After a brief hiatus, during which the first confirmed reports of drone/aircraft collisions came in, the registration requirement for non-commercially flown small (0.55 – 55 pound) drones is back. Recreational drone registration was first required towards the end of 2015. It was then struck down last May by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The court ruled that any drone weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds and not used for commercial purposes qualified as a model aircraft. Due to specific language in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, that meant the FAA couldn’t create rules or regulations, including registration requirements, for small recreational-use drones. Now, the recently approved National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 has restored the requirement.
The registration process is simple and inexpensive. For hobbyist/recreational drone operators, an online form and $5 will get an individual registered. The registration allows the person to fly as many different drones as they like—no separate registrations needed—as long as the registration number is displayed on each drone.
Learn more at the FAA sUAS Registration site.