How to Get a Drone License in Virginia (in 2023)


To fly a drone commercially in Virginia, you need to have a drone license (FAA part 107 certification). And to obtain the licence, you must pass a written exam administered by the FAA.

Steps to Get a Drone License in Virginia

Follow these simple and straightforward steps to easily obtain the drone license:

  1. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria
  2. Obtain your FAA Tracking Number
  3. Locate and register at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center
  4. Sit for and complete your exam
  5. Achieve a passing score on your exam
  6. Submit FAA Form 8710-13
  7. Register your drone with the FAA

Breaking Down the Steps

1. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria

FAA commercial drone pilot eligibility criteria:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Understand English language
  • Capable of handling a drone both mentally and physically
  • License is not guaranteed just by meeting these criteria
  • Must pass the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test, also known as the Part 107 exam

For more information, you can visit the official FAA website.

2. Obtain your FAA Tracking Number

Next, you need your FAA Tracking Number (FTN). To get it, sign up for a free account on the FAA portal, IACRA. Registration on IACRA may seem confusing at first, but focus on filling out the ‘applicant’ role.

Upon successful registration, you’ll receive an FTN. This number verifies your identity when registering for the Part 107 exam and follows you throughout your drone flying career.

3. Locate and register at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center

Now that you have your FTN, look for an FAA Knowledge Testing Center where you can register for your Part 107 exam. You need to sign up on the FAA’s testing center companion site, PSI.

During the registration process on PSI, you’ll need to input your unique FTN and full name.

You can take the test at numerous approved Knowledge Testing Centers, like Rick Aviation Inc., Norfolk Flight Center LLC, Aviation Institute of Maintenance – Norfolk, and PSI Examination Services-Virginia Beach. There are plenty more options that you can find on the PSI website.

Drone Knowledge Testing Centers in Virginia

4. Sit for and complete your exam

Next, sit for the Part 107 exam. Remember, you’ll need to pay a fee of $165 each time you attempt the test.

Preparing well and keeping calm are essential to avoid retaking the test and incurring additional fees.

5. Achieve a passing score on your exam

After the test, it’s all about achieving a passing score. The exam has 60 multiple-choice questions and a two-and-a-half-hour time limit. Bring a government-issued photo ID, and you can also bring your own calculator, E6B flight computer, plotter, and protractor.

The Knowledge Testing Center will provide you with everything else required for the test.

6. Submit FAA Form 8710-13

Following a successful test, fill out and submit FAA Form 8710-13 through your IACRA account. You’ll need your Knowledge Test Exam ID for this step.

After completing the form and adding your electronic signature, submit it and wait for the next step.

Upon FAA approval, you’ll receive an email with your temporary flight certificate. This temporary license lets you start flying your drone while the FAA processes your application.

In six to 10 weeks, your FAA Remote Pilot Certificate will arrive in the mail.

Drone License Photo in Virginia

7. Register your drone with the FAA

Finally, register your drone with the FAA. You’ll need your contact information and drone details for this. The Part 107 registration costs $5 per drone and covers you for three years.

Remember, you must be at least 13 years old or have someone 13 or older register on your behalf. Also, this registration is non-transferrable between different operation types.

That’s all about the drone licensing process in Virginia.

For safe drone flying, you need to follow certain rules. These rules come from the FAA, your state, and your town.

The FAA rules are the same everywhere, but each state has its own rules, and so does Virginia. To know about the drone laws in Virginia, refer to our easy guide.

And if you’re thinking of taking your drone adventures beyond Virginia, you can read our guides about getting a drone license in some other states as well:


1. Do I require a drone license to operate a drone in Virginia?

Yes, you do require a drone license to commercially operate a drone in Virginia. The license is known as a Remote Pilot Certificate, issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

2. What licenses do I need to fly my drone in Virginia?

To fly your drone in Virginia, you need a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. Additionally, registration of your drone with the FAA is required if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs.

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I’m a huge fan of drones, cars, and anything that moves fast! Having bought, tested, and raced drones over the years, tinkering and experimenting with different parts and types, my fascination with drone technology led me to start this blog. So if you enjoy drone content covering the latest drone reviews, recommendations for the best drones for certain uses, and informative content on programming drones and other fun areas, stick around!