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

Minnesota is a state brimming with possibilities for drone pilots. You can take yours across Loring Park, Otter Lake Regional Park, Greenwood Shores Park, Lake of the Isles Park, and Blackdog Park, among other memorable locales.

Well, once you have your drone license, that is. How to get a drone license in Minnesota?

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

  • Pass the FAA’s basic eligibility criteria
  • Apply for an FAA Tracking Number
  • Register at a Minnesota Knowledge Testing Center
  • Study
  • Take the drone exam and knock it out of the park
  • Send in form 8710-13

That’s all there is to it, but the process has more twists and turns than most beginners anticipate. Don’t worry, as I’ve got you covered.

This guide will provide all the information you need to navigate the drone registration process, ace your Part 107 exam, and begin flying as an officially licensed drone pilot.

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Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Minnesota

First, here’s some important information.

The FAA, which dictates drone laws across the United States, requires all pilots to have a license before operating their drones. Some pilots obtain a recreational license by taking the TRUST exam. That certificate is called the TRUST license, appropriately enough.

Most will chase after the commercial drone license, called a Remote Pilot Certificate or Part 107 license.

That requires taking an entirely different test and more rigorous preparation. Let’s dive right in and explore the steps.

Pass the FAA’s basic eligibility criteria

The FAA requires first-time pilots to meet some eligibility criteria. There isn’t much, but you must check each of these boxes to proceed.

You must be deemed mentally and physically proficient enough to use a drone. You also need English comprehension, and you must be at least 16.

If you’re good to go, you’re one step closer to taking the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam.

Apply for an FAA Tracking Number

Next, you need an FAA Tracking Number or FTN.

In its mission to achieve the safest skies, the FAA tracks aeronautic activities from its registered users via their FTNs.

You don’t need one if you’ve specialized in other aeronautics and are in FAA’s system, but those completely new to the FAA do require an FTN.

How do you get one? It’s time to hop over to the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application website, also known as IACRA.

This web-based rating application resource is designed to minimize your paper trail as you aspire to become an official commercial drone pilot. It’s free to make an account, so let’s get started.

After clicking the above link, you’ll land on IACRA’s homepage. To the right, you should see a box to log in and, underneath that, the option to register. The link is small, but it’s right beside the login box.

Clicking that link will take you to the first page of IACRA registration. This page requires you to check off relevant roles and agree to the terms of service. First-time drone pilots usually only check off applicant, as the other roles include instructor, admin, and certifying officers.

When you agree to the terms of service, you will go to the second page of registration. Scroll down to the section marked Personal Information. You should bypass the Certificate Information section for now, as you don’t yet hold a commercial drone license.

The Personal Information section requests your first, middle, and last name and your name suffix, gender, email address, and birthdate. You must answer two security questions, then create your unique IACRA login credentials, confirming your password.

Double-check all your information to ensure you spelled everything correctly, then click the Register button at the bottom of the page. You will receive an email from IACRA with your login details.

Click the link in the email to log in to the site. You should see your FTN under your profile information.

Register at a Minnesota Knowledge Testing Center

Now that you have an FTN, you can set up an appointment to take the Part 107 commercial exam. The FAA only issues these tests at its approved Knowledge Testing Centers.

You must have an account on PSI to schedule your appointment. PSI is a testing resource the FAA utilizes for the Part 107 exam.

To register an account, click the link above and scroll down to the Create an Account button. Click the button and verify your identity by inputting your FTN and full name, then click the Continue button.

When PSI verifies you, you can proceed with the next stage of your registration, account creation. User registration requires a unique username, email address, first and last name, preferred language, and password. You must confirm your password, then click the Continue button.

PSI will send an email to verify your account. Click the link in the email to finalize account creation. You will be logged into PSI.

Select Register for an Exam to set up your appointment. You must choose an FAA Knowledge Testing Center near you, which you can browse by selecting the Find a Test Center option.

You will have to input your Minnesota postal code, from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. Select the United States as your country from the dropdown and choose Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) for the exam type.

Don’t forget to select the distance between five and 300 miles.


You’ll pay a fee to take the Part 107 exam as you register. That’s right, this commercial exam isn’t free. It costs $175 per attempt.

