How Long Does It Take to Register a Drone?

Registering your drone is a relatively short process. It takes about 5 minutes to register a drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Hello folks! My name is Lavelle and I am a long-time drone enthusiast and a professional drone pilot. I registered my first drone with the FAA about a decade ago and I have been enjoying drone experiences ever since that moment.

In this article, I will cover the complete registration process as well as some of the requirements for what drones need to be registered.

Key Takeaways

  • All drones weighing more than .55 lbs must be registered with the FAA.
  • Have prepared all needed information, such as the drone model and the ID number of your drone prior the registration.
  • Be ready to pay a registration fee of $5.00 USD.

How to Register a Drone: Step-by-Step Guide

Here is a step-by-step guide to the registration process.

Step 1. Create an Account at the FAA Website

Go to the FAA Drone Zone site to create an account and register your drone. Look near the top right corner for the login button. Click on it and on the next page, click on create an account. Keep in mind that drones weighing less than .55 lbs are not required to be registered.

Step 2. Prepare All the Needed Information

On the registration page, you will need your personal information i.e. name, email, and a password that you set up. 

Additionally, you will need the model and the identification number of your drone.

Step 3. Check If You Meet All the Registration Requirements

The requirements for registering your drone as fairly basic. The registrant should be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident and must be at least 13 years old

The registration should also have a physical mailing address and a valid email address.

Step 4. Fill Out the Form and Pay the Registration Fee

Fill out the information requested on the registration form. Each block is self explanatory and only takes a few minutes to complete. 

After completing the form, you will be directed to the payment page where you will pay the registration fee of $5.00 USD. The agency accepts credit or debit card payments only.

You can find more information on the FAA registration site.

What Drones Must be Registered

The FAA requires that all drones weighing more than .55 lbs and flown exclusively under the Exception for Recreational Flyers be registered with their agency.


Here are some answers to a few of the frequently asked questions about the drone registration process and requirements.

Is It Difficult to Register Your Drone?

No, it is not difficult to register your drone. In fact, the process is very simple and only takes a few minutes to complete if you have the required information handy.

What Happens If You Don’t Register Your Drone With the FAA?

There are potential civil and criminal penalties for not following the FAA’s requirement to register your drone. The fines associated with failing to register a drone can also be very substantial. Civil penalties can be up to $27,500 and criminal penalties can cost as much as $250,000. There is the possibility of imprisonment for up to three years as well.

How Long Does FAA Drone Registration Last?

Drone registrations with the FAA are good for 3 years. 

Final Thoughts

Being a safe drone operator is important and it all begins with registration. 

This process typically takes only a few minutes and requires you to provide some basic information, such as your name and address, as well as the make and model of your drone. 

Once you’ve completed the registration process, you’ll be given a registration number.

Do you have your drone registered? Do you find this process simple or have you had any difficulties? Share your experience in the comments below.

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