Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about the FAA Part 107 Certified Remote Pilot database, and finding out whether a drone pilot is licensed through the FAA airman lookup tool. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.
Does the FAA have a website where you can see if a drone operator has a license to fly commercially?
The short answer is yes, it’s relatively easy to find out if a drone pilot is licensed! You can browse the FAA’s public registry of Part 107-certifed remote pilots here on a webpage called the Airmen Inquiry.
In order to browse the FAA airman lookup database, you will have to start by submitting information about yourself, including your name and address. From there, you can browse all airmen (okay, how about airwomen?!), whether they are manned or remote pilots. You’ll be able to see each pilot’s certificate and their rating (including that of yours truly). Of course, the FAA does not display some highly personal, more-private details such as Social Security Number, certificate number, or date of birth.
If you’re hiring someone to do commercial drone work for you, the FAA’s Airmen Inquiry page is a great place to check if that drone pilot is actually certified.
As of December 31, 2023, exactly 368,604 Remote Pilot certifications have been issued.
And if you’re a drone owner who flies commercially but is not yet Part 107-certified, save yourself the embarrassment of not showing up in this database by taking the Part 107 test. I promise, it’s not as hard as it may seem, even if you don’t have a background in aviation. (Here’s my guide and video to taking the Part 107 test, which is a 60-question written test that takes up to 2 hours. If you don’t have a background in aviation, you’ll certainly need to devote a few evenings to studying, but it’s not something you can’t do.
Note that not all pilots who have certificates may show up in your database search. Pilots do have 90 days to opt-out of having their address posted so there is a significant lag in posting, and someone’s legal name may not be the name you know then as when you search them.
How to pass the Part 107 test and get certified
Looking for study resources to ensure you pass? I used Drone Pilot Ground School and passed on the first try. I’ve also detailed out tons of other recommendations for the best Part 107 online courses here.
How to find out your FAA drone registration number
While only commercial drone operators need to be Part 107-certified pilots, all drone pilots operating an 249 gram drone or greater must register their aircraft. Drone registration numbers are legally required to be marked somewhere on the outside of the aircraft. And how do you lookup my drone registration number if you’ve lost/forgotten it! Use this guide which walks you through the FAA drone database to find it.
Happy flying, and happy test-taking!