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. M D on March 18, 2021 at 12:24 am

    FAA would require anybody flying a paper kite a "pilot license" if it knew your were flying it high enough to make money, even as a hobby.

  2. Paolo Milana on March 18, 2021 at 12:24 am

    What the FAA has to do with YouTube? That’s absurd. You’re making money off your videos, not the drone itself? I don’t think it’s fair or legal.

  3. Half Insane Outdoor Guy on March 18, 2021 at 12:27 am

    I’m sorry that is pure horseshit. Government is the enemy of the people these days. and fk the karen that reported you!!

  4. Wear and Tear on March 18, 2021 at 12:28 am

    The F in FAA certainly does not stand for freedom 😉

  5. Ron Wyman on March 18, 2021 at 12:31 am

    Congratulations on getting the 107 and learning from Pilot’s Institute. Greg is great.

  6. Aaron Erickson on March 18, 2021 at 12:33 am

    Can I post drone footage on Facebook? I have the small 249 gram DJI mini 2.

  7. glassmw on March 18, 2021 at 12:33 am

    I sold my drone. It’s beyond ridiculous the hoops we’re being forced to jump through. And I already got my FAA drone license.

  8. Jerry Minakowski on March 18, 2021 at 12:34 am

    What a great video. I am one of those Christmas pilots of a DJI Mini 2. I do not plan on making money with my drone, but the Part 107 may be the way to go. I use apps to help with the rules, but just to cover my butt. Thank you for the info.

  9. Paul Wheatley on March 18, 2021 at 12:34 am

    People should mind their business

  10. Mark Rodgers on March 18, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Excellent video! Thanks!

  11. Diving Falcon FPV on March 18, 2021 at 12:35 am

    I need one

  12. recycl0ps on March 18, 2021 at 12:36 am

    I looked up the course and it looks good. It mention study material in the promo video. Do I need to buy extra manual for this course? What is the cost of so? Or can I not buy books?

  13. doseofsanity on March 18, 2021 at 12:37 am

    I would like to hear about some of the rules for flying that you learned. Do you have to have a spotter? Does your drone have to be in sight at all times? What if there are people around? Can you film a disaster, e.g. a fire, accidents, etc.? Are there speed restrictions as well as the height restrictions? Can you record wildlife? Are there rules about privacy? Is flying over private property considered trespassing? Lots of questions! Thanks for the very informative video.

  14. bigdatapimp on March 18, 2021 at 12:37 am

    With the new regulations EVERYONE has to pass a test. If you fly with a camera on the drone AT ALL the FAA considers it a commercial operation. Making money has very little to do with it. The key phrase is "in furtherance of a business." To the FAA that includes any "personal promotion." They view any captured footage as potentially being used to "promote" a business, so if you fly with a camera, you need a part 107 Remote Pilot certificate. The FAA does not issue licenses. As a commercial operator you also have to register all your drones no matter the weight.

  15. Nice Doc on March 18, 2021 at 12:38 am

    Glad I found your channel – local Chattanooga drone and outdoor enthusiast, thanks for the informative video.

  16. Let's Be Us on March 18, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Follow us on Instagram for more daily adventures. 🙂 https://www.instagram.com/letsbe_us

  17. HyddenWell Farms on March 18, 2021 at 12:40 am


  18. jeff morrison on March 18, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Love Rome Ga !

  19. Colin Bruner on March 18, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Soooo…how many Qs did you miss?

  20. El Smeghead on March 18, 2021 at 12:43 am

    You should move to the UK or Europe. Under the new EASA rules here, there is no line between hobbyist and commercial! You’re free to upload to youtube without taking the equivalent of a Part 107.

  21. A J on March 18, 2021 at 12:45 am

    I just passed my part 107 a week ago. My advice is to study up. There are some tricky questions on there.

  22. Joe America on March 18, 2021 at 12:45 am

    I enjoyed your video. If you are not aware of him yet you should check out fellow Youtuber Ken Heron. He has a great channel and shares a lot of great content. Especially check out his weekly TNL (Thursday Night Live). Thanks again fir sharing this video.

  23. Vernon W on March 18, 2021 at 12:47 am

    Great information. Thank you

  24. David Richardson on March 18, 2021 at 12:47 am

    Hi Guys,
    Great video. It’s interesting to see the difference between Australia and the USA.

