Effective Jan. 13, 2020, people seeking an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate (or any type of airman certificate) will have to register on the IACRA website first and obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) before being allowed to schedule the test.
How to Obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN)
To obtain an FTN, applicants will need to visit the IACRA website. Instructions will be posted there once the changes go live on Jan. 13, 2020.
If you have an existing Remote Pilot Certificate, you actually already have an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) for the Unmanned Aircraft General Test. The FTN will allow you to schedule future test dates using an online process instead of having to call the testing center directly.
Drone pilots with an existing Remote Pilot Certificate can log into their IACRA account where their FTN will be displayed in the top left corner, as shown above.
Where to Schedule Your Test for a Remote Pilot Certificate / Drone License
Once you have your FTN, you can register to take your knowledge test (specifically the Unmanned Aircraft – General Test) by going to the following registration and scheduling website operated by PSI Services LLC: https://faa.psiexams.com/FAA/login.
The test cost is $160, although some test centers may only charge $96 if the testing center is owned by PSI (test provider). You will pay for the test when you register online.
[Need help preparing for the knowledge test and earning your drone license? Drone Pilot Ground School offers the #1 test prep course that guarantees you’ll pass the test on your first try!]
The Unmanned Aircraft – General Test contains 60 multiple-choice questions, which the test taker is allotted two hours to complete. Here’s a breakdown of the questions, by knowledge topic:
Learn more about the resources available to help you obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate.
Why the Change?
These changes are part of the new Airman Certificate Testing Service (ACTS), and they apply to all certified pilots of manned and unmanned aircraft.
The FAA implemented the FTN requirement after name inconsistencies (such as spelling errors or having a name different from that listed on your ID) led to errors and lengthy delays in the certification process. An FTN enables the applicant and any certifying officer the ability to pull up airman information in a consistent format, leaving little room for errors associated with an applicant’s name.
The FAA also hopes that the new FTN requirement will:
- significantly reduce the number of returned files, saving FAA resources;
- encourage the use of IACRA; and
- allow for future expansion of the electronic application process.
What do you think about the upcoming changes to the FAA knowledge testing process? Let us know in this thread on our community forum.