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

West Virginia is an excellent place to start or continue a drone career, but not before you have a drone license.

How do you get a drone license in West Virginia?

Here’s how to get a drone license in West Virginia:

  • Be a pilot candidate  
  • Enter into the FAA system with an FTN
  • Schedule a testing appointment at a WV FAA Knowledge Testing Center
  • Study
  • Take the commercial drone exam and pass
  • Submit Form 8710-13

I’d say, “That’s all there is to it,” but it’s not exactly the easiest process. That’s okay, as all things that are meaningful are worth working for, and that includes your drone license.

Stay tuned as I explain how to get yours!

Here’s how to obtain a drone license in West Virginia

There are two types of licenses you can go for as you explore your drone pilot options in West Virginia. One is a recreational license, ideal for those pilots who enjoy flying for fun. If that’s you, all you have to do is take a free FAA exam called The Recreational UAS Safety Test or TRUST. You’ll get your license.

If you’re more interested in the commercial license so you can make money using your drone, you need the Remote Pilot Certificate, known to many as the Part 107 license. You’ll take an entirely different test, the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG).

Let’s review what the road to Part 107 licensure looks like.

Be a commercial pilot candidate

Before you can schedule your test, review the FAA’s rules to ensure you’re eligible to become a commercial drone pilot. Besides the requirement of passing the Part 107 exam, you also have to be capable of using a drone safely and fully comprehensive of English.

Besides that, you also must be 16 or older.

Enter into the FAA system with an FTN

Now it’s FTN time.

FTN is short for FAA Tracking Number, a must as you continue the process to becoming a West Virginia commercial drone pilot. The name tells you what the FAA uses an FTN for. Moreso than triple-checking you’re complying with the rules, FTNs are your form of identification as you navigate the early stages of drone licensure.

Are you ready to get yours? You’ll need an account on the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application website, aka IACRA.

What is IACRA, you ask? It’s a free FAA resource for managing your certificate. You’ll use IACRA now for an FTN and later to check your test results and get your commercial license.

Let’s make an account.

  • Navigate here to the IACRA website.
  • Click the Register link on the top right of the homepage.
  • Pick a role(s); you must choose at least one to proceed. They are Admin (such as school administrator), Certifying Officer (training center evaluator, aircrew program designee, etc.), Instructor (like an Air Carrier Flight Instructor), or Applicant. Most new pilots choose the latter.
  • Review the terms of service, then click Continue if you agree.
  • Type in your legal name, gender, birthdate, and email address under Personal Information.
  • Read through the security questions, selecting two. Type in answers for if you can’t log in because of a lost password. The FAA also uses this section for identification purposes.
  • Create a username and password. Confirm your password.
  • Double-check all your information is valid and correct, then click Register.
  • IACRA will send you a confirmation email. You can then log in and see your FTN under your account information.

You might have noticed I skipped the Certificate Information section in my instructions above. That was by design. Pilots who select Applicant needn’t worry about that section. After all, you don’t yet have a certificate to speak of.

Keep in mind that if you choose any other role, you are often required to complete that section as part of your IACRA registration.

Schedule a testing appointment at a West Virginia FAA Knowledge Testing Center

Now that you have an FTN, you can book an appointment to take the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center.

A Knowledge Testing Center is an in-person testing site where proctors administer the exam. It’s the only place you can take the FAA test. There are plenty of Knowledge Testing Centers across the country, including in West Virginia.

Before you can begin searching for them, you need to make an account on PSI, a testing portal the FAA uses for commercial drone exam appointments. Here’s how.

  • Visit the PSI website here.
  • Click Create an Account.
  • Verify by typing in your FTN and full name, then click Continue.
  • When PSI verifies you, you can create an account. Type in a new username and password, then add your full name, preferred language, and email address. Type the password a second time to confirm it.
  • Click Continue.
  • PSI will email you a verification of your account. Sometimes, this message ends up lodged in your spam folder by mistake, so check that yours isn’t accidentally in there.
  • Before logging in, find an authenticator app and download it. The app must support multifactor authentication.
  • When the PSI email arrives, log in.
  • Click Find a Test Center on the homepage from the top menu.
  • Type in your postal code.
  • Select United States as the country.
  • Choose a distance you’re willing to travel in kilometers or meters.
  • Pick Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) under the Exam dropdown, then click Search.
  • Select a Knowledge Testing Center. PSI provides its address and directions.
  • Schedule your exam appointment.


