How to Register Your Drone with the FAA

With most of the gift giving now over with, some of us were lucky enough to receive a new drone over the holidays… or if you were like me, you gifted yourself one.  With this being my first drone, I have not had to register a drone with the FAA before. It's actually a simple process that can be completed online.

Dirk Dallas with Adorama goes through the process of registering online a drone for personal use. For commercial use it doesn’t sound that much more complicated, but there are a few extra steps which include listing out the make, model and serial number of each UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) you plan to use.

Registration is only $5 and it’s valid for 3 years and can be completed within a few minutes. Doing it right away can save some trouble in the future if you ever run into trouble with the authority, although I am not sure how they plan to monitor drone use.

If you are not sure whether you need to register your new “drone” or unmanned aircraft, the parameters state that it is considered a small toy if it is under 0.55lbs or 350 grams, in which case you do not need to. Any UAS large yet under 55 lbs will have to be registered with the FAA. The FAA has a list of examples for you to review if you are not sure, which you can check out here.

Once you are finished registering your UAS, there’s even an option to print out a little certificate to keep with you just in case you need to show proof. With regards to labeling your UAS, if you are luckily enough you can get by with inserting the label in the battery compartment if no tools are required to open it. Other options are to engrave it or add a label of your registration number.  

If you are curious to know which drone I purchased, I pre-ordered the new DJI Mavic Pro and I hope to receive it soon!

Alex Ventura's picture

Staff writer Alex Ventura is a professional photographer based out of the Houston area that specializes in automotive and glamour with the occasional adventures into other genres. He regularly covers automotive related events for Houston Streets & Spekture with some publications in the United States.

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