Do you need to register that new drone you bought? The answer depends on where you live, but if you live in the US, and your drone weighs between .55 and 55 pounds then the answer is yes. To register your drone with the FAA, visit: https://registermyuas.faa.gov/. If you don’t already have an account, create one and then you’ll have a couple of options for registration – recreational and commercial.
If you’re planning on using your drone for hobby use only, then choose this option. If it will be a mix of hobby and commercial, then choose the commercial option. When you register your drone for use recreationally, you’re actually registering yourself and not the drone. Choose the “model aircraft” option when prompted for account type.
Enter in your personal information and address, submit payment info and you’re all set. The registration costs $5 and it lasts 3 years. After registering and paying, you’ll receive an email from the FAA with your registration number. You’ll need to attach that registration number to your drone, you can even put it in the battery compartment if don’t want it to be visible on the outside of the drone.
Commercial registration isn’t much different than recreational. This time choose non-model aircraft. For the commercial registration you’re going to need to know the drone manufacturer, drone model name, and the serial number. The cost is the same – $5 and the registration is good for 3 years too.
What happens if I sell my drone, or if I need to return it or exchange it after I’ve registered?
If you get rid of a drone you were using for recreational purposes, just take the registration number off the drone before parting ways with it. Since you didn’t register the serial number for commercial use, there’s no need to cancel that registration in the FAA portal if you don’t want to. That way, if you get another drone you can use that same registration number again.
If you’re getting rid of a commercial use drone, make sure to take the registration number off of the drone itself, and then log into the FAA portal where you registered. Click on non model aircraft, then inventory and you’ll see a list of any drones you’ve registered commercially. The far right column says “status” and there are 3 dots to the right of the status designation. If you click those, you’ll see an option to cancel the registration. The drone will still be listed in your inventory but the status will switch to cancelled.