Drone laws in the USA | How to LEGALLY fly a drone | Do you need a commercial drone license?

Drone laws in the USA | How to LEGALLY fly a drone | Do you need a commercial drone license?

Today we’re talking about how to legally fly a drone for Youtube videos and some FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) laws surrounding drone flying. After someone anonymously reported us to the FAA, we were told we could not fly our drone until we passed the Part 107 test to become a commercial drone pilot. It was a bit scary, a lot confusing, but in the end we’re more confident drone pilots thanks to some amazing study materials. Chris aced his test and today we’re answering some of your questions from Instagram that you had regarding drone flying, Youtube vlogging, and more. Our biggest question: how do you think this will impact the new DJI FPV drone? Let us know in the comments below!

Time codes (jump to a section)
00:00 – Intro
04:54 – Part 107 drone test study course
07:55 – Does weight limit on a drone matter?
09:55 – Is there a height requirement for drone flying?
10:53 – Is a license needed to fly a drone in certain places?
11:23 – Why does a commercial drone license matter? How much did the commercial drone license cost?
15:09 – If you have drone footage before monetizing your channel do those videos count?
15:42 – Can you use drone footage that has already been recorded?
16:52 – Doesn’t the FAA have better things to do?
18:02 – What does it entail to obtain a commercial drone license to fly?
19:22 – Is Sara going to take the commercial drone test too?
19:36 – What did you do to prepare for the Part 107 test and how long did it take?

⭐️ Mentioned in this video:
+ Our drone: https://amzn.to/2NCCj3R
+ Other camera gear: https://letsbe.us/our-travel-vlog-gear-for-2020/
+ Vlog music: https://share.mscbd.fm/letsbeus

📚Drone Study Course | Study for your drone test using the same course we used!
+ The Pilot Institute Course : https://bit.ly/3svBV5V
+ The Pilot Institute Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZrvroBniz3NbAgMpk_UU0g

🎥 Watch our favorite travel vlogs here 🙂 https://bit.ly/3r17eVH

💻 Follow us on social media
+ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/letsbe_us
+ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/letsbeustravel
+ Website: https://www.letsbe.us

== A B O U T U S ==
Hey y’all! We’re Chris + Sara (or as you know us, Let’s Be Us), a husband and wife digital nomad travel duo currently working and traveling full time with our pup, Kramer. We’ve always dreamed of traveling full time, and in May of 2018 we took the leap and made it happen! Today we’re balancing work and fun everywhere between the Pacific and Atlantic. From hiking and cycling to tacos and coffee, we’re trying to see and experience as much of this world as we can! While our home is currently on wheels in our DIY Sprinter van, our travels take us all around the world.

Be sure to hit subscribe here on Youtube and follow along on Instagram for more daily fun! Oh, and be sure to say hi while you’re here. 🙂


  1. jmanj39 on May 11, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    You miss the point when people criticize the FAA. What they are asking you to do is get a commercial pilots licence to monetize a video that you made with a toy. It’s not like a crop dusting drone, you’re not inspecting power lines here. Think about the RMV for example. They don’t make you get a tractor trailer, Commercial drivers licence/ CDL just because you made money delivering pizza on a scooter. Tying the license requirement to money instead of vehicle size and complexity doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t keep anyone safer. A mini drone is not a 50 lb crop duster with a load of chemicals.
    Oh and you don’t need the license if you don’t monetize the video. I don’t monetize so I’m good for now. If I ever go that route I will license up. Not because I think it makes sense but because I don’t want to pay fines.

  2. daniel on May 11, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    Bull shit

  3. Doug Ireland on May 11, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    What if you attach a fishing line to the drone so it’s always attached to the ground while flying? This came to mind when you talked about checking your gutters. But in theory you could fly pretty high and still have a line attached. Is that still flying?

  4. Hubsan RC Productions on May 11, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    I blame this on the idiots who misused these drones by flying them over airports, using them to spy on people invading their invading privacy. THEY are the ones who ruined fun out of this hobby!

  5. Keith The Chef on May 11, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    So….. it sounds like as long as I’m not trying to make money off my footage than I’m good lol.

  6. Alistair Rooney on May 11, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    The UK laws don’t distinguish between hobby or commercial. Based on type of flying and risk, you do A1, A2 or A3 class and then you can notch it up to GVC which includes a flight test.

