As we have reported previously, the U.S. Federal Aviation Commission (FAA) has been working on guidelines related to drone usage (or, in “official” FAA terminology, “small unmanned aircraft” [UAS]) for both commercial use and hobbyists. Earlier this year, the FAA issued preliminary guidelines for commercial usage.

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Today, December 14, 2015, the FAA announced it will launch on December 21, 2015, a “streamlined and user-friendly web-based registration process” for hobbyist (non-commercial) users of drones. According to the announcement, the FAA expects “hundreds of thousands” of drones to be purchased during the holiday season.

The FAA also announced that online registration for commercial drone use will be available in spring 2016.

By the Numbers

.55 lbs. | Registered user’s drone’s minimum weight
55 lbs. | Registered user’s drone’s maximum weight
December 21, 2015 | Registration begins
December 21, 2015 | Drones purchased on this date or later require a registered user immediately
February 19, 2016 | Drones purchased before December 21, 2015 require a user be registered by this date
$0 | Registration fee from December 21, 2015 – January 20, 2016
$5 | Registration fee after January 20, 2016
Once | Hobbyist only has to register once for all of their drones
3 Years | Registration duration

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“Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility. Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.”  – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

Here’s where to register and and what you’ll need to supply

Beginning December 21, 2015, you can register at this web address:


Information you will need to provide:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Email address

Upon completion of the registration process, the web application will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft.

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When to expect commercial registration

The online registration system does not yet support registration of small UAS used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation—for example, using an unmanned aircraft in connection with a business. The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by spring 2016.

The full rule can be viewed via this PDF:


Photos: Google Image Search



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