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I am current with my Part 107 Certification until the end of January, 2021. I was planning to take the recurrence exam this month.

However, with the 12/31/2020 FAA ruling, "Starting in March 2021, drone pilots who are already certified no longer need to take an in-person recurrent exam at a PSI test center. You still have to demonstrate currency every 24 months, but it will now be through a free online training course from the FAA. "

My question is...should I pay the $150 fee to take the test in 01/2021 to stay current? Or, should I let my part 107 lapse for a month and then re-certify by taking the FREE online course from the FAA?

If my certification lapses, do I have to start over and take the initial test?  I don't use the Part 107 often, so letting it lapse for a month would not be a big deal for me.

Thanks for any suggestions or hints on how to work through this...

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23 hours ago, DataInspector said:

I am current with my Part 107 Certification until the end of January, 2021. I was planning to take the recurrence exam this month.

However, with the 12/31/2020 FAA ruling, "Starting in March 2021, drone pilots who are already certified no longer need to take an in-person recurrent exam at a PSI test center. You still have to demonstrate currency every 24 months, but it will now be through a free online training course from the FAA. "

My question is...should I pay the $150 fee to take the test in 01/2021 to stay current? Or, should I let my part 107 lapse for a month and then re-certify by taking the FREE online course from the FAA?

If my certification lapses, do I have to start over and take the initial test?  I don't use the Part 107 often, so letting it lapse for a month would not be a big deal for me.

Thanks for any suggestions or hints on how to work through this...

My understanding of Part 107 certification is that it never expires but you do need to take the recurrent test in order to be "operational". In other words if after 24 months of passing the initial test you don't take the recurrent test you can not fly commercially until you pass the recurrent test.

I took my initial test back in September of 2016 and since I did not end up flying commercially I did not bother to take the re-current test in 2018 but would also be interested to know for sure if I can simply take this new free online recurrent test that should be available in March.

 

Edited by Spitfire76
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Would be interested as well as I took the online test to stay current due to COVID but that 6 month extension is coming up. Would be great to just have to take an online course to stay current vs going to a PSI test center. @Alan Perlman any insight into this?  Thanks! -Adam

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Hi @DataInspector

There are no penalties for letting your Part 107 Certification lapse. The Part 107 does not expire, it must be renewed however if you plan to operate your drone for non-recreational applications. 

Letting the certification lapse will not prompt you to retake the initial Part 107 exam again. If your certification is not renewed, then you can only operate for recreation until it has been renewed.  If you are not using your certification that often, you could let it lapse and then renew once the FAA launches the free online training sometime in March. 

The other option is to take the recurrent exam now to stay current and then take the free online training once it becomes available. This would just reset the 24-month timeline of when your certification would be due for renewal again. 

 - Chase 

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I had this same question as my certification lapsed over a year ago and I have been reluctant to take the recurrent test in person at a testing facility. Per remote101.com, Jason Schappert maintains that the free training courses by the FAA will not be available for another 12-18 mos.! If you do not intent to fly/operate commercially between now and then, you can wait it out, but if you need to fly commercially before that time, you will have to take your recurrent test.

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Thanks everyone for the information. Definitely helpful. @T3rdEye, I think that you can only do that once so for those of us who have already done that, when our 6 months are up, we will have to take a recurrent test. @Alex Martin I am hoping it is not 12-18 months before it comes out, especially since they already have the 6 month course from 2020 during COVID Lockdown.  

I guess I'll give it another few weeks and see if more information comes out before booking an in-person exam for end of March when my 6 month extension runs out.  Thanks everyone for the information and hopefully more will come out soon to clarify everything even more.

Cheers.

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I’m not up to Recertify until December 2022 at which point I’m looking forward to taking the online training, this will save me a trip to PSI, leaving me more time to prep and prepare for my new drone students entering the market. The rules and laws are changing rapidly and keeping up with updated information is key and timing is everything. 

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  • 1 month later...

I see this info from DronePilot ground school...can anyone verify this info? I have already created an account with PSI and waiting to hear a little bit more info from this girl at a testing site where I have taken the initial and one other recurrent exam.  Will pass along more info when she gets back to me later today hopefully.

https://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com/recurrent-knowledge-test-part-107/

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

What's a bit confusing is that the training keeps referring to "Part 61 Pilot Certification" which if I understood correctly is someone that was certified to fly manned aircraft but is not necessarily current. That's been around since the beginning of Part 107 and allowed part 61 certified pilots to take the online training instead of the part 107 initial test. Of course it may mean that the FAA has simply leveraged from this training/exam and also applied it to non-current Part 107 certified pilots but again not that clear unless I missed something.

Edited by Spitfire76
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Email that I received from the FAA

quote

  • There are multiple training options, depending on your current status:
    • If you do not hold a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate you must:
    • Current Part 61 certificate holders:
      • Take the Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Initial (ALC-451) online course
      • Available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website for no cost
    • Part 107 remote pilots who are also certificated and current under Part 61:
      • Take the Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Recurrent (ALC -515) online course
      • Available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website for no cost
    • All individuals who hold a Part 107 remote pilot certificate (regardless of currency):
      • Take the Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent Non-Part 61 Pilots (ALC-677) online course
      • Available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website for no cost

end quote

Interesting, the last one is titled 

ALC-677: Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent Non-Part 61 Pilots

but the course content is 

Part 107 sUAS Initial –61 Pilots

Hence my confusion 

Edited by Spitfire76
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Ok Ya'll so I took the test today.

While it says there is an introduction and 3 sections, it really is an introduction and one section.  It took me about an hour or so to get through the intro and section one.  Sections 2 and 3 are essentially other resources for you. 

Yes, you do need to get a 100% on the test - it was a 45 question multiple choice test.  If you did read through the lessons you should be fine.  Happy to answer any questions people have.

Cheers,

Adam

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