This guide covers the basics of registering your drone for hobby purposes. The FAA will finalize a new regulatory frame for small unmanned aeral systems in late August 2016 for commerical work.

If your quadcopter weighs more then 250 grams you will need to register. The fee is only 5 dollars per person, so you can fly an unlimited amount of quadcopters once registered.

You don't need permission from the FAA to fly your UAS (aka drone) for fun or recreation, but you must always fly safely.

Before you fly outside you must:

  • Register your UAS if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds
  • Label your UAS with your registration number
  • Read and understand all safety guidelines

You must be:

  • 13 years of age or older (if the owner is less than 13 years of age, a person 13 years of age or older must register the small unmanned aircraft) 16 years of age if flying commercially
  • A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident*

* Visiting foreign nationals must register their UAS upon arrival in the United States (online registration serves as a certificate of ownership).

To register, you'll need:

  • Email address
  • Credit or Debit card
  • Physical address and mailing address (if different from physical address)

Registration costs $5 and is valid for 3 years.

Register UAS that weigh less than 55 lbs. and more than 0.55 lbs. online

Register UAS that weigh more than 55 lbs. by paper

Label your UAS (PDF)

Rules for commercial flying:

  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
  • Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS. Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the visual observer.
  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
  • Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS. Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the visual observer.
  • At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS for those people to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  • Must yield right of way to other aircraft.
  • May use visual observer (VO) but not required.
  • First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid” requirement but can be used as long as requirement is satisfied in other ways.
  • Maximum groundspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a structure.
  • Minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from control station.
  • Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required ATC permission.
  • Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission.
  • No person may act as a remote pilot in command or VO for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
  • No operations from a moving aircraft.
  • No operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is over a sparsely populated area.
  • No careless or reckless operations.
  • No carriage of hazardous materials.
  • Requires preflight inspection by the remote pilot in command.
  • A person may not operate a small unmanned aircraft if he or she knows or has reason to know of any physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a small UAS.
  • Foreign-registered small unmanned aircraft are allowed to operate under part 107 if they satisfy the requirements of part 375.
  • External load operations are allowed if the object being carried by the unmanned aircraft is securely attached and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft.
  • Transportation of property for compensation or hire allowed provided that-
    • The aircraft, including its attached systems, payload and cargo weigh less than 55 pounds total;
    •  The flight is conducted within visual line of sight and not from a moving vehicle or aircraft; and
    • The flight occurs wholly within the bounds of a State and does not involve transport between (1) Hawaii and another place in Hawaii through airspace outside Hawaii; (2) the District of Columbia and another place in the District of Columbia; or (3) a territory or possession of the United States and another place in the same territory or possession.
  • Most of the restrictions discussed above are waivable if the applicant demonstrates that his or her operation can safely be conducted under the terms of a certificate of waiver. 

Remote Pilot in Command Certification and Responsibilities

 

•A person operating a small UAS must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote pilot certificate (remote pilot in command).

• To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, a person must:

• Demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by either:

•Passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center; or

•Hold a part 61 pilot certificate other than student pilot, complete a flight review within the previous 24 months, and complete a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA.

•Be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.

• Be at least 16 years old.

  • Part 61 pilot certificate holders may obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate immediately upon submission of their application for a permanent certificate. Other applicants will obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate upon successful completion of TSA security vetting. The FAA anticipates that it will be able to issue a temporary remote pilot certificate within 10 business days after receiving a completed remote pilot certificate application.
  • Until international standards are developed, foreign-certificated UAS pilots will be required to obtain an FAA-issued remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

A remote pilot in command must:

  • Make available to the FAA, upon request, the small UAS for inspection or testing, and any associated documents/records required to be kept under the rule.
  • Report to the FAA within 10 days of any operation that results in at least serious injury, loss of consciousness, or property damage of at least $500.
  • Conduct a preflight inspection, to include specific aircraft and control station systems checks, to ensure the small UAS is in a condition for safe operation.
  • Ensure that the small unmanned aircraft complies with the existing registration requirements specified in 91.203(a)(2).
  • A remote pilot in command may deviate from the requirements of this rule in response to an in-flight emergency.

Aircraft Requirements

• FAA airworthiness certification is not required. However, the remote pilot in command must conduct a preflight check of the small UAS to ensure that it is in a     condition for safe operation.

Model Aircraft

  • Part 107 does not apply to model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified in section 336 of Public Law 112-95.
  • The rule codifies the FAA’s enforcement authority in part 101 by prohibiting model aircraft operators from endangering the safety of the NAS.

Resistration sign up is available at the FAA’s site: registermyuas.faa.gov

You can register online or if you prefer, you can send in your form via snail mail but do it online only takes a couple of minutes.

We’ll start off by selecting your account type, either hobby or commercial.

 

Note that you’ll need to be 13 for recreational flying and 16 years or older for commercial flights. Fill in your info to create and verify your account.

 

After you verify via email you can complete your profile. 

Fill in all of the info to link the profile to your registration. 


You’ll be assigned a unique number that must be written on any quadcopter you fly. You will also need to register every three years to stay up to date.


Next we'll be asked to accept the rules for flying: 

  • Don't fly over 400 feet
  • fly within line of sight
  • don't fly over people, events or stadiums
  • never fly around emergencies like fires
  • ask permission from towers when flying close to airports
  •  never fly under the influence

 

Always use common sense when flying.

After you agree to follow the rules you’ll be prompted to pay.

You’ll receive a confirmation and be granted a registration number to add on your quadcopters.


Add the numbers to a visible part of your quad. You can also write the number inside of the battery slot if battery door doesn’t require any screws.

 

You’ll also receive a printable card you can carry around with you.

 

 

And thats it, super easy, just make sure to follow the rules by knowing where to fly.

 

To find out where you can safely fly, we can head over to app.airmap.io to see a map of different airspaces.

app.airmap.io is a provider of airspace information and services for unmanned aircraft. Operators can access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights anb file digital flight notices to over 80 airports.

You can also get mobile versions of the site for android and iOS.

Find the location you plan to fly and see if your in restricted airspace. In Florida we a pretty large amount of space we can fly, but if we head more east we can see the 5 mile radius of the airports that are close by.

We can click on an area to get a phone number to request permission from towers.

We can also get more info on each type of airspace we might be close to. You can toggle different areas like National parks, prohibited spaces and protected areas.

You can also see advisory area like hospitals, schools and heliports.

This guide was first published on Jun 23, 2016. It was last updated on Jun 23, 2016.