On the 21st of December 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandated that recreational/hobbyist owners/operators of unmanned aircrafts (i.e. Drones) weighting between 0.55 and 55 pounds register their drones before flying them outdoors. This weight category includes ALL previous and current makes and models.
Drone registration will enable the FAA to trace aircrafts more easily in the event of a security or safety incident, and to help return lost aircrafts. In general, an accountability mechanism is desirable because it helps assure the public that drones are not being misused. Registering is just one step in being a responsible ‘drone’ operator. We urge our vast customer base to be responsible users and register their aircrafts. We are aware of legal objections. We support the type of drone operator accountability that is contemplated by a registration system, and as a member of the FAA Registration Task Force, advocated for a system that was reasonable, easy to use, and protective of personal information.
Registering Your Drone in the U.S.: What You Need To Know
Q. I bought my drone in November, before the regulation came into effect on Dec. 21,
2015. Does that mean I’m exempt?
For drones purchased and operated before December 21, 2015, operators have until February 19, 2016 to register.
Q. How do I register my drone?
Starting from December 21, 2015, recreational and hobbyist drone operators can register online here: http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/.
Q. How much does registration cost?
For recreational operators, the FAA will charge $5 per person for registration, but will refund that amount for operators who register in the first 30 days – by January 20, 2016. Those "early-bird"
operators will need to first pay by credit card, then receive credit for the transaction.
Q. What do I get for my registration?
All registered operators will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration containing a unique registration number that must be affixed by means such as permanent marker, label, or engraving to all drones before operating them outdoors. The number must be legible and accessible without the use of tools, but may be placed in a compartment.
Q. How long is my registration valid?
Registration is valid for three years, after which it will need to be renewed for $5.
Q. Are there any age or citizenship requirements for registration?
You have to be at least 13 years of old to register. If you are younger, someone over the minimum age requirement will need to register. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents can
register their drones. The document received by non-citizens will serve only as a certificate of ownership, not a registration certificate.
Q. I’m a foreign citizen living in the U.S. How can I register my drone?
All recreational and hobbyist drone operators may submit registration information to the FAA. The FAA says it is only empowered to register drones owned by U.S. citizens or permanent
residents. Foreign nationals who have completed the FAA registration process will receive a document that provides proof of ownership only. They may contact the FAA for a refund of their
registration fee. But the FAA does encourage all drone owners to submit their registration information.
Q. Do I have to have proof of registration when I fly?
Yes, if you are flying outdoors. You will need to have either an electronic or paper version of your registration certificate and to show it to authorities that may ask for it.
Q. What happens if I don’t register my drone?
The FAA may assess civil penalties, and there is a chance of criminal penalties as well. We expect the FAA, consistent with its general enforcement and compliance philosophy, to engage
in education and warnings before resorting to penalties, and for penalties to be commensurate with the nature of the violation, even though the theoretical maximum penalties can be very high.
Q. What information do I need to supply for the registration process?
You will need to supply the owner's full name, mailing address, physical address and email address. Your email address will become your login ID when you set up your account.
Q. I have just bought a secondhand drone privately from someone. Do I need to reregister
the drone under my own name?
Yes. Before flying your drone outdoors for the first time, you will need to register at http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/, if you have not already, and affix your own personal
registration number to the drone. Remove the prior owner's registration number, if still present.
Q. I have just sold my drone. How does this affect my registration?
Before transferring ownership of your drone, the FAA recommends removing your unique registration number, and going online and updating your registration information if applicable.
Q. I have loaned my drone to a friend, who wants to fly it for fun. Does she need to
No. But – and please remember this – whoever is using your drone will need to have either the electronic or paper copy of the owner's Certificate of Aircraft Registration in his or her
possession. Think of it like a car's registration certificate.
Q. I am a commercial drone operator. Do I still need to register my drone?
If you are a commercial operator, this new online registration system – aimed at hobbyist and recreational drone operators -- is not available for you yet. The FAA has said that businesses
that operate under Section 333 exemptions will continue to register using the FAA’s paperbased registration process until perhaps March 2016.
Q. I have registered my drone. Am I now OK to fly it?
Registering is just one step in being a responsible drone operator. We urge you to visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/ for safety tips educating yourself in safe flying is the responsibility of every drone operator.
All prices are in USD.