Today, February 19th, 2016, marks the FAA drone registration deadline. The registration process is fairly painless and costs just $5, but if you fail to register your drone, you may find yourself on the wrong side of some very hefty penalties.
The FAA has required consumer drone registration since December 15th, 2015. Details about the registration can be found at the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration page. Here is an excerpt:
Effective December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly outdoors. People who previously operated their UAS must register by February 19, 2016. People who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties.
So what exactly are the penalties if you fail to register? The maximum civil penalty is a fine of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties can reach $250,000 or three years in prison. $5 vs. potentially $250,000? It should be a no-brainer folks. If you haven’t yet, register your drone now, because the registry will close at 10:59 p.m. CT tonight.