June 22, 2021: The FAA has rolled out a new test for all hobby pilots. You must pass this test before you fly your drone!
TRUST, The Recreational UAS Safety Test, is a free test that you can take online. TRUST is designed to educate you on best flight practices, so that you can fly your drone as a safe part of the national airspace.
TRUST can be taken from any of over a dozen test administrators, no prior knowledge is required, but always helps, and the training and test should take about 1 hour.
Do I need to take this test?
Yes! TRUST applies to all pilots that are flying for recreational purposes, no matter your age, no matter what drone you plan to fly, or where you plan to fly it (within the United States, of course.)
If you are not flying for hobby purposes, you will be deemed to be operating under Part 107 guidelines, which means you are the holder of a current Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate. Bottom line, effective immediately, you are required to possess at least one pilot’s license before you can fly any drone.
What do I do?
Choose a vendor, take the course, pass the test.
Upon successful completion of your TRUST certification, you will be provided a certificate that you will need to have on your person when you fly. This can be saved in digital format on your smartphone, or a printed document.
The certificate is good for life, but you will have to re-take the test if you lose your certificate.
Where do I take the test?
The FAA has provided a list of institutes that are approved to offer the training and testing for TRUST. Please choose the vendor that most appeals to you.
(Disclosure: We’re choosing UAV Coach to take the test for ourselves. UAV Coach provides the Drone Pilot Ground School Part 107 training program for which we are an affiliate partner.)
- The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)
- The Boy Scouts of America
- Chippewa Valley Technical College
- Community College of Allegheny County – West Hills Center
- Drone U
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU)
- HSU Educational Foundation
- Lake Area Technical College
- Pilot Institute
- Drone Launch Academy LLC
- Proctorio Incorporated
- Tactical Aviation
- CrossFlight Sky Solutions
- UAV Coach
- University of Arizona Global Campus
- Volatus Aerospace Corp
We will do our best to keep this list up to date, for the official list, please visit the FAA website.
This is a game changer for the drone hobby. While we welcome the inherent safety of ensuring all pilots are educated for safe flight, we admit that the awareness of drone laws is already lacking.
We are sad when we encounter other pilots in the wild that are unaware of the basic rules of the sky, meaning we fully expect that many of these pilots, particularly small children piloting toy aircraft in their backyard, will be surprised by penalties for violation. This is true of any new law, and we’ll do our part to spread the word. We hope that’s enough.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have my Part 107, do I need TRUST certification?
Yes, if you plan to fly recreationally, you will also need TRUST certification.
I’m just flying my friend’s toy drone as a one-time thing, do I need TRUST Certification?
Yes. Just like a drivers license, nobody is permitted to operate a vehicle on the road (or an aircraft in the sky) without proper licensing.
Are there age limits on the TRUST Certification?
No. Anyone can take the TRUST course and challenge the test. This goes for young children as well, as long as they are old enough to read and understand the course material, and pass the test on their own, they are able to get this drone pilots license.
Is my toy considered a drone?
By definition, any remote controlled flying craft qualifies as a UAV (a drone) according to the FAA. Under this new rule, any hobby craft that weighs less than 55lbs now requires a certificated pilot.
Who can ask to see my TRUST certificate?
You are legally obligated to show proof of your TRUST certification to an FAA representative, or law enforcement.