Renewing Your Remote Pilot Certificate: What You Need to Know
It’s time to renew your Remote Pilot Certificate, and if you prefer to be compliant as soon as possible, it’s likely time for you too. According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Final Rule on Remote ID, pilots must complete an online recurrent training course to keep their certificate current. The in-person FAA recurrent test, previously required every 24 calendar months, has been replaced by this simpler option. The first version of this straightforward and easy course was made available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website at no cost in April 2021.
The Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent Non-Part 61 Pilots course, taken through course ALC-677, is the online training course required to renew your Remote Pilot Certificate. I completed this course in April 2021. The FAA recommends that you keep your certificate printed out alongside your airman certificate, which is a plastic, driver’s license-size card, whenever you’re flying drones. That way, you have readily available proof of your license and that it’s up to date if someone demands it.
To renew your Remote Pilot Certificate, you must keep your certificate current by completing the online training course every 24 months. If you’ve already taken the renewal course, this is your reminder that the next window to renew is either arriving shortly or you’ve already missed it.
If your Part 107 remote pilot certificate has already lapsed, don’t worry. Even if you haven’t taken the recurrent exam since you took the original Part 107 test years ago, or you missed the recurrent test-taking window, you don’t have to start over with a brand-new written test. Anyone who holds a Part 107 remote pilot certificate, regardless of aeronautical knowledge recency, can become current again by taking the Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent (ALC-677) online training course at no cost. You can take that course here.
What is the recurrent course like?
The Remote Pilot recurrent online training consists of mini-quizzes, videos, and text that amount to over 100 slides, so be sure to carve out some time. Budget roughly one hour to go through the course, plus 30 minutes to an hour for the test. Fortunately, you don’t need to do it all at once. Your progress is saved, and green checkmarks indicate how far along in the course you are.
The course also includes mini-quizzes, a glossary, and a separate resource guide, all culminating in the final review and exam. The exam tends to be about 40-50 questions long, and here are a few things to keep in mind:
- You must complete the entire exam in one session.
- If the exam is not completed and graded in 90 minutes or less, you will need to retake the entire exam when you log into the course again.
- You may review course material as you take the test.
- You must get 100% to pass the exam. However, you aren’t limited to one try, so no sweat if you miss some questions.
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