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

Oregon has many incredible sights to explore with your drone.

Before you begin mapping out your flight path, do you have a drone license? You need one to fly here.

What’s needed for a drone license in Oregon?

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

  • Meet the FAA’s eligibility requirements
  • Get an FAA Tracking Number
  • Register at an Oregon FAA Knowledge Testing Center
  • Study
  • Do a bang-up job on the Part 107 exam
  • Send in FAA Form 8710-13

Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy, right? It seems so on the surface, I know. Then, once you get into the thick of it, you’re confused about whether you need to register on IACRA or PSI and what the difference is between a temporary and permanent version of your license.

I don’t want that for you. You should have a straightforward, streamlined path toward your drone license, and that’s what I intend to provide for you in this guide, so don’t miss it!

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Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Oregon

Not all drone licenses are created equally. The TRUST certificate, the license for hobbyists, doesn’t allow you to fly your drone for profit. You need the Remote Pilot Certificate or Part 107 license for that.

The only way to get a Part 107 license is by passing the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test, which quizzes you on the FAA’s Part 107 rules (hence the nickname for the commercial license).

I’ll explain what’s on this exam in due time. First, let’s get into the registration steps so you can set up your test date.

How I Passed Part 107 (& The Course That Helped Me do That)

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Meet the FAA’s eligibility requirements

Before any of that, you need to review the FAA’s rules for eligibility. The United States aeronautic organization isn’t trying to turn people away, but in regulating drone flights around the country, there have to be some hard-and-fast rules.

That’s why you can’t test for your commercial drone license until you’re at least 16. You also need to know English; the FAA exam isn’t bilingual or trilingual. Finally, you need to be mentally and physically proficient enough for drone flight.

Did you check all the boxes? Great, then carry on to the next step.

Get an FAA Tracking Number

You must have an FAA Tracking Number or FTN as a new pilot. As you probably guessed from the name, an FTN is an identifier the FAA uses to monitor your aeronautic activities.

So, how do you get one? Make an account on IACRA, short for the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application.

Navigating the IACRA website is easy. Visit the site here, then click the link to Register beside the Login box and above the FAA Employee Login box.

First, you’ve got to choose your role. I always suggest checking Applicant, but you should also click any other role assigned to you. Keep in mind the roles you select will be part of your IACRA registration, so pick carefully.

Read over the short terms of service from IACRA and click to agree. You’re already halfway done.

The first part of the second page you need to fill out is Personal Information. That’s right, keep on scrolling past Certificate Information. That’s relevant to some people with more experience registering for an IACRA account, but not you.

You have to answer two security questions to help you log in if you forget your credentials. Then, you can create said credentials.

When you’re done filling in everything, check over your information, then click Register.

IACRA will email you a confirmation link you can use to log into your new account. You will be assigned an FTN after you create your account.

Register at an Oregon FAA Knowledge Testing Center

With your FTN in tow, you can proceed to the next step, the one you’ve been waiting for. That’s right, it’s time to sign up to take the Part 107 exam.

A word to the wise: the FAA only administers the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test in person. If that hasn’t changed in all these years, I sincerely doubt it will anytime soon.

So, bearing that in mind, you need to find a place to take the test. Those places are called FAA Knowledge Testing Centers, and you can find them across Oregon, in major cities like Portland to smaller spots like Sisters.

You just need a PSI account to begin searching.

Assuming you don’t have a PSI account, here’s how to get one. Visit the website link here and click the Create an Account button. Review PSI’s Privacy Act Statement, then verify eligibility to proceed by inputting your name and FTN. Click Continue.

After PSI verifies you, proceed with your registration. Select a unique username and password, choose your preferred language, and type in your email address and name. Once again, click the Continue button.

PSI will email you a verification link. Check your spam emails if you haven’t received it after a few minutes. Click the link in the email, and you can now log in.

Now it’s time to explore the PSI website in full. You’ll find it has practice exams and studying resources, but for now, navigate to Find a Test Center.

