You need a drone license before you fly in the US

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The FAA has announced the new TRUST certification. The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) is a new aeronautical knowledge and safety test that all drone pilots must pass before they fly a drone in the United States.

TRUST is free, takes about an hour to get through, and is required immediately.

Related: Learn all about TRUST over on Drone Rush

Do I need to take this test?

Yes, if you fly any drone under 55lbs for recreational purposes in the United States, you need TRUST certification.

How and where do I take the test?

There are over a dozen vendors to choose from, and each offers a short course before you write the test. No prior knowledge is required.

To find a vendor, head on over to the detailed post on our sister website Drone Rush, or go directly to the FAA website. Alternatively, Drone Rush recommends its affiliate partner UAV Coach to get your TRUST certification.

What does it mean to “fly for recreational purposes”?

According to the FAA, any drone flight that will be either directly or indirectly compensated is considered a commercial operation. That even includes uploading your fun drone videos to YouTube to collect ad revenue.

The bottom line is that the FAA now requires all pilots to be certified before they fly. Pilots must hold a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate for commercial flights, and the new TRUST certification for hobby flights. No exceptions.

What if my child is just flying a toy drone in the back yard?

Sorry to say, this is a blanket policy from the FAA. So if you have a remote controlled craft capable of flight, the pilot must be certified. Thankfully, anyone, of any age, that can read and comprehend the test can acquire their TRUST certification.


This new drone certification requirement may feel like a burden to recreational pilots, especially casual hobbyists, but we are excited by the idea that all drones in the sky are being operated by knowledgeable pilots. If you want to get a head start learning some of the basics for legal drone flight, head on over to the getting started guide on Drone Rush.

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