In the past few years, drones (also known as unmanned airplane systems (UAS)) have gained popularity rapidly. Your drone can be used to capture compelling videos and epic photos. When paired with VR glasses, you can also enjoy adrenaline-pumping excitement and racing.
Do you have to register a drone?
In this post, Lucidcam will help you answer the question above.
What are unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)?
An unmanned aircraft system is an unmanned aircraft and the equipment necessary for the safe and efficient operation of that aircraft. An unmanned aircraft is a component of a UAS. It is defined by statute as an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft (Public Law 112-95, Section 331(8)).
How heavy is your drone?
The main factor that determines whether drone pilots should register their drone is its weight. Registering small unmanned aircraft (less than 0.55 lb or 250 g) is not necessary. All drones above that weight but less than 55 pounds must be registered.
Register Your Drone First off, if your drone weighs more than 8.8 ounces or 250 grams (and most consumer models do), you’ll need to register for an FAA identification number, either by registering online or by using the legacy paper-based drone registration process.
Commercial drones are those that weigh more than 55 pounds and are subject to separate regulations. This guide does not cover heavier commercial drones.
Register your drone with the FAA
For a drone registration process, you will need to collect a few pieces of information as well as a payment method.
Email address: You need a working email address that you check regularly to create your account and for communicating with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Physical address: Your mailing address will be required for the registration form.
Your drone’s model: This is to confirm that you are registering under the correct category.
Credit or debit card register now for $5, good for 3 years.
You will also need to register for a few additional requirements.
Age: You must have 13 years or older to register the drone. To register a drone, anyone younger than 13 must have someone older than 13.
Citizenship: You must be either a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or U.S. citizen. Once you fill out the required forms, you’ll receive an FAA registration certificate.
After you have completed the necessary forms, you will receive an FAA drone registration card. This certificate will be your guide to flying your drone. A registration number will also be issued to you. You can write it on the drone with a permanent marker or on a label.
In addition to registering your drone, you need a separate drone operator license and obtain a remote pilot certificate if you plan to use it for commercial purposes.
Users Public, commercial, and other non-model aircraft UAS operators may use the online registration system.
You must use the web-based registration process to register and the unmanned aircraft flown must be registered individually by the owner.
Flying for Fun or Money?
Before you can determine which rules apply to your drone you must first decide how you will be using it. If you’re flying for fun and to share videos and images with friends, you can get set up, registered, and tested in less than an hour. A modest registration fee is required and you must pass a knowledge test.
If your device weighs more than 0.55 pounds and is a recreational drone, you can register under the Exception for Recreational Flyers category at FAA.gov. This drone registration is for those who are strictly using theirs for recreational purposes and will never receive monetary or non-monetary compensation.
Drones registered under part 107 may be flown for recreational purposes as well as under part 107. Drones registered under the Exception for Recreational Flyers cannot be flown for FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate. Also, under the Part 107 regulations, any drone operating commercially must be registered as a commercial drone.
If you plan on making money with your unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), you’ll need to take a more rigorous exam and receive Part 107 certification. After you are certified, your drone can be used to take photos and videos for stock imagery, film productions, or to grab aerial imagery for weddings and real estate.
Besides, Minnesota appears to be the only state that currently requires recreational commercial drone operators to register their drones. The drone operator must register with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The state of Minnesota also requires commercial drone operators to obtain drone insurance and pay a licensing fee.
Where will you fly?
In addition to keeping the drone in your visual line of sight and below 400 feet, there are many other restrictions for where you can fly a drone, registered or not. This applies to drones flying within close proximity of airports, government buildings, or another controlled airspace. To find out where drone flights are legal, check the UAS Facility Maps or B4UFLY app. Criminal penalties can be imposed for flying your drone in restricted areas even if you are a hobbyist.
Registered or not, small unmanned aircraft (drones) are restricted or forbidden in many national and state parks per state and federal laws. There are many reasons why this is so, including noise complaints, safety concerns, and fire prevention. These rules aim to prevent similar incidents, such as wildlife harassment or the defacing of monuments, caused by drone pilots who were not considerate.
For more information, visit the park’s website. You may not need to have permission in some cases to fly small unmanned aircraft.
Check local laws before you travel internationally. Also, make sure to check the rules of your airline. Many countries ban drones, while airlines place restrictions on how and where you can transport batteries.
FAA requires drone operators who are required to register, to show their certificate of registration to any State, or local law enforcement officer if asked.
For foreign operators, FAA will consider the certificate issued to be a recognition of ownership rather than a certificate of U.S. aircraft registration.
The FAA provides three methods for registered drone operators to obtain authorization, including two web-based platforms and a written agreement from the FAA. Along with controlled airspace and uncontrolled airspace, there are various restricted airspaces throughout the country.
