Getting a drone pilot certificate

Drone pilots must carry a valid drone pilot certificate at all times while operating their drone. A valid drone pilot certificate is a printed or electronic document issued by Transport Canada. No other form of certification will be accepted.

Which pilot certificate are you seeking?


For basic operations, you need to take the online exam.

If you pass the Small Basic Exam, you automatically receive your Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations. You can download and print your certificate through the Drone Management Portal.


For advanced operations, you need to:

  1. take the online exam for advanced operations
  2. complete a flight review

If you pass the Small Advanced Exam and the flight review, you can apply for a Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations.

About the Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations

Holders of the Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations must be able to show their certificate whenever they fly.

Drone pilots who hold a Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations can conduct both basic and advanced operations.

You will be charged a fee of $25. You will then be provided an electronic copy of your Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations.

After you receive your Pilot Certificate – keeping your skills up to date

To remain certified, you will need to keep your skills up to date. Every 2 years (24 months), Pilot Certificate holders must successfully complete one of the following recency requirements:

  • Re-taking and passing either the Basic or Advanced Knowledge examination;
  • Successfully passing a flight review ; or
  • Completing any one of the following training activities:
    • attendance at a safety seminar endorsed by Transport Canada Aviation;
    • completion of an drone recurrent training program from a drone flight school; or
    • completion of a Transport Canada endorsed self-paced study program

Remember, if you let your skills lapse for more than 2 years, you may lose your certification. Just like your registration certificate or pilot certificate, you must keep proof on you that you’ve retained your knowledge whenever you fly.