The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its mandatory registration program last week, just in time for the holidays.
According to the FAA’s new rules, all consumer drones weighing between half a pound to 55 pounds must be registered. New drones must be registered before flight, however, drone owners who have operated an aircraft prior to Dec. 21, have until February 19, 2016 to register their device.
Owners are required to share their name, address, and email in order to receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration.
Registration can be done on the FAA’s website, however, at the time of publishing this story the registration page had not yet gone live.
There will also be a $5 registration fee, but the FAA is waiving the fee for the first 30 days registration is open.
Those who do not register their drone are subject to civil and criminal penalties, which could include fines up to $250,000 and/or up to three years of imprisonment.
In addition to registering your drone, the FAA is urging owners to keep in mind the following rules when taking their aircraft out for a spin:
Fly below 400 feet altitude.**
Keep your unmanned aircraft in sight at all times.
Never fly near manned aircraft, especially near airports.
Never fly over groups of people, stadiums or sporting events.
Never fly near emergency response efforts.