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How To Get A Drone License In Illinois [DO YOU NEED ONE?]

How To Get A Drone License In Illinois [DO YOU NEED ONE?]

Getting a drone license in Illinois is essential for a lucrative drone flying career. As long as you have a drone license and adhere to the general rules for flying drones, you will always have a flawless flying experience. But what does it take to get a drone license in Illinois?

To get a drone license in Illinois, you will need to follow four crucial steps, which include;

  • Obtaining an FAA Tracking Number
  • Scheduling an appointment with an FAA-approved center in Illinois
  • Passing the aeronautical knowledge test
  • Completing the FAA Form to get a remote pilot certificate

Read on for more information on how to get a drone license and have a lucrative drone flying experience.

illinois sign streetHow to Get a Drone License in Illinois

Once you have decided that you need a drone license in Illinois, the process should be swift and smooth as long as you know the steps to follow. However, before you embark on the process, you should ensure that you are at least 16 years of age, be able to read and write and be in an excellent mental and physical state to fly. Here is how to get a drone license in Illinois.

Obtain an FAA Tracking Number

To obtain an FAA tracking number, you will need to create an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating profile to acquire the FAA tracking number. The FAA tracking number is essential because it enables you to schedule your knowledge test in an FAA-accredited center in Illinois. Fortunately, creating an IACRA profile is straightforward because the system directs.

Schedule your Exam

After obtaining the FAA tracking number, the next step will be to schedule your exam. Here, you need to ensure that you choose an FAA-approved center. Additionally, it is wise to familiarize yourself with what to expect during your exam. The exam includes 60 multiple-choice questions.

Study for the Exam

It is vital to understand that for you to get a drone license in Illinois, you will have to pass your knowledge test. Therefore, it is essential to spare your time to study for the exam. The test covers drone laws, airspace classification, limitations and flight operations, emergency procedures, and flight restrictions.

Apply for the License

After passing the aeronautical knowledge test, you will need to go back to the IACRA website and complete the FAA FORM 8710-13 to acquire your remote pilot certificate. TSA will carry out a background check on you before they can provide you with a temporary drone pilot license you can print.

Drone License Illinois Cost

Although most people know that it is vital to have a drone license, especially when flying drones for commercial purposes, some fear the process because they perceive it to be expensive. However, getting a license in Illinois is never expensive as long as you deal with an FAA-accredited center.

The amount you will need to pay to schedule an aeronautical knowledge exam is $175. You may have to spend a similar amount when preparing for the FAA exam to be sure that you will pass. However, with numerous helpful resources provided by the internet, spending money to prepare for your exams is not a must.

Drone Registration Illinois

The general rules and regulations of the FAA require people to register their drones before they can fly. To be precise;

  • Drone operators must register all their drones except those weighing 0.55 pounds or less and are flown for recreational purposes.
  • The drones that are registered under part 107 can fly for recreational purposes as well as under 107
  • Drones registered exclusively for recreational purposes cannot fly for part 107 operations.

To make registering your drone smooth and flawless, you need to have all the necessary information. The information that you will need to register your drone includes;

  • A phone number
  • Email address
  • Mailing and physical address
  • The make and the model of the drone
  • Debit or credit card
  • Specific Remote ID serial number of the drone by the manufacturer

The Registration Fees

  • To register a single drone under part 107, you will need to part with $5, valid for three years.
  • The exception for recreational flyers registration also costs $5 and lasts for three years.
  • Once you have registered your drone, you cannot transfer it between types ( exception for recreational flyers or part 107)

After the Registration

After registering your drone, you will get an FAA registration certificate. It is crucial to ensure that you have your paper or digital certificate whenever you are flying. Additionally, if you give someone else to operate your drone, you will need to make sure that they have the certification of registration whenever they are flying the drone.

It is important to note that failing to register drones that require registration can result in criminal and regulatory criminal penalties. According to the FAA, the civil penalties can get up to $ 27 500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $ 250,000 and/ or imprisonment of three years.

Drone Laws Illinois

One of the best ways to have a smooth and exciting flying experience is to ensure that you can comply with all the rules and regulations. Here are specific additional drone use laws and regulations applicable in Illinois.

Sec. 15. Exceptions; the act does not prohibit the use of drones by law enforcement agencies;

  • If a law enforcement agency obtains a search warrant based on section 108-3, the search warrant is limited to 45 days. The warrant is only renewable by a judge after showing a good reason for renewing it for the subsequent 45 days.
  • To counter high risks of terrorism if the United States of Homeland security determines the intelligence that indicates the presence of such a risk.
  • If the law enforcers have reasonable suspicion under specific situations, there is a need for swift action to prevent loss of life.
  • When a law enforcement agency is trying to find a missing person and is not pursuing criminal investigations
  • If a law enforcement agency is using drones during a public health emergency or a disaster
  • When a law enforcement agency is using a drone for traffic crashes and crime scene photography

Section 20. Information Retention

If a low enforcer uses a drone under section 15 of this act, the agency has 30 days to destroy all the information they gathered. However, a supervisor at the agency may retain specific information if;

  • there is legitimate suspicion that the information in question contains evidence of criminal activity, or
  • the information is relevant to a pending criminal trial

More like this: How To Get A Drone License In Idaho 

Illinois Drone Laws Over Private Property

When flying a drone in Illinois, it is vital to ensure that you adhere to the existing rules and regulations that govern drones over private property.

The rules and regulations in Illinois do not allow drone operators to fly over private properties without first obtaining the right to do so from the owners. Flying over private properties without proper permissions may see property owners enforcing their rights through tort law and may bring forth trespass and invasion of privacy claims.

drone old men flyAdditional Rules and Regulations for All Drone Pilots in Illinois

  • Always stay at or below 400 feet at all times.
  • Ensure that you get permission before flying over-controlled or private airspace
  • You must be mentally and physically fit to fly a drone. Flying a drone under the influence is illegal.
  • Ensure that your drone weighs under 55 pounds
  • Always be ready to give way and yield to crewed aircraft.
  • Ensure that you fly your drone within the visual line of sight. In other words, you or your visual observer should be able to see your drone all the time.
  • If you fly drones for commercial purposes, a drone license in Illinois is a must for you.

Also read: How To Get A Drone License In Iowa 


Getting a drone license in Illinois is the best way to have a compelling flying experience. Fortunately, the process is simple and cost-effective. Therefore, you have no reason to find yourself on the other side of the law for flying a drone without a license. Use an FAA-accredited center when registering for your aeronautical knowledge test.

Keep reading: How To Get A Drone License In Georgia [GUIDE]