What Happens if I Don’t Register My Drone With the FAA | JC Drones

If you think flying a drone is a fun hobby, think again. It is a very serious business, as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considers it a civil aircraft. This means that you must register it and follow a lot of rules to avoid being caught by the authorities or your drone being shot down. This article is going to look at what happens if you don’t register your drone with the FAA.

Not only does the FAA require registration for drones but you also need to register them with the FAA if you are within a 5-mile radius of an airport. The 5-mile radius is not clearly defined by the FAA and many have called it a gray area. This blog will look at what happens if you don’t register your drone with the FAA.

What happens if I don’t register my drone with the FAA?

You’ve probably heard about the new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules that require hobbyists who own drones that weigh more than 250 grams to register their devices with the FAA.

However, not everyone will be affected by this new law, including recreational drone pilots and commercial drone pilots who operate outside of FAA regulations. What if you choose not to register your drone? How will it affect you in the future? We’ll tell you what happens if you don’t register your drone with the FAA and how it could negatively impact your ability to fly in the future.

The New Rules for Flying Drones

Recently, a new rule went into effect that requires owners of drones weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds to register their device with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Why? The FAA wants to make sure that drone owners are operating these machines safely in accordance with their Special Rule for Model Aircraft under Part 101 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Without registration, there’s no easy way for federal officials to determine who owns these devices; without knowing who owns them, officials can’t effectively hold them accountable for breaking any rules or laws pertaining to drone operations.

Where you can fly your drone

Whether you’re piloting an aerial photography rig or a DJI Spreading Wings S900, you probably want to know where you can fly it. If your only goal is fun and games, there’s not much red tape to cut through; but if your goal is profit, things can get complicated.

Before setting off on any flight, check out our map of do’s and don’ts so that you can have a safe and legal flight in mind. It will help keep both you and those below your drone happy.

How high you can fly your drone

The Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, limits how high you can fly a drone and what kind of camera you can use. Flying a drone at or below 400 feet is against federal law unless you’re flying over your own property and not near an airport.

Be careful—in some areas where people live and work, like New York City, it’s illegal to fly drones at all. To fly legally in U.S. airspace, a person must be at least 16 years old and have passed an aeronautical knowledge test issued by the FAA (or be directly supervised by someone who has). The person flying a drone must also keep it within his line of sight.

Privacy concerns about flying drones

In December 2015, Congress passed a law requiring all non-recreational users of small unmanned aircraft to register with the Federal Aviation Administration. Registration is free, and it lets you know when new rules apply to your use of drones.

It’s a good idea to follow any new rules that make sense for you, even if they aren’t mandatory yet. However, as cool as it is flying a drone and taking amazing photos or videos from above, there are some privacy concerns about people who fly drones outside their homes or businesses without permission from nearby property owners.

After you buy a new drone

To ensure safety and privacy, you must register your new unmanned aircraft system (UAS) before you fly outdoors. When you receive your new UAS from a dealer or manufacturer, there is an option to register it immediately. If you do not complete registration before flying outdoors, you could face civil and criminal penalties of up to $27,500 per violation.

You could also be subject to enforcement action by the FAA which may include issuing a warning letter, proposing civil penalties up to $19,000 per violation for each day of operation without approval, or a criminal misdemeanor charge carrying potential fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. Additionally, UAS that do not meet registration requirements are illegal and cannot be operated in any way that involves.


We hope you enjoyed our article about registering your drone. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about drone registration and how it will affect you. Remember, if you fly for fun you aren’t required to register your drone, but if you earn money from flying your drone for a business you must register it with the FAA.