US drone pilots must register to fly by February 19 or face fines

US drone pilots must register to fly by February 19 or face fines
Credit: Shutterstock

Hobbyist drone pilots in the US must have registered their flying machines by February 19 or face potential fines.

The US government announced back in October that it would begin forcing flyers to register in order to keep better tabs on the ever-more-popular devices. Today the FAA provided more detail on the process, as well as opening up a pre-registration page until the process formally begins on December 21st.

The policy covers drones weighing 0.55 to 55 pounds (including any cargo or cameras). Registration will be free until January 20, but after that you’ll have to pony up five bucks. Penalties for flying an unregistered drone can be up to $27,500, while criminal penalties can go as high as $250,000.

There’s currently no process for commercial pilots – likely due to more stringent regulation – but the FAA says it’s working on one to be ready by spring 2016

For hobbyists, it seems like a simple Web form; it just asks for your name, address and email – and you must be 13 years or older. The press release doesn’t specify if children under 13 are free to use the alternative snail-mail form.

Once you complete the process, you’ll receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership, as well as an ID number that must be displayed on the drone. The registration is per-user, so you can use the same ID on your entire drone collection.

You can register starting December 21 on the FAA’s site here. For more information on the new policy, check the source link below.

FAA Announces Small UAS Registration Rule [FAA via The Verge]


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