Own a drone in the United States? Today is the last day to register with the FAA for free.

If you own a drone, or have been thinking about getting a drone, today (January 21st) is the last day to register for free. After today, registration will cost five dollars and will last 3 years from the purchase date. It's worth noting that registration is on an individual basis - all drones you own that fall into the criteria of weighing more than half a pound will bare the same registration number. So if you don't own a drone, but think you may in the next three years, you can save yourself a paper Lincoln and register now.

Registration can be obtained through the web form of the FAA website, while your card will be charged, your 5 dollars will be refunded assuming you get the order in before midnight EST. After registering you get a license card, which you can print or save to your phone along with a registration number. This number must be engraved or otherwise affixed to the craft, otherwise you can face a pretty hefty fine. You'll also want to have your card on you whenever you are flying as well as observe the basic rules outlined by the FAA:

  1. Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
  2. Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
  3. Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
  4. Don't fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
  5. Don't fly near people or stadiums
  6. Don't fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
  7. Don't be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft

These may not be the only rules - your state might have specific laws governing personal unmanned aircraft, so you'll want to do some research before flying your drone around town. Requiring registration of drones has been among the many controversial in recent news. In the past year we have seen everything from temporary bans in National Parks as well as an incredible flyover of Apple's new headquarters. We recently went hands-on with Parrot Bebop 2, which falls above the half-pound limit, so it will be among the models that will need to be registered. For more info and to register, check out the FAA's UAS page here.

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