Do You Really Have to Register Your New Drone?

Close-Up Of Drone Against Sky
 Dennis Fritzenktter/EyeEm/Getty Images

Short answer: yes, provided you want to fly your new drone outside and it weighs over 0.55 pounds, at faadronezone.faa.gov. (The Flitt and Syma units featured in this list weigh less than that so don’t have to be registered.)

Understandably, there has been some confusion about the rules: The requirement was enacted in 2015, overturned in 2016, then revived as law in late 2017.

Drones require a $5 registration each, good for three years; you’re also required to mark your registration number on the drone itself. The potential penalties for not doing so? Up to $250,000 and three years in jail. Serious stuff.