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Drone Owners Must Register With the FAA By February 19th, 2016 For A Small Fee

By Hanssie on December 14th 2015

We’ve been anticipating it for a few weeks now, and the Federal Aviation Administration announced today that U.S. residents must register their drones (any UAV weighing over 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds), by February 19th, 2016. You will be required to pay a fee of $5 to do so.

Registration will open on December 21st, 2015 and will be retroactive. So those that currently own drones will still be required to register. If you purchase your drone after December 21st, you’ll need to abide by the February 21st deadline as well. As an incentive to register early, those that do so within the first 30 days – from December 21, 2015 to January 13, 2016 – will have their $5 fee reimbursed. You must be at least 13 years old to register.


Register here starting December 21st:

The registration will require your name, home address, and email. You will only need to register once, will receive one registration number for all of your drones and that registration will be valid for three years. After you complete the registration, you will receive a unique ID number, and the number must be marked on the your UAV(s). If you fail to register your aircraft, you could face a fine of up to $27,500 for civil penalties and up to $250,000 for criminal penalties.

This rule applies to hobbyist drone owners only. If you use drones for your business, you are prohibited unless you have a special exemption from the FAA. The FAA is working on releasing rules for professional drone use and is expected to complete that by mid-year next year.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says, “Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility. Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely.

You can read the full ruling here and the press release here.

Mark it on your calendar and head over to to register on December 21st.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Taylor Osborn

    I’m wondering how the FAA is going to enforce the registration requirement. It’s probably a step in the right direction regardless and personally don’t mind that I’ll have to register my Inspire 1.

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    • Barry Cunningham

      They will probably enforce the registration requirement by just going after the drone owners that are causing dangerous flying conditions for manned aircraft, and hitting them with those draconian fines.

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  2. Donald Jones

    That’s one way to get more money lol

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    • Hanssie

      They should’ve charged $10 then…gotta chip away at the trillion dollar debt.

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