Coddington, Hicks & Danforth

Drone registration required by FAA

An ongoing argument exists between drone hobbyists and commercial companies that use drones in their businesses. The businesses argue that hobbyists should have to abide by rules just as the commercial companies must. Rules create fairness and safety for those operating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the skies.

The companies are looking increasingly at drones to deliver goods faster and cheaper, but the companies are also subject to regulations to send drones on these delivery missions.

The hobbyists may see this registration as unnecessary or as an invasion of privacy because once a drone is registered, it is assigned an ID number which will be recognizable when the drone is in the air.

However, registration would assist police is solving crimes faster such as the Southern California couple who last December was arrested for selling drugs using drones to drop the product then having customers throw payment on their nearby lawn. Drone registration could allow police to solve these types of crimes faster or prevent them from occurring in the first place.

When is registration required for hobbyists?

Since December 17, 2017, drone owners have been required to register their drones. If your drone weighs at least .5 pounds and is less than or equal to 55 pounds, you must register it. The FAA states on their website that anyone not registering a drone that meets this weight is subject to civil and criminal penalties.

What is needed for hobbyists to register?

To complete your registration, you need to provide the following:

  • Your name, email and address
  • Manufacturer
  • Model number
  • Serial number
  • Where you purchased the drone

You also must read several laws and check that you understand and will abide by them, which include:

  • Follow the line of sight rule.
  • Agree to stay away from others in the air, including drones, airplanes and other vehicles using the airspace.
  • Contact any airport the hobbyist flies 5 miles or closer to.
  • Promise not to interfere with first responder rescue efforts.

Registration requirements for commercial drones are the same. However, the list of questions you must agree to are different and includes:

  • Flying during daytime hours
  • Only flying in Class G airspace
  • Staying under 400 feet
  • Not flying over people
  • Keeping speeds less than 100 mph

See FAA registration page for most current flight restrictions and registration guidelines.



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