According to Tech crunch the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched its drone registry today.
If you live in the U.S. and own any kind of drone that weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds (and that’s pretty much every drone that isn’t a toy like the Parrot MiniDrone), you have until February 19, 2016 to register it. If you buy a new drone after today, you don’t get that kind of leniency. You’ll have to register before your first outdoor flight.
Registration will be free for the next 30 days (you’ll still have to enter your credit card information for verification, but the FAA will refund you your $5 almost immediately). After that, it’ll cost $5. Registrations are valid for three years.
The good news is that if you own multiple drones, you’ll only have to register once and then you can use the same registration number for all of your drones. You can own as many drones as you can afford.
Once you get that number, you can either write it on the outside of your drone or place it inside the battery compartment (as long as that can be accessed without the use of tools).
It’s worth noting that you will also have to carry a copy of your registration certificate with you whenever you fly your unmanned aerial vehicle.
Failing to register your drone could cost you up to $27,500 in civil penalties from the FAA. There’s also the spectre of criminal penalties, which could add up to $250,000 in fines and up to three years in prison.
When you register, you’ll have to enter your name, physical address, mailing address, and an email address. At some point in the future, all of this information will become searchable, too.