Like any other device which has the legal boundaries, drones are also bounded to the permissions. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched the drone registration system since Dec. 21, 2015. This provides very important accountability means to target offenders, with some hope that other restrictions can be reduced later when there are better compliance and training.
Drone Registration Requirements – Which Drones?
As per the standards, any drone which weighs between 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and 55 pounds (25 kilograms) will need to be registered. The fee amount to register the drone is $5. This registration is essential before the first outdoor flight of the drone.
Most of the drones or all of the more refined consumer drones indeed need to be registered. Per one of the prediction, the weight limit might still get extended to 165-gram drones as well. The registration process is tied to the owner and the owner can own multiple drones. The registration has the validity of 3 years and needs the renewal after 3 years with a drone registration cost of $5.
Where to Register Your Drone?
The drone registration process is very simple. The owner of the drones needs to provide name, home address and email address. Once the registration process is completed, a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership will be generated by the web application. This includes a unique identification 10 character number and that number needs to be marked by the owner on all the drones he owns. To own the drone registration certificate, one must be at least 13 years old. The owners also have the option to cancel the registration in case of destruction of drone, transfer, sale, and change in the ownership.
How About Drones for Fun – Are they need to be registered?
The Camera drones, that are not being used commercially need not be registered in the US. This is useful to the hobbyist photographers who are using the drones only to have the pictures or videos for their personal use.
The well-known drone manufacturer DJI has stated that the functionality of the drones will be limited unless the owners of the drone register the drone with the company. Till then the drone will have a limited height of 98’, the flying radius will be 164’ and more importantly, the video will be disabled. The company is also upgrading the geolocation data used by drones. This helps in reducing the accidents. Though the personal drones need not be registered with FAA still DJI wants the drone to be registered with them.
The FAA rules state that the drones need to be flying below 400 feet altitude. They should be flying within your eyesight limitation. Drones must not be flying near the planes, near the airport, not over the group of people, stadium or near sporting events.
**UPDATE on drone registration rules for drones used specifically for fun/recreational/non-commercial purpose** – May-19-2017
FAA Can’t Require registration for recreational drones – Forbes
Court Ruling – FAA Can’t Make You Register Your Drone – IEEE Spectrum