FAA Drone Registration – Do I Need To Register My Drone? Questions Answered

FAA drone registration is one of the hottest topics right now with many people are asking “Do I need to register my drone?” especially with the holiday season over and done. This is very important to know so that you can stay safe and within the confines of the law.

Now it's time to make sure you register your drone with the FAA.

Below is a quick overview of what you need to know about FAA drone registration. NOTE: please use this as a guide only – for full and official instructions, please go the FAA website through one of the links provided.

FAA Drone Registration
Photo by Don McCullough at Flickr (link)

1. If your drone weights more than 0.55 pounds, you MUST register your drone.

As a point of reference, you can check the FAA’s nice PDF by clicking here. (https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/media/UAS_Weights_Registration.pdf)

Or you can check this quick list (NOTE: make sure you check with FAA for the final list as this can change daily):

UNDER 0.55 pounds and WOULD NOT require registration:

1. TSQ Heli Max
2. Air Hogs Helix X4 Stunt
3. UDI Discovery
4. Hubsan X4
5. Sky Viper
6. Air Hogs Millennium Falcon
7. Extreme Flyers MicroDrone 2.0

Over 0.55 pounds and WOULD require registration:

1. Parrot Bebop
2. 3D Robotics (3DR) Solo
3. DJI Phantom 3 Standard/Advanced/Profession
4. DJI Inspire 1

2. You must be 13 years old (or older) and a US citizen or legal resident (permanent)

If you were lucky enough to receive a drone for Christmas but aren’t 13 years old, you must have someone who is above that age register.

FAA Drone Registration 2
Photo by jacinta lluch valero at Flickr (link)

3. Register online with the FAA. This FAA drone registration will be good for three years.

According to the FAA website, before you get started make sure you have:

  • An email address
  • Credit or Debit Card
  • Mailing/Physical address

This will help with the checkout process.

You’ll go to the FAA registration page and register (http://registermyuas.faa.gov/)

4. If you are planning on using your drone for any reason OTHER than hobby or recreation, you must register by paper.

This applies to anyone who wants to use their drone for commercial reasons – example is a video production company or even a real estate agent.

If you are hired to use your drone, that is considered commercial use.

If you need to register your drone by paper, you can click this link to the FAA drone registration website and fill out the paperwork: https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/aircraft_certification/aircraft_registry/UA/

5. If you register online before January 20, 2016 your $5 registration fee will be refunded.

You can go here: http://registermyuas.faa.gov/ and fill out the proper forms. Your $5 will be refunded and your FAA drone registration will be valid for 3 years.

FAA Drone Registration 3
Photo by Richard Unten at Flickr (link)

6. You will receive a registration number for your drone. You will need to apply this to your drone.

The FAA gives you three recommended options:

  • Engraving
  • Permanent Label
  • Permanent Market

TIP: If you are concerned about marking up your drone, you can put your registration mark inside the battery compartment if it doesn’t require a tool to open.

Have this FAA drone registration number with you any time you are flying your drone. It is OK to have this digitally (on your phone, for example) but always better to have a hard copy if possible.

6. Once you have completed all these steps, you are done!

Let’s do a quick review of action steps to take

  1. Make sure your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds
  2. Confirm that you are a US citizen and at least 13 years old
  3. Go to FAA drone registration area and fill out form
  4. If you are using your drone for commercial reasons, fill out the papers required
  5. Do it before January 20th to save $5!

Links to FAA site:

Photo by William Murphy at Flickr (link)
Photo by William Murphy at Flickr (link)

FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration page: https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/

Online registration area: https://registermyuas.faa.gov/

Registration FAQ’s from the FAA: https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/
How to Label your drone with your FAA registration number: https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/media/UAS_how_to_label_Infographic.pdf

Commercial use registration forms: https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/aircraft_certification/aircraft_registry/UA/

Share this article with anyone you know who recently got a drone for Christmas – this will help keep them safe and up to date.


1/17/2016 UPDATE: Watch this video to clarify that the FAA drone registration may no longer be necessary.


Happy flying!


Carter is a lead product reviewer and content producer at LemonDrone. Send him products to test or content to publish via the Facebook page!