(Last updated: December 26, 2015)
The popularity of drones is fast increasing. And because drones are capable of doing a lot of things such as delivering packages, snapping pictures, recording audio-visuals, etc., it is necessary to have drones registered. In the worst case a drone is a weapon; in its best case it is a lifesaver.
So how does one register a drone?
- Check if your drone qualifies for reistration. Most drones under $100 do not qualify. But it’s not the price tag that is looked at. It us the weight. Drones over .55 lbs. and less than 55 pounds need to be registered online.
- Drones equal and over 55 lbs. need to registered the traditional paper based system.
- The FAA is the governing body for registering drones. Go to this website http://registermyuas.faa.gov/
- As of this writing, registration fee is $5 for three years.
- US citizens and permanent residents require registration. For others please check existing laws and guidelines.
- After registration you will receive a certificate. You need to bring this or a digital copy with you everyone your drone is used. If you lend your drone to someone, they need to have a copy of the certificate as well.
- You need to write the registration number on your drone.
- Rules on flying: drone altitude should be less than 400 feet; flight restriction in populated areas such as airports, stadium, etc.
- Violation of rules can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars fine to years in jail.
- Best rule of the thumb: be considerate of others as you would when you play paintball.
Canada has a flowchart by which you can follow if you own a drone.
In summary, always think safety first. Drones that weigh more than 35 kg need to be registered in Transport Canada.
You also need to respect the municipal, provincial, and territorial laws regarding trespassing and privacy plus the Criminal Code and Trespass Act.
In Australia, drones are also known as RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft). If you own a drone with a certain weight, you need to be certified to fly one. The governing body is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). As of this writing, new laws are being drafted so be sure to check their website for certification and compliance.
UK Operating Permission
It’s a bit tougher to own a drone in the UK. The governing body that oversees granting RPA Operating permission is the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The requirements to own and fly a drone are listed on their website.
As a quick summary, you need to be familiar with air regulations, demonstrate pilot competence and may need to get insurance.
Drone Regulations Summary
Because drones are a new technology, the laws keep changing all the time. Be sure to do more research in your jurisdiction prior to buying and operating a drone as there are serious implications if you violate these rules.
Use common sense and safety always comes first.