If you have just purchased an unmanned aerial vehicle, you may wonder where to register your drone. Even the best drones, after all, require registration to be allowed to fly. So where to register a drone, how to register one, and what are the benefits? Keep reading to find out.
- Register your drone via the Federal Aviation Authority, otherwise called the FAA, online or by mail. Have your physical address, email address, mailing address, and debit card ready.
- Small drones under 0.55 pounds do not have to be registered to be flown for recreational purposes, but be sure to follow safety guidelines.
- Registration costs five dollars and is valid for three years for an average drone operator. Keep your certificate on you each time you fly.
Where to Register Drones
Newly purchased drones must be registered with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA.) If you are wondering “where can I fly my drone,” the answer is nowhere until you get it registered with the FAA. Not all drones, however, must be registered, as really small devices under 0.55 pounds can skate by without registration. Weigh your drone and if you purchased based on portability, which is useful when purchasing the top-rated drone for traveling, you may get lucky here.
Be sure to keep that certificate on you, just in case you are stopped by law enforcement as you fly your drone.
How to Register a Drone with the FAA
The FAA has set up a permanent web portal for registration, nicknamed the DroneZone. Head over to this website and follow the prompts. This is a painless process, though does require five bucks and knowledge of your drone’s serial number, which may force you to learn how to find a drone’s serial number. You will also need your name, address, phone number, and the make and model of your drone. Registration is valid for three years, which is not bad for five bucks. You must be 13 years of age or older and a US citizen or permanent legal resident to register a drone.
Once registered, however, you can do anything legal with your drone, such as finding the leading drone for fishing.
What to do After You Register
Once you register your drone, via mail or online, you’ll receive documentation in the mail as proof of said registration. Carry this certificate with you every time you fly your drone, just in case you get stopped, in addition to valid identification. Federal law dictates that drone pilots must consent to submit this documentation and information if queried.
The primary benefit of keeping your registration valid is that you’ll avoid any legal snafus, including fines up to $250,000 and actual imprisonment for up to three years. Once registered, feel free to fly your drone wherever you want, so long as you adhere to rules and restrictions regarding drone flight.
What is a recreational flight?
Recreational flight is pretty much anything you want, as long as you are doing it for fun and not for commercial purposes.
How to mark your drone?
If you want to mark your drone’s serial number or registration number clearly on the exterior for airspace authorization, use some tape and a permanent marker.
Do I need a license to fly your drone?
Commercial drones require a license, but not recreational drones. Despite not needing a license, be sure to follow safety guidelines for unmanned aircraft or face civil penalties or even criminal penalties.
STAT: Failure to register a drone that requires registration may result in regulatory and criminal penalties. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. (source)