page to search for Knowledge Testing Centers. You can choose how many miles you’d like to drive from Bloomington, Indianapolis, Gary, South Bend, Carmel, or Fort Wayne.

After selecting your location, choose a date and time to take your exam. Now it’s getting real, as you can add the Part 107 test to your calendar.

Study for the Part 107 exam #

The FAA commercial drone exam is a sweeping overview of all current laws and guidelines. You must know drone regulations, airspace classifications, performance and loading requirements, aviation weather sources, crew resource management, emergency procedures, airport operations, and much more.

You could study all the above independently, but you risk creating gaps in your knowledge. Instead, I recommend seeking a beginner drone course.

These online courses are geared toward first-time pilots seeking a commercial drone license. They present all the information succinctly in an easy-to-understand format, such as video lessons. You can take practice tests to drive home the material you learned.

The questions included in the practice tests are taken from past iterations of the Part 107 exam to help you understand the breadth of material on the test.

You’ll learn from bonafide commercial drone pilots and FAA employees, so you needn’t doubt the veracity of the material. Generous money-back guarantees will inspire confidence in your purchasing decision.

Take the exam and earn a passing grade #

All that’s left to do now is show your stuff on the Part 107 exam. When exam day arrives, you will be allowed to take in certain items and be required to stash others in a provided locker.

You can’t have your phone on you or a calculator that can do more than basic math. You’re allowed to bring a protractor and plotter, as you won’t receive these when taking the test.

Most importantly, you need a valid photo ID to verify your identity so you can take the exam.

You will receive blank paper, a dry-erase marker, and a test book. You’ll have two and a half hours to answer all the multiple-choice questions. There are 60 in all, and you can only answer 18 wrong to pass. You must have a score of 70 percent.

Send in Form 8710-13 and get your drone license #

You did it! All that hard work and studying paid off, and you passed the Part 107 exam. Nice work.

You must request your Remote Pilot Certificate by sending in an FAA form. It’s called Form 8710-13.

Begin the form by logging into IACRA and selecting the Start New Application option. Choose Pilot for the application type.

Next, choose Remote Pilot from the Certifications menu. You can then click Other Path Information and Start Application to begin.

The prompts are straightforward, but at one point, you will have to put in a 17-digit code called the Knowledge Test Exam ID. If you took your Part 107 exam more than 48 hours ago, the code should be available in your IACRA account.

Submit your application, then wait for processing. You will undergo a background check courtesy of the TSA. If you pass, IACRA will send you an email with your temporary commercial drone license.

Why temporary? The FAA will be busy behind the scenes for weeks doing other internal processing for your application. The temporary license lets you fly your drone now.

When the FAA finishes processing, it will mail you a permanent license, so check your mailbox in the coming weeks.

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

Congratulations on earning your commercial drone license in Indiana. This is a major milestone, but it’s only the beginning.

You must register your drone before you take it out for a spin. You can register through the FAA, and your drone will be covered for three years. However, you must register every drone you own and plan to use.

You might also consider drone insurance, although this is optional. If you decide to pursue it, don’t miss this post.

Do you know the drone laws in Indiana? That’s what you should brush up on next.

Indiana has a handful of state laws. SB 299 states that “remote aerial harassment” and “remote aerial voyeurism” are Class A misdemeanors for a first offense and Class 6 felonies for repeated offenders.

According to HB 1246, drones cannot scout hunting grounds 14 days before the hunting season starts until the season ends.

IAC 312 8-2-8 (i) prohibits drones in state parks and natural and recreational areas without permission.

Fort Wayne has a local ordinance outlawing the use of drones within 500 feet of any public city event.

Your Remote Pilot Certificate does not last forever. It will expire in two years, so how do you continue flying commercially?

You can obtain a Part 107 sUAS recurrent certificate by taking an online exam through the FAA. It’s free, which is one of its biggest advantages.

Learn more about the process here.


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