Licensing Your Drone For Real

Back in October I wrote about how I was all for having to license your multi-rotor (remember I do not like the work Drone).

Well, it is official now.  The FAA has developed a licensing program.  If you already have a drone, you have 60 days to register it and for the first 30 days, it is free.  After the 30 day period the cost to register the multi-rotor is only $5 so it is not a bank breaker.

My best hope is that through this process education is a priority.  Although I know that even educating people does not stop the idiots from causing problems.

Here are the rules around the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration Rules:

  1. Any Unmanned Aircraft that weighs between .55 and 55 pounds must be registered in the US, it is mandatory.
  2. You must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident and at least 13 years of age.
  3. If you already have an Unmanned Aircraft that is between .55 and 55 pounds you have to register it by February 19th, 2016.  Between December 21st 2015 and January 20th 2016 registration is free.
  4. If you buy a Unmanned Aircraft after December 21st, 2015, you must register before your first flight.  If you get one for Christmas 2015, remember that registration is free until January 20th 2016.
  5. The registration fee is $5 and each registration is good for 36 months (3 years).
  6. When you register you will need to enter some details like your name, home address, email and some details about your Unmanned Aircraft.  You will be given a registration ID that must be put on the Unmanned Aircraft.  The registration has to placed in a location that tools are not needed to be able to read it.

This registration is only for recreational use, there has been no rules around using it for business use yet.

Also, please note that the FAA refers to Unmanned Aircraft which would also affect remote controlled planes.  Most of the news has been around "Drones" but if you fly remote controlled aircraft of any kind, these rules affect you as well.

Currently, you have to register online with the FAA.  There are plans to open an API that would allow registration to be processed by other applications.  This will provide multi-rotors that are controlled by smart phones, etc to be able to register for you without having to visit the FAA web site.

If you have a $40 quadcopter it might be under the weight limit so be sure to check before you register.  There is a link on the registration page that gives examples of what size needs to be registered.  For me the link did not work unless I right clicked and downloaded it.  Here is a link to the PDF that will give you an example of what does and does not need to be registered: http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/media/UAS_Weights_Registration.pdf

To register you will need to go to this site: http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/

Registration is pretty painless, so go register your multi-rotor, airplane, etc today.