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

Vermont has so many cool spots to explore via drone. But there is something you need before you fly, and that’s a drone license.

How do you get a drone license in Vermont?

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

  • Meet the basic requirements
  • Get an FTN from IACRA
  • Register for the exam at a Vermont FAA Knowledge Testing Center
  • Study
  • Take the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam and pass
  • Submit Form 8710-13

And just like that, you can become a commercial drone pilot in Vermont.

Are you ready to join the legions of other pilots exploring some of Vermont’s most hidden locales and earning money from their drone flights?

You’ll need the information I have for you ahead.

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Here’s how to obtain a drone license in Vermont

The FAA, which administers drone licenses, lets you choose from two: hobbyist or commercial certificates.

The commercial license, known as the Remote Pilot Certificate or Part 107 license, is by and away the favorite because it’s the only way to rake in that cash from using your drone.

That’s not to say a commercial license means you make money each time you launch your drone. Instead, you’re legally permitted to fly for profit, such as taking real estate photos or news videos.

With that distinction out of the way, let me get to explaining how to become a commercial drone pilot in Vermont. After all, it involves a lot of registrations and taking a test, so you’ll want to be totally prepared.

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Meet the basic requirements

What test? That’s the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG). This is the FAA’s aeronautic knowledge exam for aspiring commercial pilots. I’ll talk all about it throughout this guide, don’t you worry.

For now, all you need to know is that the FAA will only let you become a commercial pilot if you meet its requirements.

You can try your hand at the exam if you’re physically and mentally capable of flying a drone, proficient in English, and 16 years old and up.

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Get an FTN from IACRA

With that out of the way, you’re now ready to start the registration process, beginning with the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application or IACRA.

What is IACRA, and why do you need an account? Good questions, so let’s take them one at a time.

First, IACRA is an FAA resource you’ll use for certifications, documentation, and pilot ratings. It also has features like aircraft search.

You need an IACRA account because that’s the only way to get an FAA Tracking Number, or an FTN for short, an identifier you’ll use throughout your drone career.

So, how do you get started making an account on IACRA? Let’s review!

  • Go here to visit the IACRA site.
  • Click the Register link, which is above the FAA Employee Login box toward the right of the webpage.
  • Under the Select Roles section, choose one or more accurate roles. Most first-time pilots only select Applicant, but by all means, choose what’s relevant to you.
  • Read through the terms of service, and when you consent, click the Continue button.
  • Complete the Personal Information section.
  • Read through the security question options, choosing two and furnishing responses. IACRA requires this for password retrieval and identity verification.
  • Create a username and password. Your username must be at least six characters and your password at least 12. The password should also include symbols, upper and lowercase letters, and numbers.
  • Click Register.
  • IACRA will send you an email confirming your account. Click it and log in.
  • Check for your FTN under your account.

Be aware that if you select any other role but Applicant, you must add Certificate Information during the second page of registration.

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Register for the exam at a Vermont FAA Knowledge Testing Center

Next, you’re ready to schedule when you’ll take the Part 107 exam, putting you one step closer to your commercial drone license.

You’ll need a resource called PSI for this part, a trusted testing resource the FAA uses. As I’m sure you probably guessed, you must have a PSI account to set up your test date.

Here is the link to PSI’s website. Once you’re there, here’s how to register:

  • Click Create an Account.
  • Review the Privacy Act Statement.
  • Verify yourself by inputting your FTN and full name.
  • Download an authenticator app. PSI now requires you to use multi-factor authentication since late 2023.
  • Create your profile, typing in your full name, email address, username, and password. Select your preferred language.
  • Click Continue, then look out for an email from PSI verifying your account.
  • When you receive the email, click the link to the PSI website and sign in.
  • Choose the Find a Test Center menu from the top of the page. This will take you to a page to research FAA Knowledge Testing Centers, where you must take the commercial drone test. These are facilities you visit in person. 
  • Type your Vermont postal code, choose United States under the Country dropdown menu, type in your preferred distance, and select Unmanned Aircraft – Small (UAG) under the Exam dropdown.
  • Choose a Knowledge Testing Center, then confirm a date and time to take the exam.

