“You will be subject to civil and criminal penalties if you meet the criteria to register an unmanned aircraft and do not register.”
~ The FAA
Thankfully, the FAA has made the $5 registration process painless and simple. In fact, I was able to go from opening my web browser to having a registered drone in 5 minutes! Also, you will only need to register once, as you are allowed an unlimited number of aircraft with one registration code.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get those drones registered!
This article was submitted through the GetFPV Community Program by Lawrence Ro.
Disclaimer: This article was written solely by a member of the FPV Community. Views and advice in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of GetFPV.
It’s worth knowing whether you actually need to register your drone with the FAA. On the FAA’s website, they state that if your aircraft is heavier than 250 grams (0.55 lbs.), or lighter than 25 kgs (55 lbs.), then registration is required.
This means that our whoop class quads, toothpick class, and some ultra-light 3-inch quads are exempt from this process! So . . . if you don’t want to deal with $5 and 5 minutes, then go ahead and fly all the micros you want!
For the rest of us who like flying bigger things, sadly, we need to register.
First off, go to this link to register online: https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/
Since most of us are flying non-commercially, click on the “Register” button, located within the bar labeled “I fly under The Exception for Recreational Flyers”. However, if you will be using your aircraft for commercial purposes (making money flying them), a different license will be required.
You will need to create an account with the FAA. Simply give your E-mail and desired password to set up an account. Note that you need to be at least 13 years old to register an aircraft.
Once logged in, you will be brought to the Recreational Flyer dashboard. Here, simply navigate the “Register” column, and fill out your personal information.
Proceed to checkout and pay the $5 registration fee. You will be issued a registration code, which should last for three years before needing renewal. The code should start with “FA” and be followed by a combination of letters and numbers.
Print out or write this registration number on all your aircraft for identification.
Now you’re finished! $5, 5 steps, and 5 minutes can get all your aircraft registered and legally flyable! That’s all there really is to it! It’s that simple.
For those interested, additional information about the FAA’s laws regarding recreational flying may be found here: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/
In conclusion, the FAA has made the drone registration process ridiculously simple. As long as the AUW (all up weight) of your aircraft is under 250 grams, then you don’t need to register. This is probably why high-performance micro quads, such as toothpicks and 3-inch quads ultralights are becoming a lot more popular these days. Either way, now that golden 250g number isn’t applicable to you anymore!
Have fun flying your FPV quads legally now!