If you fly a drone in the US even just for recreation, you MUST take this TRUST test

 DJI drone
(Image credit: Future)

The new TRUST test is designed for recreational drone use only and should help ensure that users have a basic level of drone knowledge before they take to the skies. 

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It’s not a test you can ‘fail’ because you simply repeat any questions you get wrong; it’s more of an educational tool for getting the essential drone know-how into people’s heads.

US drone regulations are somewhat complex, as they are everywhere, but we do have a separate article on drone rules in the US, UK and Canada (opens in new tab).

US recreational drone requirements

There are now three things recreational drone users have to do to meet the FAA regulations:

1. If your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds (249g) you have to register through the FAA’s Drone Zone

2. Pass TRUST

3. Follow the safety guidelines on the FAA website

Lightweight drones like the DJI Mavic Mini (opens in new tab) and Mavic Mini 2 (opens in new tab) have been popular because they sneak in just below the 250g weight limit, but users still need to pass the new TRUST test. This is free and should only take 15-30 minutes. At the end you will get a certificate which does not expire – but if you lose it, you will have to take the test again to get another.

The TRUST test applies only to recreational fliers. If you are going to use a drone commercially, even if it's just for a monetized YouTube channel, you will need Part 107 certification, which is a different process.

Where can you take the TRUST test? 

The test has to be taken through a list of a dozen or more Approved Test Administrators, but it is free.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (opens in new tab) (AMA)
The Boy Scouts of America (opens in new tab)
Chippewa Valley Technical College (opens in new tab)
Community College of Allegheny County – West Hills Center (opens in new tab)
Drone U (opens in new tab)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (opens in new tab) (ERAU)
HSU Educational Foundation (opens in new tab)
Lake Area Technical College (opens in new tab)
Pilot Institute (opens in new tab)
Drone Launch Academy LLC (opens in new tab)
Proctorio Incorporated (opens in new tab)
Tactical Aviation (opens in new tab)
CrossFlight Sky Solutions (opens in new tab)
UAV Coach (opens in new tab)
University of Arizona Global Campus (opens in new tab)
Volatus Aerospace Corp (opens in new tab)

Read more:

Best drones for beginners (opens in new tab)
Best camera drones (opens in new tab)
Drone rules in the US (opens in new tab)
FAA recreational fliers info (opens in new tab)

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com (opens in new tab) but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com (opens in new tab)