Learn the Rules and Take a Test
In addition to registering your aircraft, drone owners will need to follow the rules of the sky. These include:
- Fly below 400 feet
- Keep your drone in sight
- Fly in restricted airspace
- Avoid flying near other aircraft, particularly near airports.
- Fly over people groups
- Avoid flying over sporting events or stadiums
- Avoid flying near fire departments or other emergency response efforts.
- Fly under the influence
Many of these rules are common sense and should be used when flying. Be aware that drones are not allowed within National Parks. This is unfortunate because aerial footage of stunning locations such as Yellowstone and Yosemite makes it a compelling reason for a drone owner. However, there should be no technological distractions in certain places.
Federal law also requires drone operators who are required to register, to show their certificate of registration to any State, or local law enforcement officer if asked.
Don’t Be Stupid
Flying a quadcopter is a lot of fun, and it lets you capture images and video that you can’t get from ground level.
After you have familiarized yourself with the rules, you will need to take a test to verify that you are aware of them. The TRUST test is a free online test, available through a number of FAA-approved websites. It takes only a few minutes to complete.
The test is set up in a similar way to corporate training systems so it’s impossible to fail. You can continue trying until you find the correct answer to a question if you are unable to answer it correctly. After passing the TRUST test you will receive a PDF certificate that you can keep on your phone or print.
Geofencing tools are used on some drones, such as those made by DJI. They can be used to locate restricted airspace and obtain takeoff authorization, if necessary. If you have a model from another brand, you can check out the FAA’s B4UFLY app to make sure your flight plan is sound and legal.
While it’s not in place yet, the FAA has established Remote ID requirements for drones. The remote ID is a virtual license plate that broadcasts the location and telemetry of your drone. It is a necessary step in order to make drone operations more complex. If drone delivery becomes a reality, it will become more crowded.
Almost all drones over 249 grams will need a Remote ID broadcast starting April 21, 2021, International Drone Laws.
The remote ID is not something you need to be concerned about right now. We have yet to see consumer models with it. Manufacturers have plenty of time to support Remote ID: The regulations will go into effect on September 23rd, 2023.
Drone manufacturers have until September 16, 2022, to produce drones with built-in standard remote ID.
Penalties for flying an unregistered drone
From 28 January 2021, you can be fined if you fly an unregistered drone for business or as part of your job. The fine is up to $11,100.
You can be asked to produce your certificate of registration by an authorized representative of CASA or a member of the Australian Federal Police or State and Territory police services.
These penalties are certainly stiff enough to discourage the use of unregistered drones, especially if you’re doing it just for fun. Realistically speaking, the FAA has not made a lot of citations because of unregistered drones.
Deregistering your drone
You must deregister your drone if you:
- Lose it
- Damage it beyond repair
- Sell or dispose of it.
If you sell or transfer ownership of your drone, you must cancel your drone registration. If you don’t, you might be held responsible for any offenses committed by the new owner. You can deregister your drone from the Manage registered drones section of your myCASA account.
Do not remove the serial number from your drone after deregistering it. A drone’s serial number remains the same even if it is transferred to someone else. After you have deregistered your drone, the new owner will be able to register it using myCASA.
To deregister a drone, or cancel its registration:
- Sign in to myCASA
- Select Manage registered drones
- Find the drone you want to deregister from the list, select Manage
- Select De-register
- Confirm it is the correct details, select De-register
Why do I need to register?
Federal law requires aircraft registration. Registration helps the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensure safety – for you, others on the ground, and manned aircraft. UAS poses new security and privacy challenges and must be traceable in the event of an incident. It will also help enable the return of your UAS should it be lost.
Do you have to register your drone in California?
Yes. California drone regulations require that you register your drone with the FAA and firmly affix the FAA drone registration number to your aircraft prior to flight.
What is the penalty for failing to register?
The FAA states that failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. 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 I’m just flying it for fun in my yard, do I have to register it?
Yes, if the UAS weight is within the stated weights for drone registration.
If I get a drone as a gift do I need to register?
Yes, unless the drone already has been registered in your name and you have the unique identification number. If the name or address registered is different from yours, you should update the drone registration to your name and address to aid in the return of your UAS if it is lost.
What happens if I sell my drone?
You should log on to the registration website and update your registration information. We also strongly encourage you to remove your registration number from the drone before the transfer of ownership.
When must I register?
You must register prior to operating the UAS outdoors.
How do I prove I am registered?
An FAA registration certificate will be available to download and will be sent to your email address at the time of registration. When operating your UAS you must be able to present the certificate in either print or electronic format if asked for proof of registration.
If you’re still unsure about whether or not to register your drone, we hope this article has helped answer some of your questions and come up with a conclusion. We know that there are many things to consider when it comes to owning and operating a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) in the US; we can help make finding the right information for you easy. Just fill out our form at Drone World if you need assistance getting started. You’ll get back an email soon from one of our experts who will walk through how registration works for drones in all 50 states!