Drone registration is becoming a hot button topic in Washington these days, as lawmakers hear testimony from the FAA and other federal agencies over the need for greater security measures – including a universal registration requirement for all drone pilots.
Registering on the FAA website is as fast and easy as any government interaction could be – less than 5 minutes with minimal data input. But as the FAA tries to encourage operators to register, they are also warning them not to get scammed by people trying to make money from the process.
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to warn drone owners – especially hobbyists—about people offering to “help” register their drones with the agency. The FAA Drone Zone is all you need – and it costs only $5.00,” says a recent agency release.
The scammers make it seem like you need help to register – and that’s not only dishonest, but contributes to the all too common misconception that a “registration” and a “license” are the same thing, or that registration confers some sort of authorization.
“There are a number of entities that offer to help drone owners and operators file an application for a registration number,” says the FAA. “Some attempt to mimic the look of the FAA’s website with similar graphic design and even the FAA logo, or suggest they are somehow “approved” by the agency. They aren’t – and you could be wasting your money.”
To clarify, registration – one number for all of your drones if you are a recreational flyer – costs only $5. and takes only 5 minutes. Like registering a car, drone registration doesn’t teach you how or license you to fly it; it is NOT the same thing as a Part 107 Remote Pilot’s license. However, the FAA registration site does also provide information and many resources about flight safety rules.
“We strongly advise you to avoid registering your unmanned aircraft anywhere but at the FAA Drone Zone,” clarifies the FAA. “It’s the only way to make sure your drone is legally registered and that you’ve gotten your money’s worth.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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