Next, it’s time for the most important part of all. I know, you would think that’s taking the Part 107 test, but it isn’t. It’s preparing for the exam, as what you put into studying will pay off when your testing day arrives.

With how popular drones have become, it’s no surprise there are many, many, many options out there promising to help you with exam prep. How do you know which are the real deal and which to avoid?

You don’t have to sniff out every resource on the internet and waste valuable study time. Instead, check out Droneblog’s bonafide best Part 107 courses for beginners.

That’s right, our team painstakingly put together the best assemblance of courses on the internet. I’m talking resources from Pilot Institute, Drone Launch Academy, and Drone Pilot Ground School, among others.

The courses are catered toward beginners, explaining complex FAA drone regulations in an easy-to-understand fashion. You can also figure out where you need to improve your knowledge with practice quizzes that use real FAA questions featured on past exams.

And, as if that wasn’t all great enough, you have access to generous money-back guarantees. For example, if you don’t pass, most courses will offer you a full course refund plus the exam price of $175.

So, as you can see, there’s no losing if you enroll in one of these courses. We wouldn’t recommend them here on the blog if they weren’t the best!

Take the commercial drone exam and pass

Testing time is here, the culmination of everything you’ve done to this point. That’s not to stress you out or anything, but this is a big moment. Fortunately, you’re adequately prepared and ready to pass.

Let me provide some information that will help you even further with your test day preparations.

  • You must have a valid form of government ID with a photo. You can use a driver’s license or a CDL, anything that has your picture on it.
  • When checking into the Knowledge Testing Center, use the locker offered for phones. You can’t bring your phone into the testing room.
  • You will have two and a half hours to complete all the questions on the exam. Your time starts when the proctor says so.
  • You will be provided with everything you need to take the exam.
  • The Part 107 test has 60 questions overall. Every question is multiple choice.
  • You need a score of at least 70 percent to earn a passing grade.
  • If you don’t pass, you can retake the test within two weeks. You can take the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) test as many times as required to pass, but you must pay the $175 fee every time. 
  • Test results will be under your IACRA profile when they go live. Don’t be surprised if it takes several weeks in some instances.

Submit Form 8710-13

Did you pass? Yahoo! I knew you could, and you did too. Now that the most nerve-wracking part is over, you’re ready to request your license via FAA Form 8710-13.

Log into IACRA, then select Start New Application. Next, click Application Type (choose Pilot) and Certifications (select Remote Pilot). Click Other Path Information, then Start Application.

You will need a Knowledge Test Exam ID while completing Form 8710-13. The code, which is 17 digits, is available in your IACRA profile within several days of taking the Part 107 test.

After you send in your signed and completed form, a lot will begin happening. IACRA will process your request first. After completing a background check in conjunction with the TSA, they’ll issue you a temporary version of your Remote Pilot Certificate via email.

You can use this version for all your everyday commercial ventures until the FAA mails the permanent license. Keep watching your mailbox but be ready to wait several weeks or more.

I have my drone license in West Virginia – Now what?

Having your Remote Pilot Certificate in hand is only one requirement to fly a drone in West Virginia.

The FAA mandates that all pilots across the United States register their drones when operated commercially. That goes for every drone you use.

Fortunately, registration only costs $5 a drone.

You must also know West Virginia’s drone laws.

HB 2515 makes it illegal to use your drone for hunting, while HB 4607 declares that State Park Superintendents are the only ones who can allow drones in West Virginia’s rail trails, forests, and state parks.

HB 3005 prohibits pilots from violating privacy with their drone, such as harassing them, photographing them, videoing them, and violating a restraining order.

You also can’t operate in such a way as to intentionally interrupt police efforts or harm or cause danger to others.

I recommend picking up a drone insurance policy if you don’t have one. It’s not a state law requirement, that’s true, but it’s for the safety of others and yourself, primarily.

You don’t want to have to pay out-of-pocket for medical bills and building restoration costs, trust me.

Lastly, make sure you’re ready to recertify your license when the time comes.

The term “permanent license” can be confusing, since it doesn’t last forever. That’s just a differentiator between the paper license you printed and the one the FAA sends you.

Your Part 107 license will expire in two years. Continuing to fly commercially requires a renewal, so learn about how the FAA handles those now since 2021.

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