Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
If you’ve just bought your drone or are planning to register a drone and are wondering how to register it, I’ve got you covered.
The various regulatory bodies require drone registration to maintain their airspace security and make it easier to track down any malicious activities.
This article covers the main things you need to know about registering a drone, mainly for those in the United States and India.
Are you ready? Let’s go
Table of contents
How to Register a Drone With the FAA (USA)?
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that every drone owner register their drones with the FAA before they fly outdoors for recreational purposes, according to a ruling announced December 21st in 2015.
The regulations were enacted after an incident where a hobbyist drone crashed into the White House grounds- prompting fears of terrorist attack and outcry from lawmakers over privacy issues.
Who Should Register Their Drones?
Below are some of the things you need to know before registering a drone.
- All drones weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds should be registered through their website. Drones lighter than 0.55 pounds (250 g) don’t have to be registered, but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t follow the other regulations stipulated by the FAA.
- Drones weighing more than 55 pounds will still need to be registered by mailing the application manually.
- Recreational users should register their drones through the Exception for Recreational Flyers.
- If you are not just flying recreationally and using your drone for profit, donations, or personal gain, you will need to register your drone regardless of the weight. Professional drone pilots register by getting the Part 107 certification.
- If your drone weighs less than 0.55 pounds, and you’re flying it recreationally, then you don’t have to register it.
- You have to be at least 13 years old or older. If you’re younger than 13 years, then a parent or guardian has to take responsibility for the child’s drone usage.
- You must be a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen to fly a drone in the United States.
- FAA charges a $5 fee for both types of registration. You should renew the registration after every three years.
- You can only register your drone on FAA’s DroneZone website. There isn’t any other website authorized to register drones. Beware of scammers who may charge you lots of money to register your drone. And as we’re going to see below, the process isn’t complicated.
Below is how the registration screen looks like;
Drone owners that fail to register by the deadline face civil and criminal penalties, including fines of up to $27,500 and three years in jail or both.
Requirements for registering a drone:
FAA requests the following information during registration.
- Email address
- Physical address
- Credit/Debit card for payment
- Drone Model and Manufacturer
- Drone info, serial number, weight, etc.
What’s Next After Registration of a Drone?
Like in any other online registration, you’re giving the FAA your personal details, as well as confirming that you agree with their guidelines and any consequences that would result from violating the rules.
Therefore, it’s also essential to know the laws that govern drone flying. These include;
- Not flying in restricted areas without authorization.
- Flying at a minimum altitude of 400 feet.
- Not flying in crowded areas.
- Flying within the line of sight.
- If the drone is registered for recreational use, don’t use it for professional or paid work. But if it’s registered for commercial work, you can use it for recreational purposes.
- Don’t fly too close to aircraft.
Once you register your drone, the FAA gives you a 10-digit I.D. which you MUST display legibly on the drone at all times.
You also get a registration certificate (recreational)or drone license (Part 107), which you have to carry whenever using the drone.
And if several people will use the drone, it’s best to register it as a company. If you make the mistake of registering it to one person, you may have to always re-register the drone every time the bearer of the registration leaves.
If any law enforcement officer requests this certificate, you’re obliged to produce it. Other materials you need to have on you in case you are stopped by law enforcement officers include;
- Part 107 License for professional drone pilots
- Driver’s license
- A copy of FAA’s rules
- Knowledge of how close to fly from airports and any temporary flight restrictions.
- Knowledge of the drone’s weight.
The labeling makes if the drone is caught flying in restricted areas, it will be easier to track down the owner.
The FAA is also working on rolling out Remote I.D.s from September 2016. A remote I.D. is a system where the drone automatically provides identification and location information to other devices, either law enforcement or security measure devices.
Both manufacturers and drone pilots have enough time to upgrade their drones to meet this requirement. Also, no one is exempted from this rule. Whether you’re flying the drone for recreation or professional work, you MUST have a remote I.D.
You can read more about it here.
NOTE: You may get more drone usage regulations at the state level, so make sure to check with your local area to make sure you follow all the rules.
How To Register a Drone In India?
The Government of India rolled out DigitalSky, a platform like FAA’s DroneZone where you can register your drone. India’s Civil Aviation Ministry categorizes drones into five categories based on their weight.
|Nano||Less than 250 grams|
|Micro||250 g to 2 kg|
|Small||2 kg to 25 kg|
|Medium||25 to 150 kg|
|Large||150 kg +|
Drones in the Nano category don’t need to be registered.
To begin the registration process, start by registering on DigitalSky. You have the option to register as a pilot, operator, or manufacturer.
Like any other registration website, you’ll get an email notification once you fill in your information. Click the link in the notification, and it will bring the following screen, where you will select the appropriate category.
Each category will request various credentials. Once you have completed your profile, you can go ahead and register your drone. Below are some aspects you need to know about the process.
- You will have to fill in whether the drone is manufactured locally or imported.
- You can only register drone models approved by the DGCA.
- Apply for the UIN (Unique Identification Number), which is the number you will use to engrave on your drone.
- The process for the UIN varies based on whether the drone was manufactured locally or imported. The manufacturer provides an OEM that you will have to enter.
- You will also need to provide your identification info, such as I.D.s or passports.
Once you get the UIN, you can apply for the UAOP (Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit). Not everyone needs this permit, though. It’s necessary for people who will mainly be flying in controlled airspace.
This permit costs Rs. 25,000 ($336). Once you have the UIN and the UAOP, you can now apply for training.
You can read more about drone registration and usage in India here.
Drone registration doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as you have the necessary credentials and use the necessary process in your region, you should be fine.
Remember, you shouldn’t stop at getting the registration. Go ahead and get expert training in flying a drone, and familiarize yourself with the regulations for flying a drone in your region.