Drone fliers did not initially need a drone license. Canada was a country where you could fly drones freely but on June 1st, 2019, new regulations regarding the use of drones in Canada were implemented by Transport Canada. For everyone who flies a drone that weighs more than 250 grams, a drone pilot certificate, also known as a drone license, is necessary. 

The following is a rundown of the essential information about Canada’s drone license that you need to be aware of to legally fly your drone or train for a career as a drone pilot. It is no longer a matter of whether or if one should get a drone license; rather, the issue is when one should get one. 

If you live in Canada and want to operate a drone for either fun or profit, you’ll need a basic or pilot license. So, if you’re wondering how to get a drone license in Canada? Let’s find out.

Getting a Drone License in Canada

A drone pilot must pass both a written test and a flying review in person before they may legally fly one. You can take Transport Canada’s written test at your convenience and later you can get the flight evaluation which is taken by approved training centers like AlteX.

Only drones weighing between the range of 250gs and 25kg and flying within line of sight are subject to these regulations.

Getting a Drone Pilot’s License for Basic Operations

An online test is required for entry-level duties. Upon completing this small basic exam, a pilot certificate for basic operations will be given. The Drone Management Portal will then allow you to access your digital certificate anytime.

While your pilot’s license will never expire, you should always be working to improve your abilities.

Becoming a Qualified Drone Pilot: Mastering Complex Flight Procedures

So that you can do complex tasks, you must:

  1. Obtain a passing score on the Advanced Operations Online Exam
  2. Complete a Flight Review and Apply for an Advanced Operations Pilot Certificate

What else do you need to know about the advanced operations pilot certificate? A pilot certificate for advanced operations will be provided to you after the $25 cost has been paid. Through the Drone Management Portal, you can obtain and print your certificate. This pilot’s license won’t expire as long as you maintain your current abilities.

Those who have earned the pilot certificate for advanced operations can fly their drones for various tasks, from the most basic to the most complex.

Drone Registration in Canada

Drones and other RPAS must be registered if their maximum takeoff weight is more than 250g and less than or equal to 25kgs. UAVs weighing less than 250 grams do not require FAA registration. Unregistered drones weighing more than 25 kilograms or 55 pounds must go through a more stringent procedure to get a flight operations license before they may be flown.

By using the Drone Management Portal, drone pilots may register their aircraft. Commercial drone registration requires creating an account. There are two ways to create this account which we’ll learn more about in the next section.

Stepwise Guide to Drone Registration

  1. Create an Account 

Drones and their operators may be registered using the Drone Management Portal. First, you’ll need to create an account before registering your drone for commercial use. You may accomplish this in one of two ways: by creating your account or accepting an invitation from another company that already has one. Move on to the next step, which is to register.

  1. Get Your Drone Registered and In Compliance

You may finish up registration after you’ve created an account. To complete this stage, you must provide a picture of the identifying plate on each drone, which contains the drone’s serial number. You will be assigned a unique identifier after submitting this data successfully.

  1. Attach the Transport Canada granted identification number on the drone.

Identification issued by Transport Canada will begin with “C-” and consist of 10 digits. This identification number should be displayed on the drone. Your drone may be marked in various ways, including engraving, permanent marking, and using an adhesive label. 

A drone is considered legally registered only after it has been marked.

What are the advantages of having your drone officially registered in Canada?

The advantages are similar to those of any other kind of registration. With the successful registration, you can:

  • Manage your drone’s settings, including altitude and flight patterns easily
  • Put up your contact details in case the drone malfunctions
  • Notify authorities of a drone that has gone missing or has been stolen
  • Make a formal complaint about something that needs to be looked into

Penalties for not abiding by the drone laws in Canada

Numerous regulatory needs must be met before commercial drone use, including the abovementioned norms and regulations. Up-to-date record keeping, payload constraints, adherence to local bylaws, and observance of appropriate privacy legislation are all examples of such obligations.

Many drones may store data or intrude on people’s privacy; therefore, it’s crucial for drone owners and operators to think about how to stay within the law and prevent privacy-related wrongdoing.

Any of the following may occur if drones are used in violation of the law. 

  • not having the proper credentials to operate a drone
  • operating a drone without proper identification; or
  • operating a drone in restricted or regulated airspace (without a Special Flight Operations Certificate) and endangering other aircraft or persons with careless or reckless flight operations (this violation may have up to a $15,000 fine)

A fine of $2,500 to $5,000 may be imposed for each instance of breach mentioned above.


Transport Canada has acknowledged that the stringent rules and regulations about drone legislation are a barrier to the expansion of the economy. The drone business and technology are constantly evolving, so there is a growing need for more complicated flight operations. This is particularly the case for any procedures outside the pilot’s direct line of sight (BVLOS). 

Transport Canada wants to change the present rules for drone laws so that VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) operations may be performed with heavier drones and lower-risk BVLOS activities can be performed without the need to apply for a special flight operations certificate (SFOC). This would be done to encourage greater innovation in drone operations.

The federal department of Transport Canada is putting up a variety of modifications that would increase the restrictions on VLOS that are already in place.

Because of these revisions, the current drone licensing system will need to be expanded to accommodate the introduction of a new “operational” level pilot license for beyond visual line of sight flying. Pilots will be needed to get an advanced pilot certificate plus complete a flying review at a private school that satisfies the standards of beyond visual line of sight flight to be eligible for an operational pilot license.


We hope that by reading this article, you have all the knowledge you need to get a drone license. Canada has many good instructors, like Coastal Drone Co., who can teach you more and help you get a drone license.

 Getting a drone license Canada is not a difficult task. A licensed drone operator must observe all applicable laws and regulations, comply with all airspace coordination requirements, and maintain flight logs. 

Several changes have been made to Canadian drone regulations during the last five years. New pilot license requirements and modernized aviation legislation have created a more accommodating legal framework. 

There are, of course, many unknowns and challenges still to come; however, one thing is certain: Drones will acquire capabilities that we can’t even begin to fathom today due to advancements in regulation and technology.