    Over here we can legally make money without a (US Part 107, we call it RePL).

    I can understand the FAA use of Intent (or inference of a business), but they are accusing you of "intent to make money", in that case doesn’t the FAA then have to prove without reasonable doubt that, that was your intent to make money, surely if challenged in court it would be hard if not impossible for the FAA to prove intent beyond reasonable doubt

  25. Erick Bech Photography on March 18, 2021 at 12:48 am

    Great video, thanks for all the information 👍🏼

  26. Brad Coleman on March 18, 2021 at 12:49 am

    I’m really glad you weren’t fined. Good job getting this done and explaining it to us.

  27. Dean Bush on March 18, 2021 at 12:50 am

    I’m taking the exam preparation course now with the Pilot Institute. I took one short course through Linkedin but it was so superficial I didn’t learn much at all. I decided to register with the Pilot Institute. I just completed 21% of the course today and I am so happy I registered for this course. Greg really knows how to educate and to maintain my attention. I love everything about this course and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get the part 107 certificate.

  28. Die Hard Raider Fan on March 18, 2021 at 12:52 am

    You contradicted your selves when you said FAA is not doing for money then you started talking about as more and more ppl start buying drones. Of course it’s about Money everything is or they would not charge nothing. Google the number of DJI drones sold in the US times $5 and tell me it is not about money.

  29. DeltaBravoOpr8r on March 18, 2021 at 12:53 am

    To the 18 people that disliked the video… Get a life. This is very generous of these people to make this video. You obviously all are just jealous hate filled morons. Awesome video.

  30. Ron Roulette on March 18, 2021 at 12:53 am

    Your two year recurrent test will be online training due to regulatory changes coming in April

  31. Tom 'Blends In' on March 18, 2021 at 12:53 am

    I agree with getting a Part 107 so that the FAA can make sure pilots are trackable and we know laws and rules.

    What I do NOT get is why the FAA seems to be obsessed with saying we need Part 107 because we make money with a drone. How does that have anything to do with FAA? If anything wouldn’t that have to do with the IRS?

  32. Jud -AsinSmith- Stansell on March 18, 2021 at 12:54 am


  33. Kendrick Carroll on March 18, 2021 at 12:54 am

    Coercion. This requirement is changing.

  34. Die Hard Raider Fan on March 18, 2021 at 12:55 am

    Also you said someone ratted you out well that someone is You. Drone51 did a vid on how the FAA will put in key words like no fly zone words and drone and 9 times out of 10 the person who was flying in those zone Posted the video using the words of where they were flying.

  35. Universalist _ on March 18, 2021 at 12:56 am

    Great video guys!! … To add… In addition to the "intent" (fun VS no-fun… lol) it is not just about the "money". The part 107 license (aside of how much you’d learn about aviation after studying, applying and passing your exam…), is required when you use your drone footage IN FURTHERANCE OF A BUSINESS, whatever this "business" is… (aside of your checking the leaves of the gutter… haha), means, even if you give your footage for free or you volunteer for a NGO or other charity, non-profit outfit and charge them $0.00 for it you still need your license … Your footage will be used in promoting that particular "business" even if they themselves are not a "commercial business" and charge $0.00 for whatever services they offer… Aside Pilot Institute another good option is remotepilot101.com Also download apps like AirMap, B4UFLY, KittyHawk, UAVForecast, etc… To check for no-fly zones, restricted air-space, weather etc…

  36. T. N. Schumacher on March 18, 2021 at 12:56 am

    So if your channel is not monetized? 🤷‍♂️ I make no money, my channel is just for fun and my grandkids because they don’t live near me?

  37. mobiltec on March 18, 2021 at 12:59 am

    What if you are using footage from someone elses drone?

  38. JoeDog McKeel on March 18, 2021 at 1:02 am

    After the written test is there a flight test that must be observed by an instructor?
    And greetings from Hixson.

  39. Karhunkulma on March 18, 2021 at 1:03 am

    Two months ago in Finland the laws of flying a drone changed. Before that we didn’t have so strict regulations. The government just trusted you to study things by yourself and being smart. But now you have to register to be a drone flyer. It doesn’t matter what weight you drone is but if it has a camera in it or without a camera weights over 250 grams you have to register. Also if you fly your drone just for fun you have to register and take the test. For one year it’s 30 euros and for five years it’s 100 euros. And you have to take this internet test. And it’s actually quite hard. The test has nine different sections and with each section you need to have correct answers for over half of the questions. And in total test has 40 questions and 75% of those has to have correct answers.