  7. Ozark Hills Rider on May 11, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you for a very informative video.

  8. TRICK-OR TREAT on May 11, 2022 at 6:38 pm


  9. Banshee Media on May 11, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Our government sucks and the people who cuck for it are even worse.

  10. Destry Payne on May 11, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    YouTube demonitized my channel years ago. I never got a penny and never will. They cannot threaton me over commercial profit! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    When a news agency offers to pay for footage, refuse payment. Give them the footage.
    Also laws only apply to U.S. citizens. Read Title 18 USC section 911 and read the Aliens and Nationalities Act. 😱😱

  11. leroy071265 on May 11, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    That was very helpful for me

  12. Money Gardener on May 11, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Nice attitude… Thanks for the warning.

  13. redragn72 on May 11, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    This stuff is so frign funny. The FAA literally has a law called the Part 103 for an ultralight aircraft. You can literally fly an aircraft that weighs less than 254 pounds, carries 5 gallons or less of fuel and maxes out at 63 MPH without a license and NO training, and can take videos from it and post it up and the FAA won’t touch you! And the funniest part is you can make the craft out of anything you want as long as it is under the max weight…. this is the craziest thing I have ever heard of ever!

  14. Mark Carter on May 11, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    I thought this was based on what your intent was. If your intent is to film awesome scenery for your own personal selves, and then share it, that is not drone footage requiring 107. Now if your intent was to film specifically to upload it to youtube to make money, then that’s different. I mean I guess it’s best to roll over because messing with the government is a waste of $, but it’s kind of like the FAA cannot prove intent very easily, and in the court of law they’d likely lose that battle should you have fought it.

  15. judson greig on May 11, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    do you have to have a license to fly over your own property under 400 ft

  16. James M on May 11, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    I am considering getting a drone this summer to shoot video of me playing guitar at unique sites in the mountains where I live.
    I will not be making $ directly from my drone, it will be from my music…but I want to use these videos to promote myself…

    Is this considered a "commercial venture?"

  17. David Martin on May 11, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    what size is the registration numbers to be on the drone? And thank you for sharing that information very helpful.

  18. Robert V on May 11, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    So I have a dji mavic pro and I have no intent on making money just to film the outdoors for my own enjoyment,I have registered the drone with the faa and have a number.as long as I fly where it is legel and under 400 feet am I good.and anoher thing I was told that as long as I have a faa number I do not have to register every drone I own over 250 grams is that true? sorry for the 20 questions just trying to fly legel. great channel by the way,you are a sweet couple.

  19. Muddy Ruttzz on May 11, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    My understanding is I can fly my drone under recreational or Part 107. I got the Part 107 just in case.

  20. C L3 on May 11, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    The skies don’t seem as friendly anymore…

  21. Nathan Levinton on May 11, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Been seeing a lot of these videos. I’m glad the priority of the FAA doesn’t seem to be trying to fine anyone, just to get them to get the part 107 license. Big picture I think it’s a good enforcement policy. Kind of like the cop who tells you to slow it down rather than a speed camera that just mails you a ticket.

  22. Isaak Loeppert on May 11, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    do you need to be a seton age to take the test??

  23. UpTopMikeP on May 11, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    In the final analysis the definition of “fun” is strictly left to interpretation by the FAA. You cannot win!!! Get licensed.

  24. Dominic Cassone on May 11, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    can i post drone footage or pictures on Instagram without a license?

  25. TENET on May 11, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Who Snitched 👀

  26. Turtlestyx on May 11, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    I appreciate your info! Signed up for the course and look forward to getting my license. I don’t have a following on youtube but have something small on IG, figured I might as well get the license even though I am not making any money yet. But the INTENT is to eventually create a few streams of revenue from my new drone. Thanks again!

  27. Aa Jr on May 11, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    Had to pause around 3 minutes. On the "do the right thing" had to say that’s bullshit.

  28. Hugh Lieck on May 11, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    The regs concerning commercial use were mostly created because the pilot association has a strong lobby and they realized that when it comes to some commercial uses of airplanes, esp. aerial photography, drones are a much more economical way to obtain those images so putting the pilots’ livelihood at risk. That’s the main reason that folks making money off their drones have to jump through all the hoops.

  29. csmith38104 on May 11, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    What kind of drone do you fly?

  30. Daniel Monan on May 11, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    Hi you two, I am on the point of buying a mini drone and your video was and is very handy thanks a lot

  31. bikerjon1 on May 11, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    So you BOTH make money from YouTube. ..
    Because if one of you who isn’t fly the drone….is that a loophole.

