Registering your hobbyist drone in the USA only costs $5 and here’s how to do it
We posted about the new drone regulations for commercial drone use a few days ago, but what about hobbyists? For most hobbyists, all you need to do is register, and that’s only if your drone weighs more than 250g.
If your drone weighs less than that, just go out and fly, but for those with something a little beefier, here’s everything you need to know about how to register your drone.
To be clear, you’re not actually registering the drone. You’re registering yourself as a drone owner. You don’t have to pay $5 per drone, you simply pay the registration fee for yourself, and you’re covered for any number of drones up to 55lbs for hobbyist use.
You’ll need to renew the registration every three years and you’ll need to mark your drones with your registration number, but at $5 every few years it’s not really a massive expense, especially when compared to the cost of acquiring the drones themselves.
This covers all drones up to a weight of 55lb (including payload). For larger drones, you fall under a different set of regulations and you’ll need to go through a different registration system.
You’ll also need to be legally resident in the USA in order to register. Visiting foreign nationals wishing to bring a drone with them must also register upon arrival into the USA (and you can’t do it before you get there, because they block you from accessing the website).
It’s nice that the FAA are making the drone regulations and registration relatively painless, for now at least. They can always make it more difficult in the future, so remember to be careful when flying your drone. Be respectful, don’t be reckless, and have fun!
Have you registered yourself as a drone owner yet? Was the process as painless as it appears in the video? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.