Do I Need to Register my Drone (Detailed Guide)

Everybody knows that owning a drone could be very fun, but you should never forget to register it. Otherwise you will be in big trouble when you get caught by the FAA. They don’t get mad easily, but they do it rightfully. 

Do I Need to Register my Drone? You don’t need to register your drone if you’re using it for fun or for recreational purposes. However, if you plan on using your drone for commercial purposes such as photography, then you do need to register it with the FAA.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires drone owners to register their drones if they want to fly them outdoors at certain heights and speeds. 

Many people with smaller drones don’t need to register them, but you will want to read this guide to check what you may or may not need. A majority of drone pilots are operating within the law.

How To Register A Drone?

How To Register A Drone?

Registering your drone is a quick and easy way to make sure that your investment is safe, and it helps prevent potential problems when flying. Registering your drone is an easy process that you can do in just a few minutes. 

Information Required

To register your drone with the FAA, you’ll need:

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  • Your model number and serial number for the drone
  • Your name and address
  • Your email address
  • The phone number where you can be reached during business hours


Before you can register your drone, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You must be at least 13 years old to register your drone.
  2. You need an email address and a phone number that is associated with a credit card on file.

Registration Fees

The registration fees for drones vary depending on the size, weight and category of your drone. The fees for all drones are listed on the government’s website. 

For example, if your drone weighs less than 250 grams, you will pay $5 for registration. This fee is the same whether you are registering one drone or multiple drones.

Step By Step Instructions To Register A Drone

To register your drone, follow these five steps:

  1. Go to the drone registration page at
  2. Click “I agree to the Terms and Conditions” and then click “Register My Drone”.
  3. You will be presented with a series of questions that will help you determine if your drone is eligible for registration and how much it will cost.
  4. Complete all required fields, including your name and address, and then click “Continue”.
  5. You will receive an email with a confirmation link after you register your drone.

Commercial Vs. Recreational Drone Registration

Commercial Vs. Recreational Drone Registration

Commercial drone registration is different from recreational drone registration in that commercial drone operators are required to register their drones with the FAA, while recreational operators only need to register their drones if they want to fly in certain areas or fly a certain number of times.

Commercial and recreational drone registration are alike in many ways. Both must be registered with the FAA, both require a written test to pass, and both can result in a fine if you don’t follow the rules. 

But where commercial drone registration is about making sure you’re following the rules for your business, recreational drone registration is about keeping yourself safe.

The main difference between commercial and recreational drone registration is that commercial registration requires you to have a remote pilot certificate (RPC), which means that you’ve passed an FAA-approved course on how to fly a drone safely. 

Recreational drone pilots don’t need any kind of certification, they just need to know the rules.

What Happens If You Don’t Register Your Drone?

What Happens If You Don’t Register Your Drone?

If you don’t register your drone, the penalties for not doing so can be severe. You could be charged with a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or a fine up to $27,500. You will also have to pay any registration fees.

The FAA enforces the registration program to help identify and track drone users in the United States. 

By registering your drone with the FAA, you’ll be able to make sure that it’s not flying into restricted airspace, and you’ll also be able to use its serial number as proof of ownership if it does get caught up in a restricted area.

It’s also important to note that if your drone is found flying in prohibited areas, such as near airports or military bases, it will be confiscated and destroyed.

Do Toy Drones Need To Be Registered?

Do Toy Drones Need To Be Registered?

Toy drones do not need to be registered. However, if you’re flying a drone that weighs more than half a pound (250 grams), it’s considered a small unmanned aircraft and must be registered with the FAA.

Toy drones are small, remote-controlled quadcopters that are often marketed as toys for children. Toy drones can be used for recreational purposes, such as flying through the air and performing tricks, or for filming videos.

Because of their small size and lightweight, toy drones may not be identifiable as aircraft when they fly overhead (not need to be registered by FAA). In order to ensure safety of flight, most countries require toy drone owners to register their devices with local authorities before they can fly them outdoors.

Where Can Registered Drones Fly?

You can fly your registered drone almost anywhere, so long as you follow the rules and regulations that are set in place by the government.

As a drone pilot, you’re probably familiar with the rules and regulations governing your ability to fly. But did you know that there are some places where drones can’t be flown?

To help keep everyone safe, here are some of the places where drones aren’t allowed:

  • Near airports or air traffic control towers
  • Over sports stadiums during games or concerts
  • Within 5 miles of any airport’s airspace (the FAA has a map showing these areas)
  • Above 400 feet

Can The Faa Track Your Drone?

The FAA can track your drone. They use a system called ADS-B, which stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast. ADS-B is a system that uses GPS and other technologies to allow aircraft to broadcast their location and altitude to other aircraft and air traffic controllers.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the ability to track your drone.In fact, they have a whole system in place to help them do that, which is called the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). 

