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I got a Part 107 (Commercial Drone) Certificate by passing the test more than two years ago, so it's expired now. I just became a private pilot, and I know that private pilots can get a Part 107 Certificate if they take a few online courses from the FAA.

But since I have the Part 107 from passing a test and now want to use my private pilot certificate to renew my expired Part 107 certificate, how do I do this?

It seems a little convoluted because it's a renewal, not an original certificate.

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As a holder of an FAA private pilot certificate, you can take a free course to “renew” a Part 107 certificate. You will first have to create and register an account on the FAA Safety Team website. You should do this anyway to earn WINGS credit toward your next flight review.

The site states..

The Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Recurrent course describes the operational requirements to continue to operate small UAS in the National Airspace System (NAS) under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107, small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. ***Note: This course may be taken by remote pilots who qualify for relief under Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 118 to satisfy the aeronautical knowledge recency requirements of 14 CFR 107.65(a) or (b) for a period of six calendar months. FOR PART 61 PILOT CERTIFICATE HOLDERS WITH A CURRENT FLIGHT REVIEW (IN ACCORDANCE WITH 14 CFR PART 61.56), SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THIS ONLINE COURSE SATISFIES THE RECURRENT TRAINING REQUIREMENT TO REMAIN CURRENT AS A PART 107 REMOTE PILOT WITH A SMALL UAS RATING. All other interested individuals may complete this online course as a self-study resource.

A Part 107 certificate does not have an expiration date. You lose the privileges associated with it if you do not renew your currency by taking a refresher course.

The FAR/AIM states...

§107.65 Aeronautical knowledge recency.
A person may not operate a small unmanned aircraft system unless that person has completed one of the following, within the previous 24 calendar months:

(a) Passed an initial aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.73(a);

(b) Passed a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.73(b); or

(c) If a person holds a pilot certificate (other than a student pilot certificate) issued under part 61 of this chapter and meets the flight review requirements specified in §§61.56, passed either an initial or recurrent training course covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.74(a) or (b) in a manner acceptable to the Administrator.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I went to the website and finished it. $\endgroup$ – SurfandSky May 21 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ Wow! One of those rare Aviation questions with a pretty cut 'n dry regulatory answer. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan May 21 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan - sshhhhh... Don’t tell the FAA. They’ll change the regs. 😜😁 $\endgroup$ – Dean F. May 21 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @SurfandSky - Don’t forget to rack up those WINGS credits. The UAS course counts as one credit. Earning a WINGS phase by getting enough credits counts as a 24 calendar month Flight Review. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. May 21 at 14:01
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Because you are now a private pilot, your Part 107 certificate automatically renews when you take your Flight Review every two years. Passing your private pilot checkride counts as a Flight Review, so you are good until the end of the month two years from your checkride date.

§107.65 Aeronautical knowledge recency. (c) If a person holds a pilot certificate (other than a student pilot certificate) issued under part 61 of this chapter and meets the flight review requirements specified in §§61.56, passed either an initial or recurrent training course covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.74(a) or (b) in a manner acceptable to the Administrator.

You can renew your certificate by passing the test but it is not necessary. In my case I took the initial training and got my certificate in October of 2017. I got a flight review in December of 2017 which renewed if for two years. I passed my IFR checkride in May of 2019, which renewed if for another two years.

Because I had some time, I took the course again in April so I am good until the end of April 2022.

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