Missouri is known as the Show-Me state, as in, show me all the great places to fly a drone! And trust me, there are many, from The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge to Lafayette Park, the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, and Carondelet Park.
It all sounds so fun, but you will need a drone license before you can proceed.
How to get a drone license in Missouri?
Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Missouri:
- Pass the basic FAA eligibility requirements
- Get an FAA Tracking Number
- Register at a Missouri FAA Knowledge Testing Center
- Study up
- Earn a passing score on the Part 107 exam
- Complete Form 8710-13
It’s only a few steps, and you’re off to the races! Join me, as I’ll guide you in securing your commercial drone license in Missouri.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Missouri
Ah, Missouri, a land where drones fly freely. Joining their ranks is an excellent idea, but the FAA–which institutes nationwide drone laws–requires you to hold some type of drone license.
If you’re just into recreational flights, you need the TRUST certificate, a license that marks your status as a hobbyist.
Once you broach money-making territory with your drone, you must have a Remote Pilot Certificate obtained by successfully taking the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam.
However, let’s not put the cart before the horse. There’s plenty to do on the road to taking your commercial drone exam, such as the following.
Pass the basic FAA eligibility requirements
Before you can clear some room in your schedule to take the commercial drone licensing exam, make sure you’re legally allowed to.
The FAA requires you to know English, be physically and mentally healthy, and be at least 16. That’s it, but those are staunch requirements with no loopholes.
Obtain an FAA Tracking Number
Are you with me so far? Okay, good. The next step on the road to a Part 107 license is registering with the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application, better known as IACRA.
What in the world is IACRA, you ask? It’s a resource for all FAA pilots, users of unmanned aircraft and otherwise, for aircraft searching, training, ratings, certifications, documentation, and registry processing.
IACRA is an FAA partner, and its website is free to use. You can browse most of its features without an account, but you need an FAA Tracking Number, and that requires you to register with IACRA.
Let me rewind a second. An FAA Tracking Number, or FTN, is a numerical identifier the FAA provides you when you enter its system. Even if you don’t fly drones forever, or if you transfer from another area of aeronautics to drones, your FTN remains the same.
Your FTN will be stored on IACRA’s website once you have one. So, let’s get underway with what’s required to get you one.
First, visit IACRA’s website here. Next, navigate to the login box. You will see a register link beneath that to the right of the Login button. Click the link.
Choose your role, selecting from applicant, instructor, admin, or certifying officer. You will likely only have the applicant role to check off but read the others carefully to ensure you don’t meet those requirements.
Review IACRA’s terms of service, and when you’re ready, click the Agree to TOS and Continue button at the bottom of the page.
Next is the Certificate Information section. Please input any prior certifications you have, including when they were issued. If you’re brand new to the FAA’s system, you can skip this section.
Under Personal Information, please type your full name, email address, and birthdate, and don’t forget to select your gender from two bubble options.
IACRA requires you to select two security questions and type unique answers. If you can’t get back into your account, IACRA will ask you one of the two security questions to prove it’s you.
The last step of the registration is creating an IACRA username and password. Type your password twice to confirm it, then click the Register button at the bottom of the page.
After receiving confirmation from IACRA, you can log into your account. You will see your FTN under your account information.
Register at a Missouri FAA Knowledge Testing Center
With your FTN in tow, the next step is registering for the aeronautical knowledge exam.
To do that, you need an account on PSI, which handles all the testing logistics. You can begin by clicking the link in the previous sentence.
After clicking the Create an Account button, PSI will ask for your FTN to verify your identity.
Then you can begin the new user registration. Create a unique username and password, typing the password again in the box below to confirm it. You also must include your email address, full name, and preferred language.
Click the green Continue button when you’re finished, then open your email inbox. Check for an email from PSI (it could take several minutes to appear). If you don’t see it in your main inbox, look in the spam folder, as it sometimes gets miscategorized.
Once you receive the email, open it and click the link. Then, go back to the page where you registered and click the blue Continue link.
You can now log into PSI. Click Find a Test Center on the homepage, then type your zip code. Choose your preferred distance using a dropdown menu, select the United States as your country from a separate dropdown, and choose Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) for the exam type.
You will see FAA Knowledge Testing Centers from St. Louis to Columbia. Let me explain Knowledge Testing Centers a bit.
