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Drone License Renewal & Changes To Part 107 Testing in 2022

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: July 4, 2022

As of August 29, 2016, the FAA released the small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107). This rule makes it mandatory for commercial drone pilots to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA.

The certificate is obtained by passing a written exam called the Aeronautical Knowledge Test or AKT.

FAA Part 107 Drone License Renewal is a two-step process. The first step is to take the recurrent knowledge test every 24 calendar months. The second step is to apply to renew your remote pilot certificate, which includes a $5 fee.

But now, you can renew your Part 107 license online because of improvements announced by the FAA. To renew your license, you can take ALC-677 on the FAA website. It costs nothing and lasts approximately an hour.

This article gives an overview of what's required to take the recurrent knowledge test and Part 107 Drone License Renewal in 2022.

Why Do You Need to Renew Your License?

You need to renew your Part 107 license every 24 calendar months. The recurrent knowledge test is one way to renew your license. If it has been more than 24 months since you passed the initial aeronautical knowledge test, you must take the recurrent knowledge test, or if you have not maintained a current UAS operator certificate.

Drone License Renewal

The other way to renew your Part 107 license is by taking the ALC-677 online course. The FAA released this course in October 2020. You can take the course once every 24 months instead of taking the recurrent knowledge test.

Which method you choose to renew your Part 107 license is up to you. But if you want to keep your options open, you should take the recurrent knowledge test.

You need to renew your Part 107 license because drone operations' rules and regulations are constantly changing. By taking the recurrent knowledge test, you can ensure that you are up-to-date on the latest changes.

READ: FAA Remote ID NPRM- What Does It Say?

Changes To Part 107 Testing

There have been some changes to the Part 107 recurrent knowledge test since it was first introduced in 2016:

Drone License Renewal
  • The biggest change is that you no longer need to take the test in person at an FAA-approved testing center. You can now take the test online, using the FAA's new ALC-677 course.
  • The ALC-677 course is free and takes about an hour to complete. You can take the course once every 24 months instead of taking the recurrent knowledge test.
  • To take the ALC-677 course, you will need to create an account on the FAA website and then log in to the course.
  • Once you have completed the course, you will be able to download and print a certificate of completion.
  • You should keep the certificate of completion in your records. You will need to show it to the FAA if you are ever audited.
  • If you choose to take the recurrent knowledge test, you will need to find an FAA-approved testing center.
  • The test is given on a computer, and you will have two hours to complete it.
  • You must answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass the test.
  • The test is divided into operations and Procedures, Regulations, Airspace, and Weather.
  • You can find study materials for the recurrent knowledge test on the FAA website. The study materials include a sample test, which you can use to familiarize yourself with the format of the test.
  • You can also find study guides and practice tests online.

New Requirements For Demonstrating Your Part 107 Certification

New requirements for establishing your Part 107 certification are in place as of 2022. The new rules require you to retake the initial knowledge test every 24 calendar months. You must also complete a recurrent training course once every 24 calendar months.

Drone License Renewal

The new recurrent training course requirement can be met in one of two ways:

1) Completing an FAA-approved online Part 107 Recurrent Training Course; OR

2) Completing an in-person Part 107 Recurrent Training Course.

You will need to provide evidence of the recurrent training to the FAA when you renew your Part 107 certificate.

The Part 107 Recurrent Training Course must include the following topics:

  • Operating a small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) safely and by the current regulations
  • sUAS Airspace rules and flight restrictions
  • Loading and performance limitations for your sUAS
  • Emergency procedures
  • Radio communications and transponder requirements when operating near manned aircraft
  • Crew resource management
  • Detecting and avoiding other aircraft, including manned aircraft
  • Situational awareness
  • How to obtain prior authorization to fly in controlled airspace
  • Pilot logbook requirements

The recurrent training course must be completed within the 24 calendar months preceding the date of renewal and must be documented in your pilot logbook.

Conclusion

The recurrent knowledge test is a good way to keep up-to-date on the latest changes to the Part 107 rules and regulations. If you want to take the test, you can find an FAA-approved testing center near you. You can also take the new ALC-677 course, which is offered online.

The course is free and takes about an hour to complete. You will need to show the FAA evidence of your recurrent training when you renew your Part 107 certificate. The new recurrent training requirement can be met by taking an FAA-approved online or in-person Part 107 Recurrent Training Course.

The recurrent training course must be completed within the 24 calendar months preceding the date of renewal and must be documented in your pilot logbook.

If you have any questions about taking the recurrent knowledge test or completing the new recurrent training requirement, don't hesitate to get in touch with an FAA-approved flight school near you.

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Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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