US DOT Announces National Registry for Drones

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US DOT Announces National Registry for Drones

If you plan on purchasing a drone this holiday season, depending upon when you buy, you may need to provide your personal information to the government. The United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) has announced a “national registry” for drones. Now this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the coverage the registry has been getting, first as a rumor and then as fact. According to NBC, “the regulations could be in place by Christmas.”

DroneLife originally reported this rumor on October 10th, in the article “Schulman: DOT Thinks that a Drone Registration System May be Required.”

Just breaking: Brendan Schulman, DJI’s VP of Policy and Legal Affairs just tweeted “Secretary of Transportation thinks that a drone registration system may be required, will work closely with industry.”

Schulman: DOT Thinks that a Drone Registration System May be Required

DroneLife then followed up with another story, “US to Require Drone Registration,” this time supported by a NBC News story “U.S. Will Require Drones to Be Registered.” The NBC News story indicated that the registry is real and details would be coming soon.

If you buy a drone this Christmas, you may have to register it before you can fly it.  NBC News reports  today that the US Transportation Department will announce Monday its plan to require drone registration for all consumer drones.

US to Require Drone Registration

Ars Technica then confirmed the DroneLife story in their piece, “Got a drone? You’ll have to register it with the US government.”

The US Department of Transportation announced Monday that purchasers of drones will have to register the devices with the federal government as part of a new “national registry.”

The plan comes following several close calls with drones and passenger aircraft at airports nationwide and as firefighters have said they have had their aerial firefighting hindered because of drones being in the way. Hundreds of thousands of the small unmanned aircraft are expected to be sold in the coming weeks ahead of the holiday season.

“Registering unmanned aircraft will help build a culture of accountability and responsibility, especially with new users who have no experience operating in the US aviation system,” Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary, said. “It will help protect public safety in the air and on the ground.”

Got a drone? You’ll have to register it with the US government

An interesting tidbit from the Ars Technica piece talks about potential registration exemptions,”due to a low safety risk.”

The government announced a task force to determine which aircraft should be exempt from registration “due to a low safety risk,” which might include “toys” and other devices. The recommendations, and the details of how the registration process will work, should be delivered to the agency by Nov. 20, Foxx said. Registered drones will likely host an identifying number linking to its owner.

Got a drone? You’ll have to register it with the US government

If you were considering a drone purchase this holiday season, will this new national registry affect your purchasing decision?



About DroneLife

Between now and 2024, there is (if you will excuse the pun) a lot of ground to cover. The issues surrounding the relationship of drones to personal privacy/security become more complicated by the day and the FAA is going to have their hands full trying to decide who owns the air.

Until the dust settles, the commercial drones industry is the new wild west of technology; there is a lot of money to be made, unclaimed territory to be mapped, and there are hardly any rules.

DroneLife is here to make sure you, the consumer, are up to date on all the latest drone news, product releases, YouTube videos and legal precedents so you can stay informed about the rise of the commercial drone.

Ars Technica Logo

Ars Technica Logo

About Ars Technica

Ars Technica was founded in 1998 when Founder & Editor-in-Chief Ken Fisher announced his plans for starting a publication devoted to technology that would cater to what he called “alpha geeks”: technologists and IT professionals. Ken’s vision was to build a publication with a simple editorial mission: be “technically savvy, up-to-date, and more fun” than what was currently popular in the space. In the ensuing years, with formidable contributions by a unique editorial staff, Ars Technica became a trusted source for technology news, tech policy analysis, breakdowns of the latest scientific advancements, gadget reviews, software, hardware, and nearly everything else found in between layers of silicon.

By |2017-08-31T15:24:07-08:00October 19th, 2015|Drones, FAA|Comments Off on US DOT Announces National Registry for Drones

About the Author:

Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at