Take out the guess-work and pass your drone theory test first time with this guide as well as learning how to properly sticker your drones.
Why you need to register your drone
The CAA recently passed new drone laws in the UK making it illegal to fly a drone without registering it and passing the drone theory test for a cost of £9/year.
The drone theory test is designed to ensure drone operators know the basic requirements and procedures to fly lawfully and safely before taking to the skies.
What is in the drone theory test?
The drone theory exam test (UK) is a multiple choice exam at the end of which you will get a Flyer ID if you fly a drone and an Operator ID if you own a drone. It is likely you will need both.
- 20 multiple choice questions with a pass mark of 16/20
- read the new Drone and Model Aircraft Code before taking the test
- you may take the test as many times as required for free
- upon completion you will receive a Flyer ID and/or Operator ID
your flyer ID is valid for 3 years.
Go through the drone code step by step
The Drone Code contains all of the information you need and all of the 20 multiple choice questions are devised from it.
Read the Drone and Model Aircraft Code:
When you know this code, you are ready to take your theory test.
This helpful easy-to-follow guide opens in a new window and provides all the information in around 21 short steps. Here are examples of the first 2 steps (pictured below) to give you an idea.
Here are some examples of the Drone Code and what to expect.
What is an Operator ID?
If you own a drone, even if you do not plan to fly it, e.g. you are a parent and it’s your child’s drone, then you will need an Operator ID. Register as a non-flying operator.
This will allow people with a valid Flyer ID, yourself included to fly the drone.
You must be over 18 to register for an Operator ID and you must label the drone with the Operator ID.
Follow this link to register and get both ID’s (or only the one you need):
How do I label my drone with my Operator ID?
It is against the law to fly a drone without an Operator ID on every drone you own.
You must use the same Operator ID on each drone you own if you have multiple.
Once you have registered you should receive a confirmation email with your Operator ID.
How do I correctly label my drone with my Operator ID?
In order to meet the CAA’s standards your Operator ID must be:
- visible without needing a special tool to remove or open part of your drone
- shown clearly and in block capitals taller than 3mm
- secured and safe from damage
- on the main body of the drone
- easy to read when the drone is on the ground.
It is advisable that you use a removable label as your Operator ID may change when you renew. You will also need to remove the label once you are no longer responsible for the drone.
Never use your Flyer ID to label your drone.
Do businesses need to register drones?
If your business or organisation operates a drone you can register the drone to the business. Simply follow the same process to get an Operator ID but register the business name and details.
Some examples of organisations that need to register their drones include: schools, businesses, colleges, universities, voluntary organisations, clubs and charities.
The person who registers the drone must be authorised to be the accountable manager for drones within the business/organisation.
If you are flying with a permission, exemption or operation authorisation from a named UAS operator then you will not need to take the online training.
You will not need to register as an operator with the CAA if you are already a member of the following associations:
- British Model Flying Association (BMFA)
- Scottish Aeromodellers’ Association (SAA)
- Large Model Association (LMA)
- FPV UK
UK Drone Theory Test Summary
Registration is mandatory from November 30, 2019. After this deadline anyone flying without passing the UK drone theory test will be breaking the law.
The good news is that the test is relatively simple and only requires that you have read and understand the drone code, and understand how to fly safely. With a pass-mark of 16/20 and the fact that it is multiple choice and you can take it as many times as you wish for free, there’s really no excuse not to have already ticked this off your to-do list.
If you have any questions or opinions about the new fees, fines and registration please feel free to let us know in the comments.
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All the best with your theory test!