Effective December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly outdoors. People who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties.
Who must register a UAS?
The owner 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.)
• A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
Which unmanned aircraft do I have to register?
Owners must register their UAS online if it meets the following guidelines:
• Weighs more than 0.55 lbs. (250 g) and less than 55 lbs. (25 kg). Unmanned Aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs. cannot use this registration process and must register using the Aircraft Registry process.
See examples of UAS that do and do not require registration (PDF).
Owners must register their UAS by paper if it meets the following guidelines:
• Your aircraft is used for commercial purposes.
• Your aircraft is used for other than hobby and recreation.
• Your aircraft is greater than 55 lbs.
• You intend to operate your aircraft outside of the United States.
The rules for operating an unmanned aircraft depend on why you want to fly.
|Fly for Fun||Fly for Work|
|Pilot Requirements||No pilot requirements||Must have Remote Pilot Airman Certificate|
Must be 16 years old
Must pass TSA vetting
|Aircraft Requirements||Must be registered if over 0.55 lbs.||Must be less than 55 lbs.|
Must be registered if over 0.55 lbs. (online)
Must undergo pre-flight check to ensure UAS is in condition for safe operation
|Location Requirements||5 miles from airports without prior notification to airport and air traffic control||Class G airspace*|
|Operating Rules||Must ALWAYS yield right of way to manned aircraft|
Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)
UAS must be under 55 lbs.
Must follow community-based safety guidelines
Must notify airport and air traffic control tower before flying within 5 miles of an airport
|Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)*|
Must fly under 400 feet*
Must fly during the day*
Must fly at or below 100 mph*
Must yield right of way to manned aircraft*
Must NOT fly over people*
Must NOT fly from a moving vehicle*
|Example Applications||Educational or recreational flying only||Flying for commercial use (e.g. providing aerial surveying or photography services)|
Flying incidental to a business (e.g. doing roof inspections or real estate photography)
|Legal or Regulatory Basis||Public Law 112-95, Section 336 – Special Rule for Model Aircraft|
FAA Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft
|Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulation (14 CFR) Part 107|
*These rules are subject to waiver.
Do I need to register my Unmanned Aircraft?
You need to register your aircraft if it weighs between 0.55 lbs.(250 grams) and up to 55 lbs. (25 kg)
You will be subject to civil and criminal penalties if you meet the criteria to register an unmanned aircraft and do not register.
You must use the paper (N-number) registration process if
- Your unmanned aircraft is 55 pounds or greater
- You want to qualify a small unmanned aircraft for operation outside the United States
- You hold title to an aircraft in trust
- The small unmanned aircraft owner uses a voting trust to meet U.S. Citizenship requirements
How do I register my UAS?
It costs only $5 to register your UAS and the process is simple and web-based. Some things you’ll need before you get started:
• An email address
• Credit or Debit card
• Physical address and mailing address (if different from physical address)
Your registration is valid for three years. Once you receive a registration number, you can use it on all of your unmanned aircraft if they meet the online registration criteria. You must mark the registration number on all aircraft you own.
To register or obtain more information, please click on the following link: