More than 325,000 people have registered their drones with the FAA as of February 8th, and if you haven’t done the same within the next twelve hours, you risk facing civil penalties of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties of up to $250,000, not to mention as much a three years of imprisonment. Compared to that, the five dollar registration fee doesn’t seem all that bad, especially since the entire thing can be done online.
If you own a drone, the government wants to know. As of February 19, all drones that weigh more than half a pound and less than 55 pounds must be registered online with the Federal Aviation Administration. If you own a drone that weighs more than 55 pounds, you have to register it as an aircraft, which is a longer process. But realistically, if you’re flying something that weighs more than a medium sized dog through the air, you should probably know that already. For reference, here is a list of the types of unmanned air vehicles you do and do not need to register. Essentially, if it’s a small toy helicopter you’re fine; but if it’s a DGI Phantom or equivalent it’s gotta go on the list. For civilian, non-commercial users however, it’s relatively easy. The FAA website had some issues at the beginning, but seems to be working fine now. In fact, the FAA recently announced that there were more registered drones in the United States than manned aircraft.