FAA Logo from Interdrone 2019

Do I need to register my drone?

Hobby pilots: Yes, if your drone weighs 0.55 lbs or more, you will need to register it with the FAA before you fly!

Making money? If you will be compensated for your flight, like selling your drone photos or putting videos on YouTube with monetization turned on, it does not matter what size or type of drone you fly, you must register your drone under the Part 107 commercial drone system.

Bottom line, you probably need to register your drone with the FAA before you fly in the United States. (For other countries, check here.)

FAA sUAS registration – register your drone here

 

Jonathan Feist, Drone PilotJonathan Feist

Why trust Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.

 
Do I need a license?

Do I need a license to fly my drone?

Yes, you need a drone license before you fly.

For most countries, your need for a drone license depends on why you are flying. In the United States, if you will be paid to fly, or you will be otherwise compensated for any aspect of the flight, including selling your drone photos, or uploading your drone videos to YouTube with the Monetization tool turned on, you fall under the Part 107 regulations. You will need a drone license, we call it the Part 107 Certificate. Otherwise, if you are legitimately flying for fun, the TRUST certification was launched in 2021, and is now required by all pilots.

After April 2021, all pilots that desire to fly at night, or to fly over top of people, will also require Part 107 certification.

Do I need the Part 107 certificate drone license?

Register your drone FAA

What do I do after I register my drone?

The process is fairly easy, you must be 13 or over and it will cost $5. From there, there are strict rules you will need to follow in the air, please read through and check them all out. I know some of them can be a hassle, depending on where you plan to fly, but the more we break the rules, the stricter they will become in the future. Help us all enjoy drones for years to come by enjoying them responsibly today.

 

Important new information

The FAA requires all hobby pilots to acquire authorization before they can fly in controlled airspace. That means that if you are within a few miles of an airport, chances are you cannot just go outside and fly. You will need to consult an app like Airmap or the FAA’s own B4UFly to figure out your airspace requirements.

Things to know before you fly

 


 
Why do I need registration?

But, why do I need to register?

The FAA has taken a keen interest in anything that takes to the sky, obviously, and particularly those things that have the ability to cause harm to any other aircraft or to people and property below. Also things that can be used to violate one’s privacy or national security by way of taking inappropriate photos or videos from the air. In short, you may have the most innocent of intentions with your new toy, but flying in the wrong place at the wrong time can happen in an instant. The basic FAA registration includes guidelines to help prevent an incident.

In addition to providing basic guidelines for safety, let’s be honest, FAA registration is also for accountability. It can be difficult to track down the pilot of a drone, especially if it is laying in a broken pile in the grass outside The Whitehouse – a definite no-fly zone. The FAA is hoping to never have to hunt you down, but I hope you understand that your FAA registration number is just like the license plate on your car. Like it or not, accountability is important.

Fine, how do I register?

Luckily enough, the FAA has made is super easy to register to fly your drone. Visit their website, be at least 13 years of age, have a valid credit card and in a few minutes you’ll have what you need to fly legally in the United States.


FAA sUAS registration

Perfect, now I want to fly for work!

Hold on there, I am sorry to say, you cannot just fly your drone for pay. This one may be a sore spot for many, but the fact is, you need a special extra license to fly for pay. Again, you can drive your car with your normal driver’s license, but you need a special license to drive for hire, same idea.

For drones, it is called the Remote Pilot certificate with a sUAS rating, known commonly as the Part 107. It’s not too hard to get, but it will take some time to learn all the rules. We want to help you learn the rules and get your commercial license, check out our drone pilot training material.

Drone Rush Drone Pilot Training banner Pilot-Training-Banner

 


Now go, fly safe

I hope this has helped, at least a little, but, basically, yes, you’re going to need to register your drone with the FAA to fly outside, in U.S. airspace.

Looking for more info on drone laws?
Meeting with DJI at CES 2020

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

If my drone is light enough to be exempt from registration, can I make money with it?

Yes, but only if you register it and get your Part 107 license first. According to the FAA, it does not matter how light your drone is, if you will be compensated for the flight, it is a Part 107 operation, requiring you to register before you fly.

If I don’t need to register my mini drone, do I still have to follow all of those other rules?

Yes, absolutely. According to the FAA, any self-propelled machine that is not touching the ground is operating in the national airspace. Just like when you ride your bicycle on the street, you didn’t have to register your bike, but you have to follow the rules of the road – the big difference here is that if you cause an accident with your bike, that car is going to hurt you, but if you cause a mid-air collision with your drone, you may cause harm to many other people. That is an unacceptable risk.

You mentioned needing airspace authorization to fly my drone, how do I know if I need that?

There are apps that you can use to identify airspace limitations, but you can also hit up our full airspace map here on the site. As a simple rule, if you live within several miles of any airstrip, or in a frequent flight path, you’re probably going to need authorization.

What happens when Remote ID becomes a thing?

Compliance with the upcoming Remote ID rules will require the registration of some drones that previously did not need to be registered. Make no mistake, Remote ID is a restrictive change for drone pilots; the FAA is not trying to make it hard for hobby pilots to take to the sky, but, just like there are rules and consequences for actions with vehicles on the road, it has been decided that drones in the sky require similar oversight.