Small Drones Must Register with FAA Once Again

drones must register with faa

In a surprise reversal, the FAA has once again decided to require any drone weight 0.55 pounds or more to register with the federal agency. Earlier this year, the agency dropped the requirement that small hobby drones must register with FAA. 

But now the requirement is back for all uses of drones over the weight limit. Even palm-sized drones like the DJI Spark (which weighs just over the federal limit) will need to be registered if you plan to fly them outdoors.

In other words, most drones that are actually useful for photography will need to be registered with the FAA. This includes the best-selling Phantom 3 Standard (my review is here).

Your Drone Must Register with FAA or Face the Consequences

The ruling takes effect immediately (late 2017) and there is no grace period, according to the FAA.

Civil penalties could be as high as $27,500 USD in the case of negligent use of a drone or small UAV. 

As with the previous small UAV requirements, each registered drone must display the registration number somewhere on the craft itself, and owners are encouraged to keep a copy of the registration certificate handy when using the drone.

The registration process is simple, can be done online, and costs only $5. So don’t mess around: Register your drone with the FAA here.