You can try the test as many times as you need, but most pilots want to pass the first time to spare their wallets the wallop they’d get otherwise. I’m sure you’re in the same boat.

Choosing the right study resources out of the gate will put you in a better position to succeed. Here on Droneblog, we’ve collected the industry’s leading training courses for Part 107 prep.

Check out the grand list of recommended training here.

These renowned training courses will help you prepare for the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test with instruction from real FAA pilots and drone industry experts.

They’ll break down complex drone laws and rules in an easy-to-understand way, and with video and text lessons, you can work at your own pace.

Wrap up your lessons with practice quizzes that drive your knowledge home and prepare you for what’s to come on the commercial drone exam. The questions on the practice quizzes are lifted from the FAA’s tests.

You must pay for these courses, but the money is worth it. You’ll proceed with a promise that if you don’t pass the Part 107 exam, you can get money toward the cost of the exam and a full refund.

That’s the kind of peace of mind you need as you gear up to take this major test!

Take the drone exam and knock it out of the park

Test day is here. To help you prepare, here are some facts.

You must have a government-issued ID card with a photo to be let into the FAA Knowledge Testing Center and take the Part 107 exam. A driver’s license is fine, but make sure it’s valid.

You can bring tools to help you on the exam, including a protractor and a calculator. However, the calculator must not have any programming capabilities.

You cannot bring your smartphone, magnetic tape, or a dictionary to the testing room. The proctor will ask you to remove the items or stop you from taking the test.

You will be provided with everything else you need, including a testing booklet and scratch paper. You’ll also have an eraser and a writing instrument.

The Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam includes 60 questions on topics such as drone regulations, flight operations, weather, flight restrictions, drone performance, emergency procedures, radio communication, and airport operations.

You need to answer most right, as you can miss 18 and still pass.

Your test results will appear on IACRA, but here’s what I recommend. Put the exam out of your mind for several days. Even better, forget about it for a few weeks! That’s how long it sometimes takes for IACRA to have the grades ready.

Of course, I know this is a lot easier said than done, but I thought I’d suggest it anyway.

Send in Form 8710-13

The last part of the process is requesting your commercial drone license after earning a passing grade. You must complete FAA Form 8710-13.

This official license request goes to IACRA and the FAA and is the only way to get your drone license. You can begin Form 8710-13 by logging into IACRA.

Choose the Start New Application option. Select Pilot for your Application Type, then pick Remote Pilot for Certifications. Next, click Other Path Information, then Start Application.

The prompts will guide you through application completion. You will need your Knowledge Test Exam ID as you proceed, but that’s in your IACRA account. The only way you wouldn’t see this 17-digit code is if you took the Part 107 exam less than 48 hours ago.

The last page of the application requires your electronic signature. Once you submit your application, IACRA will process it. Next, IACRA forwards the application details to the TSA for a background check.

IACRA will then send you an email containing your temporary Part 107 certificate. Print the license and bring it with you when you embark on drone work or adventures.

Your permanent license is coming. The FAA will mail it when it’s ready, but you could wait for several weeks, so use your temporary license in the meantime to hold you over. 

I have my commercial drone license in Minnesota – Now what?

Congratulations on successfully obtaining your Minnesota Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) license. This is a big step, but you must still do more before you use your drone.

Register all drones in your fleet with the FAA. Under FAA drone laws, commercial drones require registration. If you’re only using a drone recreationally, you can register it if it exceeds 250 grams.

Have you considered getting drone insurance? You must under state law, but you should want to anyway.  This additional safeguard gives you liability insurance against property damage and injuries, preventing you from paying out-of-pocket for property replacement and medical bills.

Do yourself a favor and read over Minnesota’s drone laws.

MN DOT Aeronautics Rules Chapter 8800 requires you to pay a $30 licensing fee for your commercial drone certificate.

Minnesota Statute 360.60 requires you to register with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, while Minnesota Statute 360.59 requires proof of insurance.

Locally, Anoka County’s municipal ordinance prohibits you from using park property with your drone. Bonifacius bans drones altogether, and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board demands you have a permit when using its property.

Your commercial drone license will expire in approximately two years, so then what? Well, if you want to keep using your drone commercially, you must renew it.

This post details the renewal process, which is free, fast, and available online. Woohoo!