US Drone Law
Cutting Edge Legal Analysis for
Cutting Edge Drone Technology
US Drone Law is not a law firm. The contents of this site do not represent legal advice and are for informational purposes only.
Wonders Never Cease!
The federal government actually created a simple, quick, convenient, and inexpensive drone registration process! Take five minutes and get your drone registered. Get Registered
Frequently Asked Questions
If I violate the FAA rules for drone registration and drone operation will I automatically be fined?
The FAA has indicated that it will attempt to educate operators who fail to comply with the FAA’s drone regulations. Enforcement action for violations will be processed on a case-by-case basis. All aspects of a violation will be considered, along with mitigating and aggravating circumstances surrounding the violation. Fines will remain an option when egregious circumstances are present.
The US Congress passed a law that defines aircraft as “any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air.” Clearly, drones meet the definition of aircraft. The US Congress also passed a law that requires all aircraft be registered and has authorized the FAA to develop more detailed rules for drone registration.
I am only going to fly my drone in my yard on property that I own, do I have to register the drone?
Unfortunately, yes, even though the drone will just be flown in your yard for fun, the drone still meets the criteria of an unmanned aircraft as defined in the federal regulations and therefore must be registered if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds.
If your drone is lost and you therefore do not expect to fly it again, then you should log into the FAA account that was created when you registered your drone and notify the FAA of the status change.
Yes, a tethered drone fits the criteria of an unmanned aircraft as defined in the federal regulations and therefore must be registered if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds and is flown outdoors.
If your drone is no longer operational and you therefore do not plan to fly it again, then you should log into the FAA account that was created when you registered your drone and notify the FAA of the status change.
Nothing, as long as you don’t ever fly your drone outdoors or your drone weighs less than 0.55 pounds. If, however, you do fly an unregistered drone weighing more than 0.55 pounds outdoors, there are some potential consequences. Under federal law, failure to register an aircraft (remember, a drone is an aircraft) may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. Just take five minutes and register your drone.