This system is used for all aircraft that fly in U.S. airspace, and it’s how the FAA finds out about any accidents that happen with those aircraft. It also tells them who owns those aircraft and where they are.

This system works by broadcasting information about an aircraft over radio waves every second or two. The FAA then uses these broadcasts to track all aircraft in U.S. airspace, including your drone.

How Should You Mark Your Drone?

The best way to mark your drone is with a sticker. Featuring your name and phone number, these identifying stickers are easy to apply and remove without leaving any residue. If someone finds your drone and contacts you via the sticker, you’ll be able to retrieve it sooner.

When you’re getting ready to fly your drone, it’s important to mark it so you can find it again if it gets lost.

There are several ways that you can do this. You could put a sticker on the drone with your name and phone number, but those stickers come off easily and don’t last long in the elements. If your drone is lost in the woods, this isn’t going to help much.

You could also write your name and phone number on it with a permanent marker, but that’s not going to look very nice after you’ve been through a few crashes.

The best thing to do is get a custom-made sticker. These stickers are waterproof and scratch-resistant, so they’ll stay on through all kinds of weather conditions, and they’re easy to read.

Which Drones Don’t Need To Be Registered?  

Which Drones Don’t Need to be Registered?  

Drones that weigh under .55 pounds are considered “ultralight” and don’t require registration because they don’t pose any risk to people or property. The FAA does not consider these drones dangerous because they can’t carry much weight and have limited range, so there’s no reason for them to be registered.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made it clear that any drone that weighs more than 0.55 pounds must be registered. This includes anything from a small toy drone to a professional-grade photography drone.

However, there are some exceptions to these rules. For example, if your drone is used for commercial purposes or is used by law enforcement agencies as part of their official work duties, then you’ll want to register it with the FAA anyway.

What To Do With Your Registration Certificate?

It’s always a good idea to keep your drone registration certificate in a safe place, so we recommend storing it in a fireproof lock box at home or in a bank safety deposit box.

Drone registration certificates are useful for several reasons:

  • If you are ever questioned by law enforcement officers about the legality of your drone, you can show them your certificate, which should help to clarify things.
  • If you are ever involved in an accident with another person or property and need to provide proof of ownership for insurance purposes, the certificate should be helpful.
  • If you ever lose your drone, it will help to have a copy of the registration on hand when you go to report it missing.

If you don’t have a physical copy of the drone registration certificate, you can always log into the FAA’s website and look up your information there.


Drones are considered “model aircraft” and are not required to be registered with the FAA. If you want to fly your drone or model aircraft for any purpose other than recreation, such as for photography or for sale, then you’ll need a license from the FAA.

The steps involved to register a drone can be difficult to understand and even more frustrating when you do not know how to proceed, but it is very important that you do. 

By reading the information in this article and following these tips, you will feel that the process went smoothly. You should now be fully prepared to register your drone.

The bottom line is that the FAA is serious about drone safety and will enforce the rules accordingly. 

Information on registration is readily accessible online, so there’s no reason for any noncompliance. The benefits of an officially registered drone far outweigh the consequences of being caught not registering it.

Frequently Asked Questions (do I Need To Register My Drone)

Is It Worth Registering A Drone?

Yes, It’s worth registering your drone. The cost of registering your drone is very low, and the benefits are high. You may not be aware of how much you stand to lose when you don’t register your drone.

Consequences of not registering it:

  • You could be fined up to thousands of dollars for failure to register your drone.
  • Your drone could be confiscated by law enforcement, and you might never see it again.
  • You might receive a criminal record if you’re convicted of failing to register your drone.

When Should I Register My Drone?

You should register your drone as soon as possible. The registration process is simple and only takes a few minutes. You can do it online or over the phone, but if you want to do it in person, you’ll have to go to a local post office.

Can You Fly Dji Drone Without Registration?

Yes, you can fly your DJI drone without registration. The FAA requires that all drones that weigh more than 250 grams be registered with them. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. If you fly a drone for recreation or recreational use, it doesn’t need to be registered.

Does The Faa Know When I Fly My Drone?

Yes, the FAA knows. The FAA is required to keep a database of all drone operators who have been issued a Remote Pilot Certificate. They also have access to air traffic control data, so they can easily cross-reference the two and see if you’ve flown your drone recently.

The FAA is responsible for identifying and investigating illegal drone operation, which includes flying in restricted airspace or above 400 feet.

They also have rules about how high up you can fly a drone, what time of day it can be flown, and how close it can be to buildings or people.

The FAA does not keep track of individual drone operators’ flights, but they do keep track of complaints from citizens about drone activity that might be illegal.

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