These are testing buildings where you will take your Part 107 exam. Once you find your nearest one, you’re ready to set up your exam details. You’ll lock in the date and time and be one step nearer to your commercial drone certificate.
You can take the Part 107 exam as many times as needed to pass, with a required wait interval of two weeks between attempts. However, each test attempt is $165, so it’s prudent for you to pass the first time if possible.
So, how can you do that? Well, there are never any guarantees, but you can exponentially increase your chances of passing by training ahead of your exam.
May I recommend Droneblog’s excellent collection of online drone courses? These five-star courses will prepare you thoroughly for every question the FAA will throw at you on drone protocols, laws, regulations, and rules.
You can explore video lessons and text-based instruction from FAA professionals and pilots. The information in these courses makes it easy and enjoyable to learn about FAA rules. Be sure to take the practice quizzes to gauge your progress and better prepare for the official commercial exam.
I didn’t even mention what’s arguably the best part. These drone schools are so confident you will pass the first time you take the exam that they’re willing to refund your full course cost and pay for your second exam attempt if you don’t succeed.
All courses offered by Pilot Institute are taught by remote pilots, flight instructors, FAA commercial pilots, and other certified professionals.
Get a passing score on the Part 107 exam
If you studied as well as you can, you will feel excited to take the commercial drone exam. You’re ready to show your stuff. However, it’s okay to be a little nervous too, as there’s a lot riding on this test.
Let me provide some information to help you prepare. Bring a driver’s license or another form of photo ID to verify your identity when you arrive at the Knowledge Testing Center.
You don’t have to leave your phone at home, but you can’t take it into the testing room. You will be lent a locker to keep it.
You will receive all necessary testing materials when you check in, including a dry-erase marker, writing instruments, and the testing booklet. The proctor will allow math calculators and protractors, but you must think to bring them with you.
Arrive at the Knowledge Testing Center with time to spare so you don’t have to rush in. The Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam has 60 multiple-choice questions. You can select from three responses on any question, with one typically correct.
You have two and a half hours to answer every question. You need a score of 70 percent to the pass the exam, which means up to 18 questions answered incorrectly for a total of 42 questions right.
Your test results can go live in days to weeks. Check IACRA and your inbox for updates. You will have to log into IACRA for your results.
Complete Form 8710-13
Did you pass? Nice work! All that studying paid off, and now you’re ready to hold your commercial drone license.
Send a formal license request through FAA Form 8710-13, available on IACRA.
To access the form, log into IACRA, then select Start New Application. Under Application Type, pick Pilot. After that, select Remote Pilot under Certifications, then choose Other Path Information and Start Application.
Complete the form as IACRA requests, wrapping up by signing digitally. When you send your application, IACRA will process it. Part of the processing entails a TSA background check, which will happen after you send in the form.
Once again, it’s time to check your inbox for an email from IACRA. If you pass the background check, IACRA will email you a printable edition of your Part 107 license.
No, drone licenses don’t usually arrive via email, and yours won’t either. The FAA will send you the real deal in your physical mailbox, but you don’t want to wait for them, do you? That’s why you can print and use a license now.
I have my drone license in Missouri – Now what?
Congratulations on getting your commercial drone license. It took a lot of time and hard work to reach this point.
I wish I could say you were done now, but not exactly.
You’ve got to register your drone, but that’s a fast and inexpensive task. Once you finish that, I recommend looking into drone insurance. Some parts of Missouri, such as Jackson County, require it, but even if they didn’t, you should still have it.
Drone insurance is a failsafe if you cause property damage or injuries. It protects you from having to shell out thousands to tens of thousands in repairs and medical bills.
Speaking of Missouri drone laws, you know them like the back of your hand, right? If not, please review before you fly.
Missouri has no statewide laws, but the aforementioned Jackson County, Columbia, St. Louis, and St. Charles have local ordinances to obey.
Jackson County requires liability insurance and a permit to fly in any of its parks. You can’t use a drone in a park in Columbia unless it’s a designated area and you have a director’s permit.
St. Louis prohibits drone use in Forest Park without sending a successful application, which requires proof of insurance valued up to $1 million. Its county parks limit drone use except at Buder Park and Antire Valley.
The St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Unmanned Aircraft Systems Policy allows drones that follow federal and state laws, but only for recreational use.
Are you ready for when your drone license expires in two years? Click here to read our post about how to recertify so you can continue experiencing the joys of Missouri with a commercial drone license.