Type in your zip code and preferred driving distance to an Oregon Knowledge Testing Center, selecting between kilometers or miles. Don’t forget to choose Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) for the test type and United States for the country from the dropdowns.

Watch as a list populates naming all the Knowledge Testing Centers in your Oregon backyard. You can see the addresses and directions for each. Choose a Knowledge Testing Center nearest you to set up when you will take the Part 107 exam.

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There are so many ways to study, and while I would usually leave you to yours, did you know the commercial drone license exam costs more than $150? And that you have to pay for each attempt?

It’s all true. That calls for some heavy-duty studying.

I’m right there with you. The team at Droneblog worked hard on putting together the ultimate resource for first-time commercial drone pilots trying for their license. You can find the best of the best training courses catered toward beginners.

The courses aren’t free but are available at different price points designed for various budgets. I know spending extra money probably wasn’t in your plans right now, so check out this handy assurance.

Most of these beginner Part 107 courses will pay for your second exam attempt and refund you 100 percent of what you spent on the course if you fail. And with pass rates of over 90 percent, what do you have to lose?

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Do a bang-up job on the Part 107 exam

Phew, it’s test day at last. This is the most nerve-wracking part, so make sure you have all your facts straight to ensure an easier day.

  • You must take the Part 107 exam at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center (just to remind you).
  • You need a form of government-issued photo ID to be allowed into the testing room. A valid driver’s license is A-okay.
  • The Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam tests you on all areas of FAA drone laws, including preflight protocols, requesting authorization, different types of airspace, radio communications, and more. You will be asked 60 multiple-choice questions on your knowledge.
  • The testing time is two and a half hours, which is sufficient to answer all the questions without rushing.
  • You need a score of at least 70 percent to pass, which means answering up to 18 questions wrong.
  • You will receive all testing materials when you check in. You can bring a protractor and calculator if you want, but these items are optional.
  • You can’t bring your phone into the testing room, but you can have it with you when you check into the FAA Knowledge Testing Center. A locker should be provided to stash your phone.
  • Your test results will appear in your IACRA account, but they’re not overnight. Sometimes, you have to wait weeks to find out whether you passed.
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Send in FAA Form 8710-13

You waited an agonizingly long time to discover the news you wanted to hear: you passed the Part 107 exam and can now become a commercial drone license holder and operator in Oregon.

Cool! Now you need to send your license request to IACRA, and, by extension, the FAA. You’ll need Form 8710-13 to do that.

Log into IACRA and select Start New Application. Choose Remote Pilot and begin the application according to the prompts. When you reach the end, IACRA will ask you to sign electronically, then you’ll submit the application.

From there, IACRA will do a background check in conjunction with the TSA, then email you a downloadable temporary license to use until the FAA mails your permanent license. The FAA takes longer to process your information, so use the printed version of your license just the same until the other one comes.

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I have my drone license in Oregon – Now what?

Now that you’re a licensed commercial drone pilot in Oregon, the world is your playground, right? It sure is, right after you complete a few steps.

You need to register your drone before you do anything else, as it’s illegal to fly an unregistered UAV. On top of that, Oregon law requires you to have limited liability insurance valued at $1 million.

I would also recommend drone insurance, an important component of staying safe in those critical early weeks and months.

You should also brush up on all the other drone laws in Oregon, including statewide and locally.

For example, locally, Portland prohibits drone use in its parks unless you have Director permission. Oregon Metro Parks also bans drones.

Statewide, HB 3047 doesn’t permit drones to fly over property and harass the owner, while HB 4066 prohibits using drones as a weapon. You could face a year in jail and a fine of over $6,000 for this crime, so don’t risk it!

Finally, you need to prepare for what you will do when your license expires. I know, the term “permanent” certificate can be misleading, but your Part 107 license is not forever. It will expire within two years, so what will you do before that?

Hopefully, you will choose to recertify. Since 2021, you haven’t had to pay to renew your license, nor have you had to take the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test as you once did.

Instead, it’s a free, online FAA exam to get your license current.