If you’re not aware, you legally have to register your drone with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) if your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds. Many people don’t know this, but ignorance to the law won’t keep you out of trouble! That’s why this step in flying your drones is extremely important.
So, that raises the question of how do you register your drone with the FAA? Today, I’ll be showing you just how to do it step-by-step so you’re left with no unanswered questions!
Getting Started With Registering Your Drone
Registering your drone is easy and can all be done online! But before you begin, it’s important to identify yourself as a recreational drone user or a commercial drone user, as there are different ways to register your drone depending upon which category you fall under.
A recreational drone user can register his/her drone under Fly sUAS under Part 107 or they can register under Fly Model Aircraft under Section 336. However, someone flying for commercial purposes (getting any type of compensation in exchange for drone flight services) has to register his/her drone under Fly sUAS under Part 107.
Once you’ve determined which category you fall under, go to the FAA Drone Zone website to get started with the registration process.
Going Through The Registration Process
Now that you’re at the FAA Drone Zone website, you’ll be able to select which section you’d like to register under – Part 107 or Section 336. Before continuing any further, it’s important to note that there are some prerequisites you must comply with in order to successfully register your drone:
- You must be 13 years of age or older (if you’re less than 13 years old, someone 13 years of age or older must register the drone instead)
- You must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
If you comply with both of these requirements, then you’re fine to continue ahead in the registration process. Registering under either section is basically the same process, so the outline I go over is applicable no matter what you register under.
Once you click “register”, you’ll have to create an account. Input your real email and a password you’ll remember when signing up, just as you would when signing up for any other website.
After you input your account information, you’ll have to verify your account through an email they’ll send to the email you gave them. If you don’t see the email after a couple minutes, check your spam box to be sure it didn’t accidentally get put in there.
Now that your account is verified, you’ll be able to log in (if you try logging in prior to verifying the account, you’ll get an error message that your login credentials are incorrect). Once you first log in to your account you’ll be redirected to continue with the registration process.
This form is the bulk of the registration process. Make sure you fill everything out with 100% accurate and matching information. Also make note of the message on the side of the page, as it’s very important to remember this:
- “When you register, you will receive a unique registration number valid for 3 years. After 3 years, you must renew your aircraft registration.“
- “You must mark each aircraft with the assigned unique registration number before it is operated.“
We’re almost done! Now that you’ve submitted that part of the form, you’ll be redirected to your account dashboard. Find the “inventory” section in your dashboard and click “Manage sUAS Inventory”. Then, click the blue “Add UAS” button on the page (this button should be to the right of the “Your Shopping Cart” section).
From here, select either “Home Built” or “Purchased” in the UAS drop down (you’ll likely be selecting purchased here). Then, fill out the rest of the form with the accurate information requested (manufacturer, model, serial number, etc.).
Once all of this is done and you’re positive the information is correct, click the “Add UAS” button and the drone will be added to your cart. Every registration costs $5 and is valid for 3 years. Simply complete the checkout and mark your drone with the registration number they give you.
Congratulations! Your first drone has been successfully registered and you’re ready to fly!
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, registering your drone is really not that difficult and can easily be done in 5-10 minutes. However, failure to do so could actually land you with (up to) a $27,500 fine according to NBC News. So, a $5 to just register your drone may seem a little bit ridiculous, but it’s much better to pay $5 than to potentially have to pay thousands of dollars in fines if you get caught. To us, it’s not worth the risk.
It should also be mentioned that if you don’t want to register your drone online, you can actually send in a paper registration form that can be found at the FAA’s website (linked above).
Have any problems registering your drone or see something that we missed in this article? Leave us a comment down below and let us know!