What is the Drone Registry?
As of December 21, 2015, anyone who owns and operates a small, unmanned aircraft (otherwise referred to as “drone”) must register their aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System before they can fly their drone outdoors.
Who Needs to Register?
If you are a U.S. citizen or legal, permanent resident 13 years of age or older, you must log onto the FAA’s Drone Registry to register your aircraft. If you are under 13 years of age, a person of age must do so for you.
According to the FAA, if your unmanned aircraft meets the following guidelines, it may be registered online:
- Weighs more than 0.55 lbs. (250 g) and less than 55 lbs. (25 kg). Unmanned Aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs. cannot use this registration process and must register using the Aircraft Registry process.
If you’re unsure of whether or not your UAS needs to be registered, take a look at some of these sample aircrafts.
Your aircraft must be registered by paper if it meets the following guidelines, as outlined by the FAA:
- Your aircraft is used for commercial purposes.
- Your aircraft is used for other than hobby and recreation.
- Your aircraft is greater than 55 lbs.
- You intend to operate your aircraft outside of the United States.
Is There a Deadline?
Yes, there is a deadline. If you owned your drone prior to December 21, you will need to register your drone by February 19, 2016. If you owned one after that date, you must register your drone prior to its first outdoor flight. If you do not register your drone, you could face penalties up to $27,500 or even up to three years of jail time.
You can check the status of your Registration Renewal Application here.
Does it Cost Anything?
Registration will be free until January 21, after that it will cost $5. Registrations are valid for three years. You will need an email address, credit or debit card, physical address and mailing address (if different from physical address). After you receive your registration number, you are responsible for marking all your aircraft.
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