Arkansas has no shortage of great places to operate a drone, from Lake Sequoyah Park to War Eagle Marina, Two Rivers Park, Boyle Park, Lake Maumelle, and the North Shore Riverwalk Park.
You must have a license before you take to the skies, so how do you get one?
Here’s how to get a drone license in Arkansas:
- Meet the FAA’s eligibility criteria
- Apply for an FAA Tracking Number
- Register at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center
- Study for the test
- Take the Part 107 exam
- Pass the exam
- Complete Form 8710-13
- Print and use your certificate
This multifaceted process is a bit tough for beginners, so we put together this guide.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about obtaining your Remote Pilot Certificate in Arkansas so you can use your drone to the fullest.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Arkansas
The following information only applies to aspiring commercial drone license holders. The Remote Pilot Certificate, informally called the Part 107 license, enables pilots to fly commercially.
If you’re only interested in using a drone recreationally, you need the TRUST certificate, which requires a whole different set of steps.
Now that you know that, let’s get into the process of commercial drone licensing in Arkansas.
Meet the FAA’s eligibility criteria
What does it take to become a commercial pilot? The FAA requires first-time pilots to be physically and mentally healthy enough for safe drone operation.
You must be 16 or older with full English comprehension. That means you can understand, speak, read, and write the language.
Apply for an FAA Tracking Number
You can now get the process underway to take the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam, aka the Part 107 exam.
You must have an FAA Tracking Number or FTN before you can take the aeronautical knowledge exam. You’ll carry your FTN with you throughout your entire aeronautics career.
The FAA instituted FTNs in 2020 to ensure uniqueness versus using one’s own name. You can’t register for the Part 107 exam without one.
So how do you get one? You must make an account on the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application or IACRA site.
IACRA is an FAA website you’ll use quite a lot as you prepare to take your Part 107 exam.
You’ll need an account now for your FTN, but you’ll have to log in later to check your exam results and apply for your license. Of course, we’ll get to all that.
For now, let’s talk about registering on the IACRA website.
On the top right of the site, you should see a link under the login box that says register. Click this link, and you’ll be taken to the two-page registration form.
The first page requires you to check off a series of boxes describing your applicant status. Agree to IACRA’s terms of service, then create a user profile on the second page.
Although the second page begins by asking for an Airman Certificate Number, you very well might not have one as a first-time commercial drone pilot. You can skip this section and still register.
Double-check all your information, including your name, unique username and password, and security questions and answers.
Click the green Register button when you’re ready, and you’ll receive a confirmation email from IACRA.
Keep the information in a safe place once you’re issued your FTN. You can log into your IACRA account anytime to look up the FTN if you forget it.
Register at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center
Now that you have your FTN, you’re ready to register for the Part 107 exam.
The Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test is taken in person at an FAA testing site. These are known as FAA Knowledge Testing Centers.
FAA Knowledge Testing Centers are scattered throughout the United States, including Arkansas. The FAA approves each one.
You must register for an account on PSI, the FAA’s testing center companion site, to schedule your exam at Knowledge Testing Centers.
You’ll have to input your unique FTN and full name before registering an account on PSI.
Study for the test
Indeed, we recommend you study for the Part 107 exam. Each test attempt costs $175, so you’ll do your wallet a big favor if you can pass the first time around.
You’ll find plenty of free study resources if you do enough digging online, but those only get you so far. We recommend enrolling in a paid Part 107 online test prep course.
We’ve put together the best resources here.
The courses on our list are high-quality and informative and have allowed thousands of first-time drone pilots just like you to pass the Part 107 exam the first time they take it.
Most of these courses offer money-back guarantees you can feel good about.
If you don’t pass the first time, you’ll receive the full course cost back plus the $175 you spent on your exam. You can use that money toward your next test attempt.
These online test prep courses usually offer lifetime class materials in video and/or text format and have practice quizzes with real questions from the Part 107 exam. You’ll feel readier for what you’ll see on the FAA test.
Take the Part 107 exam
Test day is just around the corner. The night before your exam, pull out your government-issued photo ID, as you’re going to need it to get into the Knowledge Testing Center and take your exam.
You should also prioritize getting a good night’s rest and at least one filling, nutritious meal the next day.
You’re going to feel nervous but try to prioritize your self-care so you’re in a good physical and mental headspace to take the test.
The FAA’s aeronautic knowledge test is 60 questions, and each is multiple-choice, with three available answers per question.
The test covers all parts of the FAA’s rules, so you should be ready between your independent studying and the Part 107 online test prep course you enrolled in.
You’re given two and a half hours to complete the test, which should be plenty of time.
Don’t rush through the test, but don’t take too much time that you don’t get to answer all the questions. Any unanswered questions will automatically count as wrong.
Pass the exam
You can answer up to 18 questions incorrectly on the Part 107 exam and pass, which means you will have received a score of 70 percent.
A higher score is great too, but you only need 70 percent to earn your Remote Pilot Certificate.
It will take up to three weeks for your results to go live. They’ll be in your IACRA profile when they appear, so keep checking back.
Complete Form 8710-13
You just got your test results, and you passed the Part 107 exam! Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment. Now you must apply to receive your license. Fill out the FAA Form 8710-13 to do that.
Once again, log into your IACRA profile. Select the Start New Application section, choosing Pilot under Application Type and Remote Pilot under Certificates.
Navigate to Other Path Information, then select Start Application.
Your Test Exam ID should have appeared on your IACRA profile at least 48 hours after taking the Part 107 exam. It’s 17 digits.
Input that, continue filling out the prompts, and then provide an electronic signature. Once you submit your application, the FAA will process it.
The TSA will also perform a security background check on you.
Print and use your certificate
The FAA will send a confirmation email if you pass the background check. The email will contain a temporary Part 107 license you can print out and use.
You’ll receive your permanent license in another several weeks when the FAA completes its internal processing.
I have my commercial drone license in Arkansas – Now what?
Holding a commercial drone license is an amazing accomplishment. Now you can operate your drone commercially, earning money from various jobs and projects.
Always carry your Remote Pilot Certificate on your person, be that the temporary printed copy or your permanent license.
Follow Part 107 rules, as these are FAA-mandated federal drone laws. Arkansas has a few state laws pilots must stay abreast of. Check out the link below for more information.
» MORE: Drone Laws in Arkansas
Your drone license will remain valid for two years. The FAA requires pilots to stay current on guidelines so they’re safer in the skies.
Renewing your license requires you to take a free online FAA test.
You’ll review course materials, then you take the exam. You must get a perfect score, but you can see incorrect answers as you go and change your answers before you submit the test.
We have an overview of the entire process below.