New FAA rules require all drones (over 250 grams) in the U.S. to display the FAA registration number on the outside of the drone. Until now this registration information could be labeled inside of battery compartments for example.
FAA Rule requiring Registration Information visible on the outside of your drone
The FAA claims Good Cause for Immediate Adoption based on a few arguments. One being that Members of law enforcement have expressed concerns that the old rule of just placing the label anywhere on the drone, including inside the battery compartment, presents “an imminent risk of harm to first responders”. It is claimed that when responding to security incidents involving drones, first responders attempt to identify the owner/operator. Of course, one way of doing this is to figure out who this person is based on the FAA registration information on the label.
This requires law enforcement personnel to physically handle the drone and in some cases open compartments. This poses “an unnecessary safety and security risk” to those individuals, as well as others in the immediate vicinity of the drone, due to potential concealment of explosive devices in compartments, including battery compartments. This new rule requiring placing the registration number on the external surface of the aircraft assists in mitigating this risk, as the drone doesn’t have to be handled.
The FAA had planned to implement this rule after receiving feedback from Law Enforcement Agencies in 2016 and 2017 but was not able to implement the rule immediately. One reason for this was the litigation challenging the applicability of the entire Registration process for model aircraft (section 336 of Public Law 112-95). The uncertainty was resolved when the registration requirement was signed into law on December 12, 2017.
Due to the “Good Cause for Immediate Adoption” the Rule becomes effective 10 days from publication -> (Feb 25, 2019).
You have until March 15th, 2019 to comment on the new Ruling. You may do so here.
US Registration Requirements
How do I register my drone? It’s pretty simple, follow these steps:
- If you are flying a drone in the U.S. that weighs more than 0.55lbs (250 grams) it must be registered. You can do that by visiting faadronezone.faa.gov
- Review the rules: Recreational/Hobby or Commercial
- Mark your aircraft. The good news is you have several options:
- Engraving the registration number
- Using a permanent label, from say a label maker
- Using a permanent marker to visibly and permanently write your registration info on the exterior of your drone
STAY IN TOUCH!