  32. 0623kaboom on May 11, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    regurgitated … the act of having spewed forth something previously used from within oneself … and yes he is saying it properly … and in the proper context even …
    besides regurgitate sounds a load better than vomit it all back …
    means the same thing just doesnt imply a smelly mess on the floor

  33. Curtis Marean on May 11, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Another power grab by fed agents. You even need a permit for a kite! It’s all about control.

  34. Tracy James on May 11, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    You SAY they are not trolling but early on i saw a video where a youtuber filmed in a national park and they noticed the video online and someone showed up at his door with a fine. He didnt even know about the then recently new rule. So yes someone is watching for violaters.

  35. Kim Fatica on May 11, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    This video was well done and super helpful now that I am so close to purchasing and operating a drone! Sharing your experience and knowledge is a real gift. I spent nearly 20 years flying in news helicopters and started (and managed) the news helicopter program for one of our local affiliates, so I can fully appreciate why the FAA wants drone flyers to be licensed for commercial use. I was part of the local FAA safety group who developed the local flight agreement for ‘low flyers’, which included news, medical, police, and banner-towing helicopters. Not everyone cares to be as mindful as you.

  36. exploring with the coal cracker on May 11, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    So…if my drone is under 250g, i dont make money, or do not fly in nfz’s im legal?

  37. Donald Martin on May 11, 2022 at 7:11 pm


  38. jboy truth researcher on May 11, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    kills me how many people think and believe making more regulations and laws restricting every action in a persons life is a good thing ..u.s. is one of the most regulated country on earth…need permission to do this , to do that , be registered to breath ..dont sound like freedom to me ..if you think the FAA doing this to protect people uv lost your mind.. there was a time when Americans had no use for federal agencies of any kind. 50 yrs ago people realized that America was a country of freedom and bravery , they understood that the united states was a collective states who come together and agreed to the first 9 bill of rites and the president of the collective states was appointed to deal with commerce between nations ..to be the spokes man for the states for oversees commerce and the federal government wasnt there to govern the people …U.N. freedom index from the C.I.A now has America ranked 18 in freedom because of over regulation. Since when is a government watching every move a person makes ever end up being good idea
    …Never , does always end in tyranny thou.. 100,000. dollar fine scare tactics of a tyrannical country and thats all it is…

  39. Capt. Dave Bertrand on May 11, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    Interesting video ! ???? Do you happen to know if a pilot with an Air Transport Rating able to waive the test, or ????? Or…..would I have to take the test every two years even though my ATR Commercial License is a life time certification??

  40. catzndolz on May 11, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    So, up here in NJ, with everybody buying drones for their kids, if caught, they could lose their house?

  41. kofuzi on May 11, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    studying in slow motion. I love it.

  42. R Clarke on May 11, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Nosy ass people don’t mind their own damn business that’s what it was lol glad you got your license now though fly with the big boys

  43. What's That Name on May 11, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Did Sara get her license? After pouring through the Part 107 documentation (btw, I studied through Pilot Institute), I discovered that someone under my direct adjacent supervision can operate the drone for commercial purpose if I am ready to take control of the controls. That is, I must be physically next to the operator.

  44. Bill on May 11, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    It all about government control

  45. Herbie on May 11, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    Meanwhile, we have drug addicted homeless defecating on our streets and attacking innocent people with no consequences, violent criminals being released with no accountability, laws in California and Washington that forgive ALL parking and moving violations even for one’s that have over 25 infractions in a year and just choose not to follow laws, yet the f-ing government has to waist resources and bother completely innocent citizens out just flying a benign drone. Regulations are needed, but they go way overboard.

  46. Jon Henderson on May 11, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much for this video and for your info! I just got a drone and passed the private test and it was so easy I thought why not go for commercial! I’m not monetized, but hoping one day to be, so I’ll get prepared by taking this course! You guys are tooo awesome!! (Happy you didn’t lose your house! lol :))

  47. Reel Talk with Real Nurses on May 11, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Just to clarify. Just a didactic program with a test…no clinical/or hands on/ flying practical testing -correct? Thanks for the video.

  48. RidgeLife on May 11, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Great video guys!

  49. REDVlogzTV on May 11, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    This is dumb dude. You guys do it for making your videos more fun and more interesting not bothering anybody. They just want our money it sucks

  50. Jimy Wealth on May 11, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    wow digital slavery is here

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