Under federal law, all aircraft (which includes UAS and radio/remote controlled aircraft) flown outdoors must be registered with the FAA and marked with a registration number. UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds may register online at or by using the legacy paper based registration process. The weight limit includes everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft at the time of takeoff.
A UAS is an unmanned aircraft system. A drone and a UAS are the same for registration purposes.
Congress defined a “model aircraft” as a UAS that meets all of the following:
Yes. The Small UAS Rule came into effect on August 29, 2016. All unmanned aircraft are required to register. Congress has defined “aircraft” to include UAS, regardless of whether they are operated by modelers and hobbyists.
Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.
Yes. You must have your FAA registration certificate in your possession (either in hard copy or digital format) whilst operating your drone.
If another person fly’s your drone, they must have the registration certificate in their possession. You can give them a paper copy or email a copy to them.
UAS weighing less than 55 pounds and more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams), including everything that is on board or attached to the aircraft and operated outdoors in public airspace system must register. Aircraft may register under the new web-based registration system. Check out a sample list here of drones required to register.
Not if they weigh below 250 gm/0.55 lb. or less. Most “toys” the FAA has identified at a purchase price of $100 or less have been determined to weigh less than 250g. You can find more information in this Recreational UAS Weights document (PDF).
Yes, all drones must be registered under federal law if the UAS weight is within the stated weights for registration.
Remote drone pilots must be 13 years of age or older before they are permitted to register an unmanned aircraft. If the owner is less than 13 years of age, then a person who is at least 13 years of age must register the unmanned aircraft.
Yes, you must register any drone within the weight limits.
All drones must be registered prior to operation.
FederalDroneAuthority.org is an independent site that is in no way affiliated with the FAA or the US Government. FederalDroneRegistration.com helps simplify the FAA’s drone registration process. We work on behalf of clients to quickly obtain a drone registration and provide you with a one stop shop for addressing questions you may have. We charge a premium for this service and are here to assist you at any time.
A certificate of registration will be sent to your email address at the time of registration. When operating your UAS you must be able to present the certificate in either print or electronic format if asked for proof of registration.
Yes, anyone who operates your drone must have the Certificate of Aircraft Registration in their possession. You can give them a paper copy, email it to them, or they can show it electronically from the registration website.
You must mark your UAS with the FAA registration number number assigned to you. Simply marking your contact information on the UAS is not enough.
You may use any method to affix the number, such as permanent marker, label, engraving, or other means, as long as the number is readily accessible and maintained in a condition that is readable and legible upon close visual inspection. If your unmanned aircraft has an easily accessible battery compartment you may affix the number in that compartment. See labeling instructions here.