UK Drone Licence and Registration

Drone Licence

become a drone pilot with heliguy™

Drone Licence Guide

Find out what you need to become a drone pilot with the heliguy™ drone licence calculator.

Not every drone pilot needs a drone licence. Under new UK drone laws, this now depends on the drone you have and where you plan to fly it.

A drone licence can be applicable for both commercial and recreational pilots. However, there are cases where a licence is not required, for instance, if you are flying far away from people.

Drone Training Calculator

Drone Training & Pilot Registration

A drone licence is different to drone pilot registration. The majority of drone pilots will need to register with the CAA, regardless of whether or not they have/need a drone licence.

Drone training and CAA registration requirements change depending on:

Drone licence considerations

  • Weight/class of drone
  • Class rating of drone
  • Where you plan to fly

Drone registration considerations

  • Weight/class rating of drone
  • Does the drone have a camera?
  • Is it a toy?

Drone Pilot Registration

The majority of drone pilots will need to register with the CAA (UK Civil Aviation Authority) and get an operator ID and/or flyer ID.

Operator ID

If you're responsible for a drone or model aircraft, you are required to register as a drone operator to get an operator ID. This costs £10.

Flyer ID

If your drone weighs over 250g, the drone pilot must register and get a flyer ID. There is a 40 question multiple choice exam. This is completely free.

Registration Exemptions

You do not need to register if your drone is a toy below 250g, or your drone is below 250g and does not have a camera.

Click here for the CAA Drone Registration page


Drone Training Options

Click the buttons below to view your drone training options.

No Licence Required

Just register with the CAA and fly anywhere, commercially or for fun

  • You do not need a drone licence if your drone has a sub 250g flying weight.
  • You can fly over uninvolved people, but not crowds.
  • You can operate commercially or recreationally.

A2 CofC Drone Licence

Required if aircraft weight exceeds 250g at take-off

  • An A2 CofC drone licence is recommended if the flying weight of your drone exceeds 250g.
  • With this licence, for this drone, the rules state that there must be no intentional flights over uninvolved people.
  • You can operate commercially or recreationally with the A2 CofC.
  • If your drone is over 250g, and you don't have an A2 CofC licence, you will have to fly far away from people. In this instance, you can still operate commercially or recreationally.

A2 CofC Drone Licence

Open Category A2 - fly close to people

  • An A2 CofC drone licence will allow you to fly up to 50m horizontally of uninvolved people.
  • You can use this drone licence to fly recreationally or commercially.

GVC Drone Licence

Specific Category

  • Obtain a GVC to be able to apply for Operational Authorisation from the CAA, which is required to fly in the Specific Category.
  • Aimed at commercial drone operators, this is for operations that fall outside the boundaries of the Open Category.
  • Benefits include operations within 150 metres of any commercial, industrial, residential or recreational areas, plus take-off and landing up to 30m from uninvolved people.

No Drone Licence

Open Category A3 - fly far from people

  • If you do not have a drone licence, you can still fly this drone, but you must operate far from people.
  • The rules state that there must be no uninvolved people present within the area of flight, and no flight within 150m horizontally of residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas.
  • You can operate commercially or recreationally.

Drone Licence FAQs

Answers to your most frequently asked questions.
FAQs
Do you need a license to fly a drone?

Not every drone pilot needs a drone licence. Under new UK drone laws, this now depends on the drone you have and where you plan to fly it.

A drone licence can be applicable for both commercial and recreational pilots. However, there are cases where a licence is not required, for instance, if you are flying far away from people.

Use our drone license calculator to find out whether you need a drone license and, if so, which licence is best suited to your DJI drone.

FAQs
How much is a drone licence?

The A2 CofC drone licence course with heliguy™ is £149.50.

The GVC drone licence course with heliguy™ is £699.50
A £253 fee to the CAA applies when applying for an Operational Authorisation.

Find out which drone training you need with our drone licence calculator.

FAQs
How old do I have to be to get a UK drone licence?

There is no age limit for a UK drone licence.

The only stipulation is that the Operator Id must belong to someone aged 18 and over.

Also, the Accountable Manager must be aged 18+ to apply for an Operational Authorisation for the Specific Category.

FAQs
Is my UK drone licence valid in Europe?

No. Following Brexit, drone pilots need to re-do the A2 CofC or GVC in the EU member state they wish to fly. However, once you have an A2 CofC or GVC in one EU member state, this is valid throughout EU countries.

It is important to note that drone pilots can still operate in an EU member state in the A1 (sub 250g drone only) or A3 Subcategories of the Open Category without a drone licence, provided that they meet the necessary requirements, including registration in accordance to that country's drone registration requirements.

FAQs
Do I need drone registration if I have a drone licence?

Most drone users will need to register with the CAA, regardless of whether or not they have a drone licence.

The only times that registration does not apply are:

  • toys below 250g or in C0 class
  • those in C0 class with no camera, whether they are a toy or not
  • those below 250g with no camera and no class mark, whether they’re a toy or not

A drone licence is different to registration, and depends on the weight of your drone and how you plan to use it.

FAQs
Do I need a drone licence to operate commercially?

No, not necessarily. A drone licence is not dictated by commercial or recreational flights. The deciding factors are the weight of your drone and where you plan to fly it.

In some cases, you could fly commercially without obtaining a licence: For example, taking commercial photographs with a Mavic 2 Pro while operating in the A3 subcategory (far from people) or commercial work with the Mini 2 while operating in the A1 subcategory (fly over people, but not crowds).

FAQs
What types of drone licences are there?

There are two types of drone licence in the UK: The A2 CofC, and the Operational Authorisation.

The A2 CofC is for operations within the Open Category.

The Operational Authorisation is for operations in the Specific Category. Completing a GVC drone training course makes you eligible to apply for an Operational Authorisation.