    And if you fly your drone for bussiness then you have to make sure your insurences are up to that. And they are really really expensive!

    You can’t fly your drone over 120 meters. You have to fly your drone in visual sight. You can’t fly your drone over the people or animals. And so on and so on. So this is the system now in Finland.

  40. recycl0ps on March 18, 2021 at 1:04 am

    Was it a covid safe environment to take a the test?

  41. Mavic2 Zoom on March 18, 2021 at 1:05 am

    not so many civilians reporting drone flyers to the faa. most likely other youtubers and creators who hate the competition or don’t like your channel. or someone who bothered to get their license and is upset you didn’t bother. i’m ok with the license but the sport has to exist as a hobby so the faa doesn’t have total control over drones. if 99% of the time you fly requires a license then the 1% hobby is going to die and flying drones will be a strictly commercial operation. at that point, you’re going to start to see why you don’t want to faa in your business at that point they start ordering extra paperwork like flight plans and maintenance records, additional fees, different levels of licensing with priority to big business, expanded geographic restrictions, higher fines, points and license suspensions, remoteID, insurance carrier requirements, and most importantly they will order you to waive your rights during your interaction with local law enforcement so the faa won’t need an army to enforce all those rules. flying a drone will be like driving a freight truck across america. as soon as kids and newbies are no longer flying and only adult businessmen operate drones trying to make money…..

  42. Jorge Rebelo on March 18, 2021 at 1:05 am

    The secret and the all BS and the intimidation from some government institution is because someone/company is trying to monopolize the business/hobby for the small/individual. I bet you, in a short time you will see big tech taking over the drone business and if you like to use your drone you have to pay them. YOU WILL SEE!

  43. Laska Golden on March 18, 2021 at 1:05 am

    So clear! Thanks

  44. Matthew Hadley on March 18, 2021 at 1:07 am

    Awesome video!! I’m definitely not making money yet, but I’ll be pursuing getting my part 107. Only opens more doors in videography work in my opinion.

  45. stefano giovannini on March 18, 2021 at 1:11 am

    Do you have to pay the 160 USD every 2 years? each time you need to renew?

  46. Christine LaBeach on March 18, 2021 at 1:14 am

    You can’t post ANY drone videos on YouTube without a part 107 license. Even if you have monetization turned off. The FAA position is that as long as there is the potential for making money you must have a part 107. This applies even to hobbyist.

  47. David Whittaker on March 18, 2021 at 1:14 am

    I know you know these things, but let’s review. Shall we?
    1) never try to rationalize with the government.
    2) besides being a hoop to jump through, you are now more educated in terms of operation.
    3) berating the government is fun… but a plane goes down (from a Cessna 150 to a 747) and you have a critical situation on your hands… a potentially catastrophic, life taking situation.
    It’s the same reason you can’t go into a dive shop, rent some gear and go diving without showing proper certification — the potential for disaster is too great.
    Your getting the Part 107 is wise. I plan on getting mine later this year.
    Congrats by the way.
    And this is the first of your videos I’ve seen — love your positive attitudes. And the dog is super cute.

  48. ZipZipBang FPV on March 18, 2021 at 1:17 am

    It’s not necessary for your wife to take the test if you (the husband) has a license your wife can still fly and utilize the footage because you can list yourself as Pilot in Command.
    Although it maybe a good idea that she does for in case she goes to get footage herself but note, always have a spotter.
    Also, thank you for getting this information out, the more people know and the more people to inform others definitely helps.

  49. Matthew Despain on March 18, 2021 at 1:17 am

    If I have the 249g DJI Mini2 and plan on only using it to survey my own property and explore a bit while camping, would you suggest getting the license just for the security of it?

  50. Lana Okeaness on March 18, 2021 at 1:18 am

    I keep seeing these videos people reporting creators… Unless you were clearly breaking a law, this is kind of a low thing to do to someone… Hence why I’m getting my part 107 next month, so that there are no questions, when i hit 1k and monetize my channel!

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