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FAA Registration...Is it a Requirement

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Old 01-17-2019, 05:41 PM
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Maximilionalpha
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Default FAA Registration...Is it a Requirement

This question is for those that are in the know; Is the FAA registration for drones, mandatory, or optional? Reason that I'm asking, is that I've recently gotten into the drone fpv hobby and I've seen quite a few articles on having to register, to not having to register! Who can point me into the right direction?
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:29 PM
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If you fly something not attached with wires/strings (anything, not just "drones"), and it weighs more than .55 lbs, you must be registered. Start here: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/
Note that you are registering yourself, not the craft - you would put the same registration number on each of your aircraft.

Most (but not all) clubs and the A.M.A. generally take the stance that they are not in charge of policing the rule. A few do, though, demand proof of registration to join. So generally whether you will go to prison for life if you don't register mostly depends on what official law enforcement you have a run in with.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:43 AM
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It's not prison for life! LOL

Yes, its a requirement. The penalty is a fine up to 20,000 so for a 5 dollar registration its a relative bargain.

As to the yes and no thing, registration was enacted by an FAA rule that violated a federal law but they interpreted that it didn't, a court case was brought that affirmed they did indeed violate the law and threw out the registration requirement, so in the next FAA funding bill the FAA got it written into law and again requires it.

Its cheap, its easy, and its the law so there's no reason not to do it. Use the link tedsander posted, if you Google it you will come up with any number of paid services that offer to register you but charge you 5x as much.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
It's not prison for life! LOL

Yes, its a requirement. The penalty is a fine up to 20,000 so for a 5 dollar registration its a relative bargain.

Its cheap, its easy, and its the law so there's no reason not to do it. Use the link tedsander posted, if you Google it you will come up with any number of paid services that offer to register you but charge you 5x as much.
I didn't use tedsander's link, as to the fact that I had already went onto the FAA's website and read up on everything that was pertinent to me, as a hobbyist and yes, prior to that I had clicked on a number of sites that claimed to be FAA , with outrageous pricing. The FAA site is only $5 bucks.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tedsander View Post
If you fly something not attached with wires/strings (anything, not just "drones"), and it weighs more than .55 lbs, you must be registered.
Then, this applies to any recreational RC pilot flying regular 5-pound glow engine radio control airplane?
The link does not take me to the actual registration process; am I missing something?
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:06 AM
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Yes, if anything that you fly is over ~1/2lb, you have to be registered. On the FAA link I noted above, read Step 1, which contains a link in the text to start the registration process.

In the FAA’s eyes, any remotely piloted vehicle is a “drone”. And in those pages, they seem to think a person would only have one, so it implies you have to register each - but deeper in the process, you find that you only need to register once for all your aircraft. The AMA has been trying to get them to accept the AMA number as a valid registration number, but no firm result yet. So at this time you need to have both on your plane. Several of my fellow club members protest this by printing very small stickers with micro-print, and putting the FAA number in the hinge line of their plane!
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:10 AM
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It says it has to be there so I put it on with black sharpee on my tires
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
It says it has to be there so I put it on with black sharpee on my tires
That's hilarious, but, in the end, you've still registered into their database!
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Maximilionalpha View Post
That's hilarious, but, in the end, you've still registered into their database!
If you are concerned about registration, you were registered when you were born (your social security number). I still remember having to register with the FCC when flying RC model planes back in the 1970's. Regarding use of the AMA number, the AMA is an NGO. Since they are not government, I seriously doubt government will accept their number, until a few other actions are taken. Organizations such as NFPA, NACE, ISO, ANSI, UL, etc. have their standards adopted by government (Example, Intertek’s Warnock Hersey labels on fire rated doors.)

IMO, problem is AMA doesn't have the legal teams and technical staff these organizations have to have their standards adopted. Basically,

Originally Posted by Wizard of ID, May 3, 1965
Whoever has the gold makes the rules.
AMA has influence, but not financial clout. I say, keep flying, and let's not sweat the small stuff.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tedsander View Post
Yes, if anything that you fly is over ~1/2lb, you have to be registered. On the FAA link I noted above, read Step 1, which contains a link in the text to start the registration process.

In the FAA’s eyes, any remotely piloted vehicle is a “drone”. And in those pages, they seem to think a person would only have one, so it implies you have to register each - but deeper in the process, you find that you only need to register once for all your aircraft. The AMA has been trying to get them to accept the AMA number as a valid registration number, but no firm result yet. So at this time you need to have both on your plane. Several of my fellow club members protest this by printing very small stickers with micro-print, and putting the FAA number in the hinge line of their plane!
Thank you very much for your kind and detailed response, tedsander.
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