You’re all set!

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The Part 107 exam is looming on the horizon. It’s a nerve-wracking time, because you want to pass, but there’s so much you need to know for the test. You can’t forget that the commercial drone exam isn’t free.

Oh, yeah, I should mention that. It costs more than $150 for each attempt, and while the FAA lets you take the test indefinitely (with two-week breaks required in between), you can bleed your wallet dry if you keep retesting.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were resources out there designed to help you pass the first time? There are, actually, and plenty of them too. We found them all for you here at Droneblog, so check out the list.

You can’t ask for better training resources. These courses are led by the biggest experts in the FAA, some of them having worked for the aeronautic organization.

When you’re done going through the material, you can take practice quizzes that feature real FAA questions.

The courses aren’t free, but many have discounts to reduce your expense. Besides, with more than 90 percent of students passing the Part 107 exam their first time taking it, you can rest assured you will get your money’s worth.

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Take the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam and pass

Wow, testing day has finally arrived. Hopefully, you took advantage of one of those study resources in the last section. If you did, you should feel adequately ready for all that comes next.

You’ve got FAA knowledge packed in your brain, so let’s talk some other practical considerations as you gear up to take the commercial drone exam.

  • You must have a form of government-issued photo identification when checking into the Knowledge Testing Center. You can use your driver’s license.
  • You can bring your smartphone with you, but you must leave it in a locker outside the testing room. You can’t have your phone in the testing room with you, as you could look up the answers to any questions.
  • You can bring a protractor or calculator. For the latter, double-check that it only does math. If your calculator has any advanced functions, you can’t take it in with you.
  • The questions on the test are all in multiple-choice format. There are 60 of them in all.
  • The testing period is two and a half hours.
  • You can answer 18 questions incorrectly and pass with a score of 70 percent.

IACRA will have your test results ready, and while they may be available in as little as 48 hours, it can sometimes take days…or even a few weeks!

Submit Form 8710-13

You finally got word from IACRA, and you passed! Woohoo! I knew you could do it.

You’re now a commercial drone pilot in Vermont, but you still need your license. Send FAA Form 8710-13 to make that happen.

Here’s how.

  • Log into IACRA.
  • Select Start New Application. The form will ask for an Application Type; choose Pilot. Next, pick Remote Pilot for Certifications. Choose Other Path Information and Start Application.
  • Use the prompts to complete the application, adding your electronic signature.
  • Once you send the form, IACRA will begin processing, which includes a background check.
  • IACRA will send you an email with your temporary commercial license. You can download and print this until the permanent license arrives from the FAA. That will come in the mail when all other application processing is complete.

I have my drone license in Vermont – Now what?

I bet you can’t wait to use your shiny, new license, right? You’ll have to wait, at least a little while longer, until you register your drone(s).

Also, do you have drone insurance? I know, you’re not required to by law, but you should really think about it, especially if you’re still learning the ropes on how to use a drone.

Practicing is the only way you’ll improve your skills, but what if you crash into something or someone in the meantime?

That’s why it’s good to have insurance. Your coverage will ease the financial burden from causing an accident, ensuring you’re not in monetary ruin so early into your drone career.

Here’s something else I recommend, learning Vermont’s state drone laws. There are a handful enforced from Stowe to Middlebury and everywhere in between.

For example, according to SB 155, law enforcement officials can’t use a drone for prosecution, detection, or investigation.

The law also states that when using your drone, you also have to follow Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code rules in addition to federal guidelines.

Enjoy flying free for now, but plan to recertify your commercial license within two years, as that’s when it expires. Review this handy rundown on what the FAA requires you to do to recertify.

The new rules have been in place since 2021 and don’t require you to take the Part 107 exam again and again.