Do I Need to Register My Drone?

Do I Need to Register My Drone?

Here’s what the FAA says, “Federal law requires all drones operated under 14 CFR Part 107 to be registered. The limited statutory exception for recreation requires registration of all aircraft weighing more than .55 pound (250 grams). All registered aircraft must have their registration number displayed on the exterior.”

Did you notice that conditional… “Drones operated under Part 107?” That means a commercial drone mission. Let’s explain this.

There are two things to consider here, the purpose of the flight and the weight of the drone.

Two Types of Missions

In the US, there are two reasons you might fly your drone, some people fly for fun (Recreational) and others fly for money (Part 107.) We’ll discuss both types of operations in the next installment. (Teaser: YouTube drone videos may be commercial!)

If you are a hobbyist and just flying for fun, you do not need to register your drone with the FAA if the drone weighs less than .55 lbs. That’s 250 grams. If you are flying for any kind of earnings, that type of drone operation falls under the Part 107 rule. This means the drone must be registered with the FAA.

Additionally, if you are flying any drone that weighs over .55 lbs, that drone must be registered.

Here is the website where you can register your drone:

Is It Hard to Register My Drone?

No, it is not hard and maybe even fun? It will only take a couple of minutes but be prepared before you begin. You will need to set up an account with the FAA and provide some basic personal information (Name, Address, Phone Number, SS#, etc.) You will need your drone’s Model and Serial Number too. There is a whopping $5.00 fee to register your drone! The process is not difficult and it brings you into compliance with federal laws!

The Cool Factor

After a drone is registered, you must display that registration number on the drone. How cool is that? You now own an actual aircraft with a “tail number.” It feels so official!

What happens if I don’t register?

Here’s what the FAA says:

Failure to register an unmanned aircraft that is required to be registered may result in regulatory and criminal penalties. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.

If we do not comply with federal laws the consequences could be pretty severe. Can the FAA know if you are operating a drone illegally? The answer might shock you…. so stay tuned for the article about “Remote ID.”

So, yes; if you have a pretty decent drone that weighs over about 1/2 pound, it needs to be registered with the FAA. Here’s why. The FAA considers drones “Aircraft” so a drone falls under the same and similar regulations which apply to any other aircraft. And what’s more, when you are flying a drone, you are actually considered a “pilot” under the FAA regs…. So cool!

With all the drones that will be populating our skies in the very near future, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the general FAA regulations if you are a drone owner.

Take some time and visit to learn more, get your Recreational License or your Part 107! It will only take you about a half hour to get your recreational license and you will learn so much. The bottom line is to always stay safe.






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