As of December 2015, small aircraft between .55 and 55 lbs must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA].

Recreational flyers should:

  • Register online for $5.

  • Attach the registration number to each aircraft. Registration is valid for three years.

Commercial flyers should:

  • Register with the traditional Aircraft Registry. Directions are outlined in Part 47 of the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Use these forms.

  • Section 333 of the Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 created an exemption to the ban on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft, which includes drones. The request for exemption must include:

    • Your name and address.

    • The specific regulations you’re requesting exemption from.

    • How you will ensure safety before and during your flight.

    • How the exemption would be beneficial to the public.

    • The intended use of the UAS: real estate, survey site inspection, etc., the proposed maximum speed and altitude, characteristics of the area you’ll be flying in, if you will fly near any airports and how you would implement a pre-flight safety assessment.

    • What kind of aircraft you’re flying — make and model.

    • For a full list of requirements, visit the FAA’s 333 exemption guidelines.

    • To see examples of 333 exemptions, scroll through some already authorized exemption requests.